Bánh Bò Nướng Recipe – Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake

banh bo plate

Bánh Bò Nướng (Vietnamese Honey Comb Cake), a Vietnamese gluten free dessert / snack. It’s a chewy, coco nutty green cake often sold as slices on Styrofoam trays at Vietnamese bakeries. The color and tropical, grassy notes come from pandan leaves (lá dứa).  Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before you start. This recipe yields two 9” round pan cakes. Good luck and have fun!!!

Ingredients:

    • 10 eggs
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 can thick coconut milk (one can — 13.66 fluid oz or 403ml)

    • 4 cups tapioca starch (1 bag – 16 oz)

    • 6 to 8 pandan leaves, 1 tspn pandan extract, 1 tspn pandan extract, or 1 tspn vanilla


  • 2 packages (Alsa Brand) baking powder (single acting) – 2½ tsp per package

Directions

  1. Leave the eggs out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Break the eggs gently into a bowl. Gently break the egg yolk with a fork. Try not to beat the eggs too hard or long. We only want to mix the yolk and the white together a little bit. Mixing the eggs too long will create bubbles in the cake when baking.
  3. Mix in sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leave extract or vanilla (pandan leaves or pandan extract are optional – see further instruction below).
  4. Mix the tapioca starch into the mixture.banh bo flour mixture
  5. There will be flour clumps because of the tapioca starch texture. It’s ok. Do not over mix it. Gently mix it for no more than 5 minutes. Again over mixing will produce bubbles in the cake when baking.
  6. Add the baking powder (ATTN: this is not the regular baking powder at the grocery store. The grocery store sells double acting baking powder. Please see picture above for single acting baking powder. You can usually find this brand at an Asian grocery store.)
  7. Mix in but don’t worry about the clumpy flour
  8. It is also normal for the mixture to be watery.
  9. Use butter or vegetable oil to slightly grease two 9” round pans
  10. Turn oven to bake at 350º F
  11. Put the pans into the oven to heat up the pans
  12. Use a strainer or a sieve to pour mixture through and work out the flour clumps through the strainer.
    straining the flour mixture

    Straining and filtering the flour mixture

  13. Pour the filtered mixture into the two pans.
  14. Bake at 350º F for about 45-50 mins or until golden.
  15. Use a toothpick to help measure when it is cooked. Cook until flour no longer stick to the toothpick.
    Bad Banh Bo Nuong

    Bad Banh Bo Nuong with bubbles in batter.

    Perfect Banh Bo Nuong

    Perfect Banh Bo Nuong

  16. Optional – How to process the Pandan leaves:frozen bag pandangrinding pandan leaves

extract juice from pandan leaves

  • You can often find frozen Pandan leaves at an Asian market. Cut the leaves into 1 to 2 inches in length.
  • Place them in a small food processor or food chopper. Use your own discretion on the amount of leaves that your food processor can handle at a time.
  • Put aside ¼ cup of coconut milk from the coconut milk. Add the coconut milk to the leaves.
  • Grind all the leaves & milk into fine green pulp
  • Use a strainer to extract all the green coconut milk from the pulp.
  • Keep the milk and discard the pulp.
  • Pour the milk into the mixture
  • Mix well.
  • You can avoid the laborious task of extracting the juice from the leaves by using pandan extract or regular vanilla. Vanilla flavoring is also good. However, it does not give the cake any color.

Note: the pandan extract may contain food coloring, artificial flavoring, and/or preservatives. I prefer to use the frozen leaves for natural flavoring and coloring.

I found information on single and double acting powder at this website:

http://moonlake.hubpages.com/hub/Baking-Powder-Single-Acting-and-Double-Acting

Single Acting Gluten Free Baking Powder Recipe

(The recipe off the cream of tartar can)

2 Tablespoons of cream of tartar

1 Tablespoon of baking soda

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

Combine ingredients: store in airtight container until needed. Makes 1/4 cup. This is gluten free baking powder.

 

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