Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuoung) June 11 2013
One of my favourite desserts of all time is the Vietnamese honeycomb cake in Pandan flavour. It is a light, chewy, spongy dessert with a soothing, sweet aroma of Pandan. Everytime I walked in a Vietnamese Bakery I was always tempted to pick these cakes up, but I kept telling myself I will make these one day as organic as possible especially without food coloring. Yes, Pandan extract have green food coloring in it! Since this cake calls for this ingredient, and I couldn't find the extract without food coloring, I decided to buy Pandan leaves to blend into juice and use it as a replacement.
My cake here is green but the color is all from the leaves, there is no food coloring! It's amazing how natural ingredients can bring such beautiful colors to your food without the need of adding any dye. Go for it! Try the recipe I modified. Good luck and have fun!
1 3/4 cup of coconut milk (or use 1 full can of coconut milk)
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 cups tapioca starch
2 teaspoon rice flour
2 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1 teaspoon baking soda
6 extra large organic eggs
2 teaspoons unrefine coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-8 Pandan leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon pandan extract)
unrefine coconut oil to spread on baking pan
Preheat oven at 325F and place baking pan inside to heat. I used a cast iron skillet because I don't like using non-stick bakeware.
Step 2 *If you are making your own pandan blend follow this step. Otherwise, skip this if you are using pandan extract.*
To make your own pandan blend, wash and dry 6-8 pandan leaves and chop them into 1/2 inch pieces. This will make it easier for your blender. You will need a more powerful blender to do this since regular blender may not be able to blend these tough leaves so fine.
Pour coconut milk and chopped pandan in the blender to blend until pandan are finely blended into coconut milk.
Pour your coconut milk (or pandan coconut milk) in a sauce pan over low heat. Add sugar in and stir to mix. Turn heat off when sugar has melted and mixed with coconut milk.
In a small bowl -- place cream of tartar and baking soda in and mix well then set aside.
Step 5 In a mixing bowl -- Put 6 eggs inside and pierce the yolk and gently drag it around a few times for the yolk and egg white to mix.
Add 2 teaspoons of unrefine coconut oil and vanilla extract with eggs and gently use a whisk to mix until everything blends well. *Do not whip, just stir to mix* Now add coconut milk you prepared earlier in and stir to mix well.
Place a sifter over your wet ingredients and slowly pour tapioca starch through it. Add half of the tapioca starch each time then gently stir to mix. Slowly mix to work out the lumps in the batter.
If you are making this with pandan extract, now you can add the extract in. Otherwise, skip this step.
You are almost done!! Now add the cream of tartar and baking soda mix you made in your batter and stir to mix. You will start to see the batter getting frothy. Keep mixing until everything blends well.
Take the baking pan out of the oven and brush coconut oil all around. Now place a sifter over the baking pan and slowly pour your batter in. Place your baking pan in the oven to bake for 30-40 mins. Place a toothpick in the cake, if toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done! Your cake should have a light golden brown top.
Take your cake out of oven and remove the cake from the baking pan. Place the cake on a cooling rack and try it when it's cooled!