Chocolate-themed birthday cake will never go wrong. This cake is specially baked for my son, Ryan's 12th birthday. Have to settle for a quiet birthday celebration as his birthday happened to be in the midst of preparing for the most important exam in his primary school years, the dreaded Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). It's the most stressful exam not only for him, but for me too. I have to nag at him to study (believe me, no parents like to do this) and stop spending too much time on computer games. This year is a very busy and hectic time for him. Endless homework and practice papers.
We decided to have dinner at Mexican restaurant Margarita@Dempsey as Ryan loves food with lots of cheese. One of his favourite homecooked meal is baked macaroni cheese. Mexican food is normally cheesy and heavy. Each one of us ordered one dish with an extra appetiser to share. We were all so full to the throat that we skipped dessert. Wait ... We have the birthday cake a dessert waiting for us at home.
It's a moist chocolate banana cake with generous slices of banana and finger-licking chocolate frosting in between two layers of the cake and covered with more chocolate frosting. It's definitely the cake for banana and chocolate lovers. Besides, chocolate and bananas will never go wrong. I always love pancakes and waffles with lots of bananas and chocolate fudge topped with icecream. Yummylicious ............I got the chocolate banana cake recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Beranbaum and the rich chocolate frosting is made using Valrhona 64% Manjari chocolate. It has this fruity taste and blends well with the chocolate banana cake.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 miniutes. To speed cooling, place it in a refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
In a food processor, process the banana and sour cream until smooth. Pulse in the cocoa mixture, eggs and vanilla extract and process briefly just to blend.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and half the banana-cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and heat for 1.5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the remaining banana-cocoa mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. The batter will be light but creamy. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the centre 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.
Let the cake cool oin the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 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 nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up. Cool completely.
150g bittersweet chocolate (** I used Valrhona 64% Manjari chocolate)
188g heavy cream
1 tbsp liqueur **
** You can use rum or brandy or omit it.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and process in a food processor until very fine.
- Heat the heavy cream to the boiling point and, with the motor running, pour it through the feed tube in a steady stream.
- Process a few seconds until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
- Gently stir in the liqueur.
- Allow to cool for several hours until of frosting consistemcy.
If you do not have a food processor, you can chop the chocolate into very small pieces. Heat the cream to boiling point and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave it for about 5 minutes before using a silicone spatula to gently stir the mixture evenly until all the chocolate pieces melt into the cream.
To assemble the cake
- Slice the cake into two equal layers and trim off uneven edges on the top and sides.
- Place the first layer on a 8" cardboard round.
- Using a metal spatula, spread a dollop of the chocolate frosting onto the cake and spread evenly.
- Place the banana slices generously and evenly on the chocolate frosting.
- Spread another dollop of chocolate frosting over the banana slices.
- Place the second layer of cake over the first layer.
- Starting with the sides, spread the chocolate frosting evenly all around.
- Using a metal offfset spatula, spread the chocolate frosting on the top of the cake evenly.
- Decocate as per your desire.