Vietnamese Banana Cake or Bánh Chuối Nướng is a cross between a bread pudding and a spongy cake. One can see the French influences on Vietnamese cuisine with this cake. Add a few spoonful of creamy coconut sauce and you have a delicious desert anytime of the day.
Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 8 / Time: 2 hours to prepare and 1 hour to cool
10 whole steamed sapa banana (approx. 2 frozen packages found in any Asian supermarket). You can substitute with regular ripe bananas.
8 slices of white bread
4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of melted butter to coat the pan
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of tapioca starch
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 cans (14 oz) of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of condensed milk
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of white wine or rum
9 inch spring form pan
Cut 4 bananas length wise and cut the remaining 6 bananas into thin round slices.
Add the bananas into a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of wine. Carefully incorporate the ingredients without breaking the bananas apart. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest on the counter for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In another mixing bowl, add 1 can of coconut milk, 1 cup of regular milk, 2 tablespoons of condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch, 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar, 1 egg, 4 tablespoons of melted butter and stir.
Cube the white bread and soak the bread in the milk mixture for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, add the round banana slices and mix evenly.
Brush the inside of a 9 inch spring form pan with 1 teaspoon of melted butter.
Pour the bread mixture evenly into the pan.
Top the mixture with the long banana slices. Lightly press down so the milk mixture can “cover” the top of the bananas. You can also use a brush to spread some of the milk mixture on top of the bananas.
Bake for 1 hour at 375F. After 1 hour, turn the broiler on for 7 to 10 minutes until the top has caramelized and turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush a little of the melted butter on top and let the cake cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the cake can solidify.
Make the coconut sauce:
Heat 2 cups of coconut milk with 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Turn off the heat once the ingredients have incorporated together. Top a slice of banana cake with a few spoons of coconut sauce for a delicious treat.