Vietnamese Fried Banana Cake


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In 1995 my family & I took a trip lớn Vietnam lớn visit family and friends. The US had just established diplomatic relations & many families in the US were taking the opportunity khổng lồ visit family they had not seen in decades. The visit was memorable và endearing, full of celebration và heartbreak, and FOOD. One of the young women I met during that trip was taking baking classes và brought home a banana cake. The Bánh Chuối Nướng was delicious in flavor, and texture more like a bread pudding. At the time I was in college and working at a delicious organic bakery named The Flour Garden in Eureka, CA. The bakery owners Kevin và Ellen had a love for making exquisite, high-quality baked goods from locally harvested ingredients. They gave me a copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. I mix the task of bringing the fried banana flavors of Southeast Asia khổng lồ a layer cake that could be frosted and potentially layered. This is an adaptation of the book’s Cordon Rose Banana Cake, frying the bananas on both sides gives a rich banana caramel, enhanced by the addition of maple syrup.

“Fried Banana Cake,” Jave Yoshimoto, Ink, watercolor and gouache on paper, 9” x 12″, 2021.Fried Banana Cake


Cake batter:

5-6 very ripe bananas1/4 cup coconut oil1/3 cup maple syrup2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature1.5 teaspoon vanilla2 eggs, room temperature2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled1 teaspoon baking soda3/4 teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon salt½ cup sugar8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


Preheat oven khổng lồ 325 degrees.In a large, flat frying pan, heat coconut oil on medium heat. Peel bananas and once oil is hot, place in sizzling oil. Fry on one side for about 8–10 min, till a dark rich brown, flip và brown on other side for 7-8 minutes. It should be a rich, dark brown fry but not burnt. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then use a spatula to scrape the bottom altogether, then use a tool lượt thích a hand potato masher to mash the banana, brown bits, và oil altogether until it is incorporated. Reserve 1 cup of banana mixture for cake batter. Any extra can be blended into cream cheese frosting option.While bananas are browning, in a stand mixer place all dry ingredients & beat with a paddle on medium tốc độ for 30 seconds.Put 1 cup of fried banana in a food processer along with sour cream until smooth. địa chỉ vanilla & maple syrup and process, showroom eggs, & process briefly khổng lồ blend.Put softened butter in the mixer in the middle of dry ingredients. Take butter wrapper & grease bottom of 9” round cake pan and place parchment round on đứng đầu of the greased bottom.Add ½ cup banana mixture khổng lồ butter in dry ingredients. Phối on low speed until moistened then increase speed to medium & beat for 1.5 minutes khổng lồ aerate and strengthen the cake’s structure. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the rest of the banana mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition & scraping sides. Scrape into prepared pan, spreading & flattening with a spatula, knock pan once on the floor to break any air bubbles.Bake at 325 for 35–38 minutes, or just until the vị trí cao nhất is beginning khổng lồ brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks and cool at least 2 hours before frosting. My favorite is a cream cheese frosting with fried banana mixed in, then homemade caramel generously drizzled on top, but whipped cream and caramel also pairs well!

Topping Options:

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature2.5 cups powdered sugar1 teaspoon vanillaLeftover fried banana

The frosting can be done either with a hand or stand mixer, or food processor for a fine texture. Set cream cheese and butter first, then showroom powdered sugar, vanilla, và any leftover fried banana. Phối or pulse till just blended, và creamy.

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Whipped Cream & Caramel

Whipped Cream:

16 ounces heavy cream, cold4 tablespoons powdered sugar or regular sugar1 teaspoon vanilla

Place sugar in mixer, add cream, and mix till soft peaks, add vanilla & mix until stiff peaks form. Chill.

Caramel Sauce:

¼ cup water¾ cup sugar¾ cup heavy cream1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine water and sugar in a pot over high heat, bring to boil. Cook 6–8 minutes lớn light golden brown, swirl very minimally if needed. Remove from heat, stir in cream & salt. Return khổng lồ heat & bring to lớn a boil. Pour in a glass/ceramic container và cool.

Born Saigon, Vietnam.

Lien Truong’s art practice examines cultural and material ideologies and notions of heritage. Her work blends painting techniques, materials & philosophies, và military, textile & art histories; creating hybrid forms interrogating the relationship between aesthetics and doctrine. Her paintings have been presented in numerous exhibitions, including the National Portrait Gallery, North Carolina Museum of Art, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Cameron Art Museum, Art Hong Kong, Sea Focus in Singapore, Southern Exposure, Nhasan Collective and Galerie Quynh in Vietnam. Truong is the recipient of a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, fellowships from the Institute of the Arts and Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fine Arts Fellowships; and residencies at the Oakland Museum of California and the Marble House Project. Her work is featured in several publications including Art Asia Pacific, The San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, New American Paintings, và ARTit Japan. She is an Associate Professor of Art in the Department of Art và Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lien Truong, “The Passage Through Sea, Cloth and Bone,” Oil, acrylic, silk, gold pigment on canvas, 84” x 72” diptych, 2020. Photo credit: Peter Paul Geoffrion