I wishI could capture the fragnance of Bánh Bò Nướng while it's still in the oven and let you smell the sweet and unique flavor of pandan and the sweet and rich aroma of coconut milk. It's this distinctive fragnance in addition to the soft chewy, slightly rubbery texture that makes Bánh Bò Nướng irresistible.
For the last couple days, I have tested out at least 3 versions of the Bánh Bò Nướng recipes. I made my husband the official taster. The recipe below is his favorite. He prefers the pandan flavor over the vanilla; This recipe is also less chewy than the other versions.
My Bánh Bò Nướng has a crispy surfacecovered in roasted sesame which the true Bánh Bò Nướng doesn't have. But I love this seed and use it whenever appropriate. This is where you can infuse some of your creativity to add a personal touch.
The process of making Bánh Bò Nướng is really quick and easy but the hardest part is getting the honeycombs (rễ tre) in the middle of the cake. In order to get this, you need to beat the eggs just enough to homogenize the whites and yolks. Stirring would be a safer method. Secondly, use single acting baking powder such as Alsa Brand. Thirdly, use a strainer to strain the mixture. Last and the most important step: the baking pan has to be very hot. You want to hear the sizzling sound when pouring the flour mixture in the hot baking pan.
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RECIPE:Bánh Bò Nướng
1 1/4 cups Tapioca flour
4 oz (1/2 cup) Coconut Milk 1 bag Alsa Brand Single Acting Baking Powder, 11grs (use any brand you prefer but it has to be Single Acting)
6 large Eggs or 7 small Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Pandan Extract (lá dứa) and 1/2 bag Vanilla Sugar or use only Pandan Extract or Pure Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, optional
Turn on the oven and preheat to 350' F. Brush oil on the baking pan and heat it in the oven on the 2nd lowest rack.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. In a large bowl, lightly stir the egg and sugar with a whisk or a fork so that no bubbles form. Remember to stir just enough to homogenize the whites and yolks. Over stirring the eggs can cause the cake to be flat.
Then stir in flour mixture, coconut milk, pandan or vanilla. Break up any lumps with the back of a spoon.
Use a strainer to strain the mixture into another bowl.
Pour the mixture into the hot baking pan that is still in the oven. You should hear the sizzling sound. If you like sesame seeds, sprinkle some on top of the mixture.
Bake it for about 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 300' F. Bake for another 30 minutes or until golden. If your oven is not convection, bake it for a little bit longer. Insert a toothpick in the center of a cake to test for quick cake doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
Turn off oven and let the cake sit in there for a few minutes before taking it out. Let it cool for a little bit before removing it from the baking pan.
Honey Comb Cake made with fresh pandan juice.
The cake has a light yellowish green in color instead of the bright green.
*If you use pandan leaves instead pandan extract, blend about 6-7 pandan leaves (the more pandan leaves added, the more aroma and greener it is) with 4 oz of coconut milk in a food processor. Draining it through a fine strainer and discard the pandan residue. Make 4 oz of pandan-coconut juice. If it doesn't make enough 4 oz, add more coconut milk to make 4 oz. Add pandan-coconut juice to the rest of the ingredients.