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Caribbean Banana Cream Cake



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Caribbean Banana Cream Cake

Chocolatier March 1995

Banana cake:
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
3 cups cake flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon
granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon powdered milk
3/4 cup shortening
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Banana soaking syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup banana liqueur

Ganache filling:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate,
finely chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 very ripe bananas, peeled

Whipped cream filling:
3 cups heavy cream
1/3  cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate curls

Make the banana cake:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 10-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle
of baking parchment or waxed paper. Dust the side of the pan with
flour and tap out the excess.
2. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the
baking powder and the baking soda. Sift the dry mixture onto a
large piece of waxed paper and set aside.
3. In the 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, using the paddle attch- ment, mix the bananas and the remaining 1 cup of the cake flour at
low speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to
medium and beat in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, shorten-
ing and powdered milk. Continue to beat the mixture for 8 minutes,
until fluffy.
4. At low speed, beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping
down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Con-
tinue to beat the mixture at low speed for an additional 3 minutes.
5. While continuing to beat at low speed. alternately add the reserved
dry ingredients and the water in three separate additions. Continue
to beat at medium speed for 6 minutes.. Beat in the vanilla.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth
the top. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick in-
serted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in
the pan set on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a
wire rack. Peel off the paper circle and reinvert the cake. Cool the
cake completely.

Make the banana soaking syrup:
7. In a small saucepan, combine the water and the sugar. Cook over
medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Stir in the banana liqueur. Store the syrup at room temperature until
ready to assemble the cake.

Make the ganache filling:
8. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring
the cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream mixture
over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute without stirring to allow
the chocolate to melt. Add the vanilla and gently whisk until smooth.
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the ganache and refri-
gerate for about 1 hour, until the ganache is a spreadable consistency.

Make the whipped cream filling:
9. In a medium chilled bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until they form stiff peaks. Refrigerate until
ready to assemble the cake.

Assemble the cake:
10. Using a long, serrated knife, horizontally slice the cake into two
equal layers. Place the bottom layer on a 9-inch cardboard cake
circle. Brush the layer with a generous amount of the banana soak-
ing syrup. Using a metal cake spatula, spread the prepared ganache
in an even layer over the cake layer. Arrange the six whole bananas
over the ganache layer. Scrape about 2 cups of the whipped cream
filling over the bananas and spread in an even layer. Place the other
cake layer over the cream layer, pressing down gently. Soak the top
cake layer with a generous amount of the banana soaking syrup. Set
aside about 1 cup of the whipped cream filling in a pastry bag fitted
with a medium star tip to garnish the cake. Use the remaining whipped
cream to frost the top and side of the cake in an even layer. Pipe 8
large rosettes around the edge of the cake. Garnish the side of the
cake with chocolate curls and serve immediately.

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