Pinoy chef makes cheesy ‘bibingka’

Rudolf Vincent T. Manabat, chef RV to friends and colleagues, has crisscrossed continents in pursuit of his dream — to be a worthy apprentice to esteemed culinary masters.

He flew to France to study pastries. He traveled to Belgium to unearth the secrets of chocolate. He explored America to learn the art of cake decoration. He roamed around Spain for the perfect paella. He wandered through Switzerland for the best cheese fondue. He journeyed to Brazil for the elusive pao de queijo.

Likewise, he traversed the neighboring countries of Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea to immerse into their national culinary wonders.

Chef RV has a Culinary Arts degree from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and a masters in Gastronomy, major in Food, Wine and Cheese Studies from Boston University.

The YouTube sensation records a video tutorial. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF CHEF RV MANABAT

He takes annual trips to the world’s capital cities to attend conferences and symposia to update himself on the latest trends of his passion.

All these were for his self-named cafe-restaurant, to share his dishes, complemented by the hidden flavors of Biñan. Along with his brick-and-mortar shop, this innovator has launched his own Boutique Cooking and Baking Studio, where he painstakingly imparts his knowledge to eager would-be bakers and chefs.

Furthermore, he’s on social media, conducting recipe tutorials for his hundreds of thousands of subscribers. This is not to mention his two bestselling cookbooks.

This Christmas is the ideal time to reflect on the blessings of a most challenging year — in the comfort of family and friends, all gathered for dinner, as is the revered Filipino tradition.

Chef RV offers a new twist on an old favorite, the Christmas Caramelized Bibingka Fromage — a unique combination of a cheesy classic and the well-loved crème brûlée for clan reunions or as cherished gifts.

The Christmas Caramelized Bibingka Brulee.

Christmas Caramelized Bibingka Fromage

Serves 4-5 persons


1 1/4 cup All-purpose flour or rice flour

1 tablespoon Baking powder

1/4 cup White sugar

1/2 cup Water

1/2 cup Coconut milk or fresh milk

2 Whole eggs

2 tablespoons Melted butter

A pinch of salt

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Cream cheese, softened


4 pcs salted egg, sliced

cream cheese spread or prepared custard cream

1/2 cup Sugar

Line 4-5 pcs mini cake molds, or muffin pans, with pre-cut banana leaves.

Beat all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Divide between prepared pans; top with salted egg.

Bake in the oven toaster, or in a preheated 400°F oven for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Spread the top generously with cream cheese or custard cream. Dust generously with sugar.

Caramelize the sugar using a blow torch (or in the oven toaster/broiler) to create the burnt caramelized effect.

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