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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baked Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong)

This is one of the most signature dishes of my grandmother but her recipe and technique went with her when she passed away, waaaay before I was even born and waaaay before my mom even started to ovulate lol.
This Honeycomb cake is a very dense cake made from tapioca starch, which gives the cake a slight chewy texture. The cake must be both fluggy and chewy adn not dense enough to stick to your teeth lol. The name of the cake literally mean a "Cow Cake" or "Crawl Cake." As a fun fact from wiki, the cake is named so due to the similarities between the cake's texture and the texture of a cow's liver. Appetizing, eh?
There is a steamed version of this cake, I think, also called steamed rice cake, which originated in China, and is white in color and much softer. I have yet to make that one.
So this cake, is apparently very hard to make, and all my aunts have tried in the past and failed and though my mom loves this cake, she never even bothered trying lol. The tricky part is getting it to rise without proofing and the lack of gluten-support. So today, as a treat, I decided to try and make it following a recipe I found online that was in ENGLISH =D. It was very exciting. The instructions were very easy but, of course, being the goof I am, I forgot one critical step; the straining of the batter...so my cake had a few lumps. But besides that, the cake turned out awesome because I managed to get "honeycombs" and have the cakes still remain stable and not compacted (I realized the "honeycombs" are visible when you take a bite and look at the cake from a birds'-eye-view...another fun fact).
I am definitely going to make this again, but with coconut cream (I only had coconut milk), a little less sugar and a bit more pandan (maybe even fresh).
I bet my grandma's proud ^___^

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