Vietnamese Steamed Banana Cake – Banh Chuoi Hap

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This pictorial recipe for Vietnamese steamed banana cake (banh chuoi hap) is an adaptation from Xuan Hong’s Youtube recipe.  This traditional dessert is serve with creamy pandan flavored coconut cream milk mixture and topped with roasted sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts.  I used natural yellow food coloring in this pictorial.

  • Prep & Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 4-8
  • Tools used: spatula, medium mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, silicon molds
  • Notes:  Let the cake cool down  and then chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before taking it out from the silicon mold or even cutting the cake.  The silicon heart shaped moldings have smooth inner lining while the silicon cupcake molding has creases that makes it difficult to take the cake out with ease.  As a result, I recommend to use any silicon molding with smooth inner lining and the cake must be chilled before cutting or taking it out from the molding.  

Ingredients: 

For the steamed banana cake: 

  • 5 large ripened bananas (2.2 lb)
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup tapioca flour (bot nang)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • yellow food coloring = 1/4 tsp ground turmeric + 1/2 Tbsp water

For the coconut cream milk: 

  • 1 can 14-oz coconut cream milk
  • 3/4 cup water or coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 pandan leaves chopped
  • 2/3 Tbsp rice flour (or tapioca flour) + 1 Tbsp water

Other:

  • crushed roasted peanuts and or roasted white sesame seeds

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Directions:

1.  Peel bananas and slice it into round 1/3-inch thick pieces and put it in a medium mixing bowl.

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2.  Mix in three tablespoon of sugar.

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3.  Mix in 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir evenly for about two minutes.

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4.  Pour in 1.5 cup of tapioca flour and mix well.

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5.  Add 1/4 cup (cold) water.  Mix well gently.

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6.  Add the natural yellow food coloring into the mixture.

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7.  Pour or spoon the batter into silicon mold(s).  We used heart and cupcake molds. The silicon heart shaped moldings have smooth inner lining while the silicon cupcake molding has creases that makes it difficult to take the cake out with ease.

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8.  Steam on medium heat (#6 heat setting on my GE Spectra stove) for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Stick a toothpick in the center to check if it’s done.  Timing depends on thickness of batter and size of silicon mold you’re using.  I used my bao steamer and steamed each tray for about 12 minutes.

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Important Notes:  Let the cake cool down  and then chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cutting.  I tried taking the steamed banana cake out at room temperature but it didn’t came out nicely.   The silicon heart shaped moldings have smooth inner lining while the silicon cupcake molding has creases that makes it difficult to take the cake out with ease.  As a result, I recommend to use any silicon molding with smooth inner lining and the cake must be chilled before cutting or taking it out from the molding. 

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11.  Now it’s time to make the coconut cream milk mixture.

  • Add water and chopped pandan leaves into small sauce pan.  Cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in coconut cream milk. Cook for medium heat (#6 setting) for five minutes.
  • Add in sugar and salt.
  • Bring the coconut cream mixture to a boil. Quickly lower heat.
  • Gently stir in the rice flour and water mixture.  (Rice flour can be substituted with corn starch or tapioca flour.)

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12.  Make the crushed roasted peanuts or roasted sesame seeds.

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Serve the steamed banana cake with pandan flavored coconut cream milk and crushed roasted peanuts or roasted sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

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Behind the scenes: 

Thirteen-months-old chef Ethan only practiced putting the peanuts into the bag.

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