What's an orchid cake? If you've ever tasted Sponge Cake or Génoise you've tasted Orchid Cake. Bánh Bông Lan/Orchid Cakes are small sponge cakes baked the old school way. Although génoise's family tree traces it back to Italy; cake was introduced to Vietnam by the French.
What's with the name? Génoise are often flavored with vanilla. Vanilla comes from/is an type of orchid. Orchid in Vietnamese is "Bông Lan", thus the name Bánh Bông Lan - Orchid Cakes. Traditionally, the cakes are baked in a cast iron mold heated with charcoal. Modern ovens make baking these cakes much less laborious...but some how I still prefer the traditional way...nothing like sitting outside on a mild spring day, enjoying the light breeze, the bright shinning sun and baking sponge cakes.
-4 egg (200g)
-1 tbs tsp oil or melted butter
-1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
Beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Add the yolks one at a time. Sift and fold the flour into the eggs. Fold in the butter and vanilla last.
Preheat the mold, brush each cavity with a cotton ball dipped in oil.
Cover and bake for about 3-5 mins.
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