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Vietnamese Banana Cake

If Vietnam were to have a national fruit, it would probably be the banana. With so many different varieties available, there's a banana for practically every culinary need. The Vietnamese banana cake is similar to fruitcake in density and texture but is unlike fruitcake in that people love to receive this banana cake as a gift...at least, I do.

The recipe, after the jump.

Recipe: Vietnamese Banana Cake

  • 1-½ pounds extremely ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup coconut milk, the creamy white stuff, not the juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar in the raw
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan.

    2. Choose the least ripe banana and set aside for decorating the top of the cake. Peel and slice the remaining bananas into ¼-inch slices and place into a large bowl.

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    3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and then add the sugar, coconut milk and butter. Mix until blended. Pour over bananas and fold with a rubber spatula until even.

    4. Sift the flour directly onto the banana mixture and continue to fold with a rubber spatula until even. Pour the batter into the cake pan and shake or tap until the batter evens out.

    5. Cut the remaining banana into 1/8-inch slices and decorate the top of the cake with all your creativity and none of you inhibitions. Sprinkle on the raw sugar.

    6. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is a nice golden brown. I like to bake it for an extra 15 minutes so that the edges get extra crusty with the hardened caramel.

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