Monday, 26 September 2011

Chocolate and Banana Birthday Cake

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It was Tim's birthday on Sunday so we organized a big family meal at his parent's house (hi Jane and Kip!) I decided to make a big cake to end the meal so I spent the afternoon on Saturday making a Chocolate and Banana cake. As I made mine the day before, the cake had a slightly denser brownie feel to it. This cake was a bit of an experiment so I am happy to report that there were only a couple of crumbs left on the plate by the end of the evening.

You will need-

Banana Cake Layer
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 over ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp buttermilk

Start by preheating your oven to 160C and then butter and line a cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Next in a medium bowl mix together the flower, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together and then set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until it is light and fluffy then add the egg and mix until just combined. Mash the bananas and then add to the butter mixture along with the vanilla extract.

Starting and ending with the flour, beat the flour and buttermilk into the butter mixture. (I tried and failed to mix hundreds and thousands into the batter hence the picture below. Sadly they lost their colour straight away) Then add the batter to the tin and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or until its golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. After 10 minutes take out of the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

Next its time to start on the Chocolate cake part. You can start this whilst the banana cake is in the oven.

You will need-
  • 200g top quality dark chocolate (about 60%)
  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules mixed into 125ml cold water
  • 85g self-raising flor
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk

Butter and line the cake tin again and put to one side. Keep your oven on 160C. Break up the chocolate into pieces and add to a medium pan along with the butter and coffee. Melt everything together on a low heat.

Whilst the chocolate and butter is melting mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugars and cocoa in a large bowl and mix together and get rid of any lumps. In a little bowl beat together the eggs and then add the buttermilk. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate and whisk until its all really well combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Whilst the cakes are cooling make the 2 frostings.

Banana Frosting-

  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Mix all together until you get the desired consistancy. You may need to add a little more lemon juice or water to make it slightly more spreadable. If its too runny then add more sugar.

  • 100g of the same chocolate that you used above
  • 142ml double cream
  • 2tbsp golden caster sugar.
Break the chocolate up and place in a glass bowl. Meanwhile heat the cream and sugar in a pan and when it gets close to boil pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth mixture.

Cut the chocolate cake horizontally and spread the top of 1 pieces of the chocolate cake and the the top of the banana cake with the banana icing then sandwich the banana cake in between the two layers chocolate cake.

Spread the whole cake with the chocolate ganache using a spatula or a palette knife and leave to set.

The cake keeps well overnight in an airtight box.

Happy Birthday Darling Tim.x

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