and so continues my fascination into the Vietnamese culinary world.
there are so many sweets and savories that i find interesting, odd, delicious and dare i say...just a bit SCARY?
scary is what keeps me coming back for more.
this Vietnamese treat is strangely addicting. i've made it 4 times now with different recipes each time. one better than the next. i posted Banh Gan #1 here, but didn't find it necessary to post about the others until this one. the espresso, chocolate and star anise pair so well with the rich caramelized brown sugar. the texture was spot on....like a very dense flan or egg custard.
a thin slice or a few simple cubes with a nice little Vietnamese coffee or espresso will settle your afternoon or polish off a lovely dinner party.
lately i find my self roaming the streets of Little Saigon here in Westminster about twice a month. my first experience was rather unpleasant, but that might be due to the "unknown" and my American ways. i have since gained a little rapport in a few of the tiny shops. occasionally i can make the vendors crack a smile or two and let me on a few of their secrets...with translation from a helpful customer.
i still stick out like a sore thumb, have no idea what anyone is saying to or about me, but it has now become a little more familiar and i feel somewhat comfortable in the chaos of a Saturday afternoon.
VIETNAMESE MOCHA FLAN...BANH GAN
ORIGINAL found at Playing With My Food
12 eggs (apprx. 600g)
1/3 cup (35g) tapioca starch (best to weigh this)
4 tsp single acting baking soda, Alsa brand
pinch of baking soda
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 can coconut milk
8 star anise
375g dark brown sugar
preheat oven to 350F
vegetable oil an 8x8 or 9x9 pan
in a sauce pan add coconut milk, sugar and star anise. bring to a soft boil for a moment, then turn off heat and let steep and cool completely. remove star anise. whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl. lightly beat egg in a separate bowl then sift dry ingredients in. sifting it in helps create less lumps. tapioca powder is a hard one to mix in, but combine as well as possible.
NOTE...single acting baking soda works ONCE, when the dry meets the wet. so it is best not to let that sit. try to work as quickly as possible (not super speedy) after this point to ensure nice air pocket tunnel effect.
...at this time put your greased pan into the hot oven for about 5 minutes (empty greased pan).
add cooled syrup/milk mixture to the egg mixture. combine well.
strain the batter mixture straight into the HOT greased baking pan. lightly push through left-overs and get this into the oven.
bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
remove and cool in pan on wire rack to room temp.
refrigerate and serve chilled.
above is an example of the Banh Gan i found in Little Saigon. this began the fascination and i have to buy it everytime i'm there.
PS...not to toot my horn or anything...but my trusty taste testers said they preferred mine over the store bought.