International cuisine magazine Taste Atlas has named Vietnam’s ‘banh da lon’ (steamed layer cake) and ‘banh chuoi’ (banana cake) on its list of the world’s 100 best cakes.
Banh chuoi, a traditional dessert in the southern region, where the dish can be steamed or baked on a charcoal grill, ranked 73rd on the list.
For the steamed version, the bananas are peeled, mashed, then mixed with sugar, rice flour, water, and sometimes vanilla. Then the banana cakes are steamed until done and covered with coconut milk.
Steamed banana cakes are sprinkled with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy
Before serving, the cakes are often cut into diamond shapes and sprinkled with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds.
Banh da lon, which is also a popular dessert in the southern region, ranked 99th on the list.
This dessert consists of chewy sweet layers made of mung beans, tapioca starch, rice flour and coconut milk.
Vietnamese steamed layer cakes banh da lon are sold at a stall in Hau Giang Province in Mekong Delta. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi
To enhance the flavor of the cake, some vendors add more layers by mixing rice flour smashed with mung beans or taro with durian, and tapioca starch mashed with la cam (a magenta tree leaf for purple coloring).
Traditional Polish cheesecake Sernik was named the world’s best cake, followed by Russia’s honey cake, known as Medovik.
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