Monday, July 19, 2010
HCB: Chocolate Banana Stud Cake
I was really looking forward to this cake. So much so that I started ripening the banana 5 weeks ago. This being the summer season, the banana started turning black on week 3, so I put it in the freezer.
This prompted a funny conversation with J.
J: there's a banana in the freezer, is that okay?
Jenn: yes, that's okay. It's for the banana bread.
A week passes by...
J: there's a banana in the freezer (I guess he forgot the conversation last week :))
Jenn: that's for the banana bread.
On baking day... the frozen banana is on the counter top...
J: that banana doesn't look good. are you sure it's okay to use frozen banana?
Jenn: yes, I'm sure. I've asked some people on the club and they say it should be okay.
Jenn peeling the banana and weighing it on the scale...
Jenn: this banana is gross.
J: maybe that's not a good idea.
Jenn: but that's what we're supposed to use.
I continued on with the recipe, processed the "gross" (LOL) banana with the sour cream in the food processor. Then incorporated half the water cocoa mixture that I already made 1/2 hour ago into the banana.
Then mix all the dry ingredients in the KA mixer, incorporated the eggs vanilla mixture, the remainder of the cocoa mixture, and finally the banana mixture.
(I'm typing this from memory so I hope I got the order right :). Someone please tell me if I messed it up!).
I poured the batter into the prepared 7 inch pan. Heavenly smell came up - and I swear I thought I was gonna faint. Ripe banana smell and yummy chocolate. It smells like banana split! And... dipping my finger into the batter for a taste, it taste pretty darn close to banana split!!!
Brought the pan to J to smell...
J: Hmmmm!! Smells good!
I think this put to rest the discussion about whether or not it's a good idea use frozen banana, ^_^.
Once the cake is in the oven, I started making the ganache. I chopped the chocolate into little bits, and mix it by hand with the scalded cream. No need for food processor. For once, I left the ganache to set at room temperature without an ice bath. The cake baked in 25 minutes and I let it cool on the rack. 40 minutes later, the cake cooled and the ganache is still a little too runny. I started decorating anyway. Mostly because I was impatient, but then I thought that it was easier to spread the ganache at this consistency. At least on the top of the cake, on the sides I created a mess. Then I refrigerated the cake for a little bit to set the ganache. By this time the rest of the ganache in the bowl are more frosting-like, and I finished smoothing the rest of the cake.
I knew I wanted to fill the whole cake with chocolate chip studs and use a combination of the 2 colors. This is the design that I come up with. It takes 18 minutes to stud the whole cake (yes I timed it) - and it's about 350 chocolate chip studs. I was going to count exactly how many chips I used but I lost count at around 330, so 350 is an estimate. I do know that the outermost circle has close to 100 chocolate chips!
We haven't tried the cake. I know that's a crazy idea. I'll have a piece later today and report back on taste result :). If it taste as good as it smells then it will be FABULOUS!!!
Finally had the piece of cake. The banana taste was more noticeable than I originally thought, but that’s also because I was intensely eating it and trying to distinguish the banana flavor. J liked the cake but he said he didn’t notice the banana flavor.