Wajik ketan hitam (Indonesian sticky rice cake) is a very simple and delicious dessert using only a handful of ingredients. This dessert uses both white and black sticky rice, and flavored with coconut milk and pandan leaves. It is dairy free, vegan friendly, and completely gluten free too. If you need to prepare an exotic dessert for your next gathering, you need to give this a try.
You can find sticky rice, or glutinous rice, in most Asian grocery. It comes in white and the dark purple/black color. Unlike other rice, they need to be soaked for a long time. A four hour soaking time is minimum, but overnight is best to ensure a soft rice.
Steaming the sticky rice
You will need a steamer to steam the rice. Since the rice grain will fall off through the steamer holes no matter how small the hole is, I suggest spreading some banana leaves. Not only will the leaves prevent the rice from falling through, it also gives a fragrant smell to the sticky rice. Typically I need about 45 minutes of steaming time to get my preferred rice texture. You can add or reduce the steaming time, but make sure you like the texture before turning off the steamer.
Making the wajik
Once the rice is out of the steamer, it is time to make the pandan flavored coconut syrup. Boil together coconut milk, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves in a sauce pot. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the steamed sticky rice into the pot, and stir until the sauce is absorbed by the rice. Transfer the rice into a saran wrapper lined mold (I use a loaf pan, you can use other mold of your choice). Gently pack the rice with a spatula, then cover the exposed part with even more saran wrap. Once it is completely cool, use an oiled knife to cut into serving sizes.
Wajik Ketan Hitam (Indonesian Sticky Rice Cake)
- 200 gram white sticky rice
- 100 gram black sticky rice
- banana leaves, for steaming
- 1/2 cup boiling water, divided
- 75 ml coconut milk
- 100 gram sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pandan leaves, knotted
- Soak white sticky rice and black sticky rice in plenty of water for 4 hours, preferably overnight. Wash and drain.
- Line a loaf pan (or mold of your choice) with saran plastic wrap and set aside.
- Prepare a steamer over medium heat. Spread banana leaves at the bottom of steamer rack, then place the sticky rice over banana leaves, and steam for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup of boiling water onto the rice, fluff the rice with a spatula, then cover the steamer again and steam for another 15 minutes. Repeat one more time. (Total steaming time is 45 minutes).
- In a sauce pot, boil together coconut milk, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the steamed sticky rice into the pot and stir until the sauce is fully absorbed into the rice.
- Transfer the rice into prepared loaf pan, press gently with a spatula to compact the rice. Cover the exposed part with more saran plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until cool. To serve, return the cake to room temperature, and cut into serving sizes with an oiled knife.