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Coconut cake wins friends with its sweet nature

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Coconut cake wins friends with its sweet nature

QĐND – Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 22:11 (GMT+7)

Around 85 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City lies BenTreProvince, famous for its abundance of coconut treats like candies, jelly, and a variety of cakes.

In a small commune called Dai Dien in this Mekong Delta province, people take pride in the century-old craft of making banh dua, a simple enough cake but with the rich taste of coconut milk, black beans, and green beans.

Banh dua, which literally means “coconut cake,” was originally a source of livelihood for poor villagers a century ago in Dai Dien, which was then known as Giong Luong Commune.

The making of banh dua is a long process that requires the materials to be prepared the night before.

The secret behind a successful batch of the cakes lies in the choice of glutinous rice.

According to locals, the ideal type of glutinous rice for making banh dua is one grown in VinhLongProvince which has a nice fragrance and sticky texture.

The rice is soaked in water for four hours before it is washed and the impurities are removed. It is then put out in open air to dry.

Coconut milk, another essential ingredient for the rich fragrance of the cake, must be made from the flesh of moderately ripe coconuts.

The milk-colored liquid is then filtered to screen off impurities and mixed with rice, black bean, sugar, and salt.

The hardest part of making the cake is the wrapping which reflects the skill and the experience of the maker.

Tender nipa leaves are used to wrap the cakes. They are cut into half and each half is rolled into a tube around 10 cm long with one end open to stuff the rice and other ingredients.

One third of the tube is first filled with the rice mixture. Some green beans that are kept separately and half a banana are stuffed in next before more of the rice mixture goes in.

The cake is then fastened with a string made from the veins of nipa leaves. The process must be carried out in the shade to prevent the leaves from changing color and shrinking due to sunlight.

The cakes are tied in bunches of 12 and boiled for five hours with a small quantity of alum to preserve the color.

They must be left to cool before they are ready to be savored as a mid-day snack or breakfast.

The inexpensive banh dua has found its way to other localities like Ho Chi Minh City where it is sold by street vendors even in bustling areas like Districts 1 and 3.

Source: vietnewsonline

Source: QDND

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