Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vietnamese Banana Cake

If Vietnam were to have a national fruit, it would probably be the banana. With so many different varieties available, there’s a banana for practically every culinary need. Today we’ll make a cake with bananas.

The Vietnamese banana cake is similar to fruitcake in density and texture but is unlike fruitcake in that people would love to receive this banana cake as a gift…at least I would.

1-½ lbs extremely ripe bananas
1 large egg
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup coconut milk, the creamy white stuff, not the juice
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar in the raw

1. Preheat oven to 375. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Choose the least ripe banana and set aside for decorating the top of the cake. Peel and slice the remaining bananas into ¼-inch slices and place into a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and then add the sugar, coconut milk and butter. Mix until blended. Pour over bananas and fold with a rubber spatula until even.

4. Sift the flour directly onto the banana mixture and continue to fold with a rubber spatula until even. Pour the batter into the cake pan and shake or tap until the batter evens out.

5. Cut the remaining banana into 1/8-inch slices and decorate the top of the cake with all your creativity and none of you inhibitions. Sprinkle on the raw sugar.

6. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is a nice golden brown. I personally bake it for an extra 15 minutes so that the edges get extra crusty with the hardened caramel.

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