Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bánh Bò Hấp (Steamed Sponge Cake)

I tried to make this 'cake' before, but failed miserably.  Other recipes didn't give enough time for fermentation.  I went a bit overboard with the colors.  My nieces call these Easter cakes.

1 1-lb (16 oz) bag of rice flour.
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp instant yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
Mix together until smooth.  Let mixture sit in covered container for 5 - 10 hours.
1 cup water
1.5 cup (1 can) coconut milk
1.5 to 2 cups sugar, depending on your preference for sweet.
Put everything into saucepan over medium heat.  Warm mixture just until sugar dissolved.  Do not boil (because it'll take you longer to cool it down).  Cool mixture down to 100F - 110F.
Combine coconut milk mixture into flour mixture.  Mix well.  Let mixture sit for another hour.  You should see some bubbles rising on top.
Divide batter.  Add food color if desired.
Lightly oil the molds.  Steam molds until hot before pouring the mixture in.  Steam for 8-10 minutes, if using small molds like I did above, until the top surface is solid.  If using pie pan, steam for 25-30 minutes.

You should see the honeycomb rising from cake bottom.

Since this recipe used all rice flour, my sister complained that it lacked the typical chew in Vietnamese dessert.  So when I made it the second time, I added about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tapioca starch.  I've seen some recipes call for 50g of tapioca flour, but my kitchen scale ran out of battery, so I just guessimated.  The cake came out dense and heavy, lacking the fluffy soft texture of the steamed cake.  Did not like.

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