Are you ready for another gorgeous Baked cake? This one has it all: Chocolate; Peanut Butter; and Bananas! And it will be perfect for your Memorial Day celebration.
The next posting date is Sunday, 25 May!
Yield: One 8-inch, 3-layer cake
For the Banana Cake
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk, well shaken
For the Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (60 to 72%), finely chopped
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the assembly
Peanut Butter Filling (page 28)
For the Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
For the garnish
1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
Make the Banana Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl). Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 10 to 15 seconds after each addition, until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla and bananas, and beat until incorporated. (If the mixture appears curdled, keep beating slowly until the mixture looks like it is coming back together.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing for 10 to 15 seconds, or until incorporated, after each addition.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth he tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.
Make the Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Place both chocolates in the bowl of a standing mixer. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, then remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture by hand until it is completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Returning the bowl to the standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, gradually add the butter to the chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated. The frosting should be completely smooth and have a silky look.
Assemble the cake
Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread half of the Peanut Butter Filling on top. Top with about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting and gently smooth it out. Add the next cake layer, trim it, fill with the remaining Peanut Butter Filling and top with another 1 1/4 cups of the frosting. Add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as crumb coating and will help to keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.) Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm it up.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
Place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the bowl of a double boiler over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water and stir the glaze to release excess heat.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cake on a wire rack on the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 3/4 cup of the glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from the refrigerator and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the edges in a thick stream. You should be able to control the size and length of the streams by how quickly you pour. Feel free to experiment and have no fear in playing around; this is the fun part and there is no right or wrong way. Garnish around the edge of the cake with the peanuts. Chill the entire cake for about 20 minutes, or until the glaze is set, then transfer to a cake plate. Serve at room temperature.
The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with a cake dome or in a cake saver, for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.