Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Decadent Triple Chocolate - Banana Caramel Fudge Cake

When you combine chocolate and banana, you generally want a sweet and probably dense cake. Something that will melt in your mouth amidst a flurry of flavors, a sweet treat cloaked in decadence, a piece that warrants 20 minutes in the gym. At least, that's what I would love, 2 layers of fat fudgy cake, sandwiched with thick bananas cooked in a caramel sauce, coated with a sinful chocolate buttercream and finally, glazed with coat of dark chocolate sauce. Apparently, my friends love them too!

Chocolate Fudge Cake (2 tall 6 inch layers)
200ml heavy cream
40ml apple cider vinegar
250g cake flour
120g cocoa powder (I used a mix of Valrhona and Lindt)
1 teaspoon (heaped) salt 
1 teaspoon (flat) baking soda
1 teaspoon (flat) baking powder
250g brown sugar
60g unsalted butter, melted and cool 
60g plain thick yogurt
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Oven Temp: 175C.

1. Combine heavy cream and apple cider vinegar and stir together. It will become very creamy. 
2. Combine all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly.
3. Add all liquid ingredients except the eggs and beat at medium speed  until just combined. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes. 
4. Pour into 2 lined 6-inch pans (for tall layers) or 2 lined 8-inch pans (for shorter layers). 
5. Bake for 50 minutes until skewer test shows only a few moist crumbs and no batter on the stick. 
Notes: The batter is in liquid form so wrap the lined baking tins with an exterior layer of aluminium foil to prevent leakage.

Additional note:
1.5x the recipe above to make 2 tall 8-inch layers, bake for 55 to 60min. (More suitable as a birthday cake size)

Sauteed Banana in Caramel sauce
2 large or 3 medium bananas, sliced into thick pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1. In a large pan, place heavy cream, brown sugar and butter together and melt over medium heat. 
2. Once melted, mix in the vanilla bean paste. 
3. Place sliced bananas into the pan and cook over medium fire. Swirl the pan gently to cook the bananas in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes, until bananas softened slightly and has absorbed the flavor of the caramel. 
Note: After using the bananas and some of the sauce, there will still be leftover sauce. Cool to room temperature and keep in refrigerator for future use.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream 
5 large egg whites
250g granulated sugar
340g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or essence
pinch of salt
200g melted and cool dark chocolate

1. Place egg whites and sugar in a clean and dry metal mixer bowl, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2. Using the whisk attachment of mixer, immediately start whipping until the meringue is thick and glossy. The mixture should be at room temperature by now (It may take around 10 minutes)
3. Switch over to paddle attachment and on low speed, start to add butter cubes gradually, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. Add vanilla, salt and melted chocolate. Continue to beat on low speed until well combined.

Chocolate Glaze 
50g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces (I used 70% cocoa)
100ml heavy cream

Simply melt the dark chocolate and cream together in a bowl set over simmering water. Do not let any water or vapor get into this mixture. Cool slightly to a temperature just warm to the touch and use immediately.  

1. Slice off the top of the cooled cake layers to create a flat top on each. 
2. Place 1 layer (bottom facing down) on a serving plate, arrange cooked sliced bananas on the top, pour some sauce over the bananas and place the 2nd layer of cake (bottom facing up) on top. 
3. Place cake in the fridge to chill for an hour or when the cake is no longer warm with the banana caramel. 
4. Frost cake with buttercream and chill for another hour or when the buttercream is cold and set. 
5. Pour chocolate glaze over the top and nudge the sides to let some sauce flow over the edges. 
Note: Freeze the cake for 15 minutes before pouring the chocolate glaze over. This will prevent the buttercream from melting from the slightly warm glaze. 
6. Place back in fridge. Remove cake from refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving as cake will be too dense and heavy if eaten chilled from the fridge directly. 

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