May 1, 2012

Vietnamese Baked Cassava Coconut Cake


Cassava is a starchy tuberous root that is widely used in Asia, Africa and South America. It is white inside and on the outside, looks like a cross between sweet potato and taro.

This delectable Vietnamese dessert is a sweet, sticky cake that incorporates shredded cassava as the starch content, coconut milk as the fat, and condensed milk as a sweetener. It is very much unlike the usual sponge cake textures that we are used to eating. It is more moist and dense and slightly sticky and creamy. I guess you could compare it to eating sticky rice, but in cake form.

Eating this reminds me of my childhood, where mum used to either buy it from the Asian groceries on her weekly shopping trips or bake at home on the weekends as a treat for my brothers and me. I will never forget the sweet, buttery aroma of freshly baked cassava cake wafting through the house!

You can find shredded cassava in the frozen section of most Asian stores. Try to buy cassava that is from Thailand (it is sweeter and starchier) and not Vietnam. Thaw the cassava before using and either squeeze out the excess liquid or drain it using a muslin cloth.

Serves 6-8:
6 cups shredded Cassava, tightly packed (650g)
¾ cup split mung beans, dried
cup coconut milk
1 tbs canola oil
1 can condensed milk
¾ cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs butter, at room temperature

In a bowl, wash the mung beans thoroughly and discard any bad-shaped beans or little stones. Soak for at least 3 hours in a large bowl (the beans will expand, so ensure there is plenty of water to keep them completely immersed), or overnight if possible, before using.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the mung beans in a saucepan, barely cover with water and bring to the boil, then lower to low-medium heat and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the beans to sit for 15 minutes. The beans should be soft and tender. Push through a sieve to form a smooth paste.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and creamy. Add the vanilla extract, shredded cassava, the condensed, evaporated and coconut milks, the pureed mung beans and oil. Mix to combine. The mixture should be homogenous like a thick cake batter.

Coat the sides of a cake pan with a thin layer of butter and line the bottom with a sheet of baking paper. Pour the cake mixture into the greased pan. Even the batter with a spatula and by gently lifting and dropping the baking pan several times to rid of air bubbles.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 150°C and cook for another 30 minutes. The edges of the cake should be slightly golden and dry. It is ready when a skewer poked through comes out grainy and not sticky or wet. Remove the cake from the pan, place it on a serving dish and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Vietnamese Baked Cassava Coconut Cake

1 comment:

mommbsta said...

hi, your dishes look delicious. thank you.