The banana shares the spot light with chocolate amicably. The cake presents itself well and the taste is phenomenal. The fine texture and crumb earns it's place on my "favorites" list.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Chocolate Banana Stud Cake
The banana with it's more than 500 varieties is one of nature's more perfect foods. It contains 3 natural sugars, several different vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is not only healthy but helps to overcome and prevent many illnesses and conditions. They can be eaten straight off the plant, baked into desserts, fried, broiled, steamed or sauteed. Bananas can be pureed and used to replace eggs in a dessert to reduce the fat content or aid in the conversion of a recipe to vegetarian. This week however, my mind was not on the healthful aspect of the banana but on it's sweet, heavenly flavor. Keep in mind when matched with chocolate its flavor can be over powered and may also result in a rubbery texture. This week the Heavenly Cake Bakers project was Chocolate Banana Stud Cake. Sounds sexy and complicated, right? Well, not this time! So, let's talk cake: The list of ingredients doesn't skimp on the good stuff, like butter, eggs, cake flour (ah, the promise of a soft crumb), cocoa (yes, again not an overpowering of chocolate- the banana will shine), sour cream (makes for a smooth consistency), vanilla extract and leavenings. Just a reminder: I hope that in not listing the measurements and recipe details that you are sufficently teased and are more likely to purchase your own copy of this lovely book (enough sales!!!). One of the details that seems to be repeated in many of Rose's chocolate cakes is the use of cocoa instead of squares or slabs. The baker is instructed to moisten the cocoa powder with boiling water and stir until smooth, then cover to cool. This technique I like very much and is probably one of the things I like best about this book. The remainder of the steps are very easy with no suprises. For this cake as with much of my baking I chose to make a half batch and use a smaller cake pan. It baked up nicely and unmolded without a hitch (thanks to the use of my beloved parchment paper). The cakes is finished off with a chocolate ganache which I applied thinly. As you will remember we are not big chocolate lovers. The "stud" look came from applying chocolate chips upside down around the top of the cake. I used both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips. The slight haze over the top of my chips is from storing them in the refrigerator. If kept too cold some of the cocoa butter will rise to the surface of the chocolate. This does not alter the taste. If this cake was to be given away I would have used a new bag to avoid that haze.