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)
-120g flour
-120g sugar
-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.

To Bake: 

 Preheat the mold, brush each cavity with a cotton ball dipped in oil.

Fill until 3/4 full of batter.

Cover and bake for about 3-5 mins.