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Pandan Honeycomb Cake. A Vietnamese treat..Banh Bo Nuong

Pandan Honeycomb cake

i had no intention, but...
 this has Holiday Springtime written all over it.

is this cool?...or what?!

this is a might say..."unique cake".
a little difficult to make, but totally out of the ordinary, interesting and fun.  something different to amaze your foodie friends for the holiday parties.
straight out of the oven it looks like a normal cake with a lovely crisp outer shell, but when you cut into it the bright green is a shocker and the honeycomb is fascinating.  the tapioca flour gives it a slightly chewy texture and the pandan smells of fresh baked vanilla...or something from the vanilla family.
friends and family were amazed with the bright green, the different texture and the subtle flavor of pandan.   "what is pandan? and why is this so green?  but i like it!"
the green color is from the pandan extract.  it's found in quite a few Asian desserts. Green?...i suppose to imitate the color of the pandan leaves.  flavor?...i couldn't really tell you what the flavor of "pandan" is, but the cake tastes like it has vanilla in it...and low and behold?...i read HERE that it is sometimes referred to as the "Asian vanilla".
the honeycomb effect is created by using single acting baking powder...did you know there was such a thing?...or that it makes a difference?  this sounds elementary, but... single acting works once.  it activates only with the wet ingredients.  double acting works twice...once with the wet and again with the heat of baking.  don't quote me.  i'm not a chef or a scientist.  i'm just passing on information i came across.

i would just about call this one a success.  i DID have a horrible failure (lovely photo at the bottom) on the first attempt, but with perseverance i conquered the Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake.
well, at least it looks as though i did.  i know i could do better and i will try again.  as you can see it fell a little bit on the bottom,...

but when i sliced this puppy open? ...SHAZAMMM! 
i sure did get the honeycomb effect.  that's what i was looking for...


aka Banh Bo Nuong
many thanks to Pinkie Food blog with step by step photos

200ml thick coconut milk (1/2 can)
150g sugar
6 eggs
200g tapioca starch/flour
5-6 drops pandan extract/paste.  i used 1/2 tsp plus a few drops

preheat oven to 350F degrees
in a small sauce pan heat coconut milk, sugar and extract until the sugar dissolves.  set aside to cool completely
in a separate bowl, mix the tapioca starch and baking powder.
in another separate bowl, lightly beat the do not want bubbles or foam.  i have read in many other recipes you should beat just until they look mixed.  one tip is to keep your whisk touching the bottom of the bowl while gently mixing.
pour cooled coconut mixture into eggs and gently combine well.
***at this time put your greased/sprayed cooking vessel (bundt pan) into the oven to preheat***
gradually add the tapioca mixture to the egg/coconut mixture and quickly, but gently, beat until just dissolved/combined.  
NOTE...i have found that tapioca starch is a hard one to combine.  i sifted it in and quickly, but gently whisked until very few lumps were left.  then, when i strained the batter into the pan i pushed through the remaining lumps.
remove hot baking pan from the oven.  strain batter through sieve into the hot baking pan and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  i let mine sit in the budnt pan for about 10-15 minutes...then turned it over.  i read that might help it from falling.  i was anxious and removed the cake from the pan after about 20-25 minutes with a little tap on the counter.  YAY, no sticking. 

in conclusion...there are so many different recipes and methods for this cake.  i have tried 2 so far and this one seems to work well.  i'll let you know if i find a new easy one.

but for now...i'm very pleased with this unique Vietnamese treat!

as you can see, i opted for the heavy Nordic Ware bundt pan.  this would be my suggestion for a first try.  i think i'll try the 9 inch cake pan next time with this same recipe.

above is my first encounter with Bahn Bo Nuong that i purchased in Little Saigon a few weeks ago.
i had never seen anything like it.  i was fascinated.  i did a little research and gave it a go...
the first try ? obvious failure....the middle was...let's just say...gummy bear-ish?  i am not a quitter, so i gave it another try.  HONEYCOMB !  YAY !
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