Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Banana Studded Cake

When I first started baking, I casually mentioned that I couldn't attempt certain recipes because they call for a food processor and I don't have one at home to my boyfriend. And that silly boy went to purchase a hugeass food processor soon after. And because of my tight schedule and I very soon forgotten about where those food-processor-recipes I wanted to make went to, so the brand new machine was left at the corner of my table for the longest time. He nagged at reminded me on and off that I should start utilising the processor...and so I did!!...for his special day.
Happy Birthday to the world's greatest bf :)


The recipe is written as per Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, but I made the ganache the night before so that it has enough time to set for frosting consistency. It was still kind of thin for my liking, but nevertheless taste great, how can ganache go wrong anyway. I have quite a good amount of leftover ganache, so you might want to reduce the ganache recipe if you are only planning to smear a thin layer on the cake like mine.

Was kinda messy with the ganache and the studding. Hand picking the mini chocolate chips one by one and meticulously (well, not that much as you can see from the pictures) placing them on the frosted cake took me about half an hour or so. Think I ought to place strips of parchment paper underneath the cake the next time I do frosting as the dripping wet ganache makes my cake look like it's wearing an evening gown.

The cake tastes awesome. The fruity banana flavor really makes this cake special from the typical chocolate cake. I also like how the cake is so velvety and fine crumb-ed. Somehow, everything I've made from this book turns out amazing. And the chocolate chips on top provides an extra bite to the cake.

Chocolate Banana Studded Cake (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes)


42g unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder
88g boiling water
112g ripe banana, peeled and lightly mashed
90g sour cream
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
156g cake flour
200g superfine sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
142g unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Prepare a 9" round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round, then coated with baking spray with flour
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 mins. To speed cooling, place it in a refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.
3. In a food processor, process the banana and sour cream until smooth. Pulse in the cocoa mixture, eggs, and vanilla and process briefly just to blend.
4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 secs.
5. Add butter and half the banana-cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 mins. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
6. Starting on medium low speed, add the remaining banana-cocoa mixture in 2 pats, beating on medium speed for 30 secs after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. The batter will be light but creamy.
7. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
8. Bake for 35 to 45 mins, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
9. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10mins. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with a nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up. Cool completely.

Ganache Studded with Chocolate Chips:
227g dark chocolate, 60% to 62% cocoa, chopped (I use 55% Valrhona)
232g heavy cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp liqueur of your choice or extra cream (I use Baileys)
325g chocolate chips (I used only about 100g)

1. In a food processor, process the dark chocolate until very fine.
2. In a 2-cup or larger microwavable cup with a spout (or medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often), scald the cream (heat it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery).
3. With the motor of the food processor running, pour the cream through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Pulse in the vanilla and liqueur or cream, if using.
4. Scrape the ganache into a glass bowl and let it sit for 1h. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to cool at room temperature for several hours, until the mixture reaches frosting consistency. The ganache keeps for 3 days at room temperature, for 3 weeks refrigerated, and 6 months frozen.
5. When the cake is completely cool, spread a little ganache onto the 9-inch cardboard round or serving plate and set it on top. If using the plate, slide a few wide strips of wax paper or parchment under the cake to keep the rim of the plate clean. Frost the top and sides of the cake with ganache.
6. Stud the cake all over with chocolate chips, pointed ends in. It will take about 45mins to place chips close together. Fewer chips more widely spaced also are very attractive. Or, if desired, form a design with a combination of dark and milk chocolate or peanut butter chips. If using the paper strips, slowly slide them out from under the cake before serving.


  1. Hey Jean,

    awesome cake for your bf, lucky him! great job on the cake man. look forward to more whole cakes (or heavenly cakes) from you in future =]

  2. wow your bf is so lucky! and lucky u to have him! no many bf would care what you need especially when it comes to a girl hobby lol!

    AWESOME & DIVINE! great work Jean!

  3. jean, your bf is definitely blessed to have you (: and he's really sweet to you! (: anyway, the cake looks really TEMPTING!! (:

  4. bakertan: thanks man! our friends love the cake as well

    jess: yup he's really good to me :P thanks! :D

    sweetylicious: i'm blessed to have him too hehe thanks for ur compliments!

  5. The cake look fantastic. I can see that your bf is very happy... He is lucky man to have you as his gf :D

  6. Hello Jean, Your cake looks awesome! Your bf is so lucky to have you.
    Merry Christmas :)

  7. Zoe: he sure is...he was pretty amused that he was given a small fruit knife to cut the cake with!

    Ann: thanks, merry christmas to u too :D

  8. wow these cake is oozing with chocalteyness! would love to have it too for my birthday haha.. lucky bf you have.
    i really want a piece right now!

  9. Hi,
    would just like to ask you for the cake right, may i know the texture of it when you finish baking it? like is it a very dense and moist cake? or did it come out as a light and more fluffy kind of chocolate cake.

  10. WeiLi: hi there, sorry to have missed ur comment. it's the light fluffy kind :)