Banana & Chocolate Cake
Double-layer Banana Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache Buttercream Filling and a Frosting of Ruffles
This sweet little cake is just as darling as could be. Being health conscious and all, I decided a Banana Layer Cake would be amazing – all the food groups are tagged and I get a gold star for Food Pyramid Bingo.
The last time I baked this cake was about six months ago. Our youngest son was home visiting and I remember him just loving it. I blogged it here.
A few basic ingredients and I was off and running.
After I whisked together the dry ingredients (the baking soda is added later), I smashed the bananas the best way I know how… use a fork.
Preparing the pans includes non-stick spray, a round of parchment paper, and weighing the empty pan. By ensuring the empty weight and allowing for differences, this the best I know to bake even layers.
With the oven heated up, pans ready, and ingredients on stand-by… it’s time for science. I love when this happens in baking (which technically is every time) – and sometimes a recipe calls for a bonus science lesson.
The Banana Layer Cake uses buttermilk, which is incredibly common in cake. When out of this ingredient I add a small bit of vinegar to whole milk and every thing works out splendidly.
Just before blending the wet and dry ingredients, the directions state to add 1 tsp. baking soda to 1 cup of buttermilk. This never gets boring!
Thanks to our oldest daughter who edited the very shaky footage… and did you see that? An increase from 1 cup to 1.75 cup!
The layers baked evenly and once again we witness the science of cake. The parchment paper peeled away nicely. I’ve said it before, the extra effort is well worth it when chunks of cake are not left in the pan.
I was torn regarding the frosting and filling of this cake… peanut butter, chocolate, more bananas, vanilla… so many wonderful choices.
Chocolate Ganache is always a winner and it’s an easy process to whip into buttercream. Remembering that ganache is chocolate melted with hot milk (not scalded) this can be done with the microwave.
After the crumb coat, the cake sat in the fridge for about an hour.
For a while I’ve been contemplating the vertical ruffles. They look difficult and require the buttercream to be just right and I knew there was a secret mystery to this lovely presentation.
My first attempt resulted in one of those secrets… with a small tip, smaller movement is required. No long, slow swoops with a small rose tip.
After I cleared the first attempt away, I focused on speed and tightening up the side-to-side movement.
Practice helps and I could see improvement as I made my way around the cake. I kept the wide end of the tip against the cake surface and worked bottom to top.
Because the top of the ruffles were an uneven mess, I added a little bit of an edge around the surface.
I do love how this cake turned out. It’s definitely a test kitchen design and one that I’ll need to practice often… and that’s great. Baking is science and fun and creativity – I’m so lucky I get to do this!
My life partner loved a slice of this cake and I love him. So we all win.
I’m grateful for our talented people and for sobriety.