Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chocolate Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Somehow I always have brown bananas sitting around. My kids like bananas but they never seem to eat them all no matter how many I buy. I usually only buy about 6 at a time. I like mine when they’ve just passed the green stage, but I don’t like to eat them once they’ve gone completely yellow, or even worse, when they start to get spotty.

The ganache was extremely rich. It almost reminded me of a mousse, and I definitely felt guilty eating it. I brought this cake to work and put a caution label on the container that the ganache may cause diabetes. A joke of course, but it really was very sweet. The good thing is that I decided to cut ½ cup of sugar out of the cake batter beforehand. You really don’t need to add as much sugar when you’re using ripe bananas, because they’re already sweet. That worked out well in the end.

Ganache is also very easy to make though, and I will definitely make it again, only next time I’ll be using milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet, because milk chocolate is my favourite. But it’s up to you. If you like dark chocolate I’m sure you could use that too. Or white chocolate chips might also be nice in this recipe.

Chocolate Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from Joy of Baking
24 servings
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups cake (or all purpose) flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (I used 3 medium – very ripe)
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 ounces semisweet chocolate (or any chocolate you like)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 350F and spray/flour a 9x13 baking dish. I didn’t use parchment and my cake popped out of the pan perfectly.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk (or sift it together).

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, bananas, water, milk, oil and vanilla just for a minute. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a wooden spoon just until combined, and then pour into the prepared pan. It’ll seem a little runny but it’s okay.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

While the cake is cooling, make your Ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and butter in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes or until it just starts to bubble. You can do this in pot too. Mix it up and pour over the chocolate. Stir the chocolate with a whisk until it’s melted into the hot cream. Now set this aside to cool completely. Once cool, beat the mixture for several minutes until it gets thick and creamy. I beat mine by hand with a whisk and it took about 5 minutes or so. I was too lazy to pull out the mixer, but I bet it would be faster!

Now, if you want to leave your cake whole then just remove it from the pan and spread the Ganache over it. If you want to get a bit fancier like I did, cut the cake into squares (I also cut off the edges) and pipe the Ganache on. I liked the look of the coloured sugar, but I used sprinkles on some pieces as well.

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