Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vietnamese Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi)

Staying in the spirit of Chinese and Vietnamese New Year, the year of the Ox, I have just prepared a traditional Vietnamese dessert that has been a long time favourite of mine, among all other favourite foods. I crave for it every year, especially around the New Year. I usually prefer baking during weekends, as I have more time, but this cake is so quick to make that it’s ready to eat, when piping hot, with a blink of an eye.

The easy part is the preparation. The hard part is to wait for that golden beauty to bake to a dense, yet very moist cake.

Cassava, also known as Manioc, Yuca or Mandioca in other countries, is a root that releases an interesting blend of coconut and red bean aroma. You’ll have to try it to understand what I mean. I tend to find its taste and texture to be very close to a custard flan, but a little denser and drier. Yet, the cake is incredibly moist when eaten when taken right out of the oven, and even chilled. Its consistency can also be compared to a sticky-rice cake, without the rice! This is due to the starch found in Cassava. Cassava can be bought pre-packaged at a local Asian grocery store, but if you don’t mind the extra work of grating fresh cassava root, fresh cassava can also be and is preferably used for this recipe .

It’s up to you to find out, and I do strongly encourage you to try it, especially if you are one to have a weakness for flans and sticky rice cakes. How odd, you might think.

Trust me on this one. It’s a cake that you will certainly love eating.

Preparation: 15 minutes, Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Recipe “au pif”:
1 ½ cups finely shredded
cassava (aka Manioc, Yuca or Mandioca)
3 eggs
1/3 cup raw cane sugar (or 1 cup regular granulated sugar)
1 can (about 400 ml) good quality coconut milk
1 tsp shredded lemon peel
2 tbsp rum
2 sheets of banana leaves (found in most Asian grocery stores)
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven at 375F.

Squeeze the shredded Cassava to remove water. Put aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Stir in the coconut milk, lemon peel, rum and cassava.

Mix well until all ingredients all well combined.

Pour the batter into a round baking dish (about 8” diameter and 3” deep) lined with the banana leaves gently greased with the butter.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes, uncovered, until the cake is golden.

Serve warm or chilled, with a nice cup of your preferred tea.

Serves 6-8 people.



Karatekoud said...

Hello, happy ox's new year.
Mmmm ,it looks delicious ! Do you have a recipe and an exemple for the new year cake (Banh Têt/Chung)?

QlinArt said...

I have my mother's recipe of Banh Chung - which is great - but it does take time to make. I post easy recipes on my blog. If you'd like to try it, I can surely try to post the recipe later.

Karatekoud said...

It's would be nice to have your experience of doing in your easier way :). I know that it's take a lot time to cook in water.

Cynthia said...

I have heard so much about cassava cake. We have something here, a sweet dessert made with cassava too that we call pone.

I've bookmarked your recipe and will definitely be trying this.

The Food Allergy Queen said...

Thanks for posting a picture of the cassava root for easy identification in the store. I had my first cassava cake yesterday (I'm Chinese and have never had it, hm!), and since it's gluten-free and dying to revise this recipe for myself and my audience. I'll be sure to try your recipe first! Thanks again, The Food Allergy Queen

Indonesia Eats said...

Love this cassava cake! A bit different version with Indonesian one. But I still love anything with cassava

QlinArt said...

Thank you @indonesia Eats, I adore Kassava especially as tapioca pudding. I would love to have an indonesia recipe with Kassava.