Friday, July 12, 2013

Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake

This cake is called Banh Bo Nuong in Vietnamese. It is definitely tricky to make, so I would follow the directions carefully. I used a combination from 2 different recipes. It's gluten free and dairy free. The taste is subtle and it has a unique texture- kind of gelatinous. It personally reminds me of home and my mother's cooking. The original recipe calls for pandan leaves which I didn't have on hand so I used vanilla instead.

200 ml coconut cream (1/2 can)
150 g sugar (1 cup)
6 eggs, at room temperature
200 grams tapioca starch/flour (2 cups)
2 1/2 tsp SINGLE ACTING baking powder (see below)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make single acting baking powder:
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp baking soda
Mix and put in a sealed container.

For the cake:
Weigh out the tapioca flour and baking powder and mix together.
Mix the coconut cream with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. You may have to heat up the coconut cream a bit to accomplish this. Let cool if it needs to be heated and then add the vanilla extract into the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan generously and place in the oven to heat.
Stir the eggs in a separate bowl gently to mix them together. Make sure the whisk is always touching the bottom of the bowl to minimize air bubbles.
Gently stir the cooled coconut mixture into the eggs. Then working in parts, sift the flour into the wet ingredients a little bit at a time while stirring. Stir gently until there are just a few lumps left. The key is not to over mix the ingredients.
Pull the hot bundt pan out of the oven and pour the batter in quickly. Then bake for 35-40 minutes until nicely golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes and then unmold.
Ideally you want the cake to rise with all the striations from the air bubbles! This is the correct texture to aim for.

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