Vietnamese Recipe: Banh Chuoi, Banana Cake

I think it is about time we talk about desserts! This one is one of my mom’s favourite, and I remember her making huge batches of this. I would then bring slices of it as a snack for school: yum! It is very simple, but the lime flavour is super refreshing and light, which goes great with the slightly wet texture of this (almost) flour-free cake.

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Here is what you need:

  • Zest of one lime
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

To serve:

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1tbsp corn starch

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and place a 9″ square pan in it.
  2. Zest one lime and press out the juice.
  3. Mash the bananas one by one and add a little bit of lime juice to each. Place in a large mixing bowl. The lime juice will prevent the browning of the bananas.IMG_2545.JPG
  4. Add the lime peel, the sugar and salt and mix well.
  5. Combine the water and flour until smooth. Add to the banana mix. IMG_2552.JPG
  6. Remove the pan from the oven (careful, this is hot!), and oil it with a little bit of coconut oil. Pour the dough in and cook for 30 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden. IMG_2561.JPG
  7. For the coconut sauce: In a small sauce pan, pour half the can of coconut milk and put on medium heat. Mix the corn starch to the other half and add to the pan once well combined. Heat up and mix until it is thick to your taste.
  8. Serve hot with a generous dribble of coconut sauce. We cut the cake in half and superposed the two halves to make the cake thicker.

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I really love how the crust of this cake has a slight crunch while the center stays moist and chewy. The coconut sauce balances out the sweetness of the bananas and rounds off the flavours delicately.

Give this a try! It is so easy and simple, yet so flavourful: the lime juice and zest really send you to a tropical island of your choice, or maybe a Vietnamese beach. Let me know if you cook this and devour it!

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