Phuc Linh cake: A traditional dessert from central Vietnam
Phuc Linh cake is a traditional dessert from central Vietnam, especially in Hue City. The cake was once offered to the kings of the Nguyen Dynasty or ancestors, during important events like the Tet (lunar New Year) holiday.
The cake is sometimes made of green beans or sticky rice, but my aunt said bakers often used arrowroot flour, as this root has a naturally fragrant and characteristic flavour.
The process of baking the cake requires careful preparation and crafting. The traditional cake is made of arrowroot, which is well-ground with yellow sugar, pandan leaves and fresh coconut juice.
The arrowroot flour should be roasted over a wood fire with a regular stir. The flour must be pressed in a bronze mould, to create the most beautiful and delicate form.
The baker then turns the mould upside down and slightly taps on it to take the cakes out. The finished cakes should maintain their shape and should not feel sticky when eating.
Phuc Linh cake is much more enjoyable when eaten with a cup of tea. It is suitable for all eaters, but particularly the elderly because it’s cool and good for the digestive system.