If you take a peak in my freezer, you’ll be hard pressed to find room for anything since it’s overflowing with bananas. I hate to waste overripe bananas I didn’t get around to eating on time, and those kinds are perfect for baking… so they go in the freezer. My friends once took it upon themselves to count how many bananas were stored there, but they gave up when they reached 50. I know, it’s getting a bit out of hand. I guess I just have to tie on an apron and get baking!
The combination of bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter is supremely tasty. This cake is a great use of overripe bananas. The cake is light and moist, and the banana flavour really comes through. Using good-quality dark chocolate makes a big difference. Instead of overly sweet, you get intense and rich. The thin layer of the peanut butter filling is the perfect amount. I find pb can be overpowering, but in this recipe the blend of flavours is just right.
Even my mother, who usually scrapes the icing off my desserts, says she loves this ganache! So for those of you who don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you’ll fall for this dessert.
Next time I make this dessert, I’ll decorate the cake with some peanut brittle.
Once assembled, this cake is quite an elegant show-stopper sure to impress.
This cake is
Recipe adapted from Baked Elements
Yields 10 portions
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
•peanut butter filling
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (see homemade recipe here)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (60% to 72%, I used 70%), finely chopped
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (35%)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
•dark chocolate glaze
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60% to 72%, I used 70%), coarsely chopped
6 ounces ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1) Preheat the oven to 325F. Coat 3 8-inch round cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Dust the sides with flour.
2) Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3) Beat the butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until you reach a light and fluffy consistency (about 5 minutes).
4) Add the sugar and beat for another 5 minutes.
5) Add the eggs one at a time.
6) Lower the speed and incorporate the vanilla and bananas.
7) Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Make sure to begin and end with the dry ingredients.
8) Pour the batter into the 3 prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9) Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and let cool completely.
•peanut butter filling
1) Beat the butter until smooth in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
2) Add the peanut butter and beat until incorporated.
3) Add the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth.
1) Put the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate in the bowl of the stand mixer.
2) Bring the cream and the corn syrup to a boil.
3) Immediately pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.
4) Do not touch the bowl of the stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then whisk the chocolate mixture by hand until it is silky and smooth. Set aside.
5) Once the chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature, use the paddle attachment to beat it as you gradually add the butter to it. I ended up leaving the finished frosting in the fridge to stiffen a bit.
•dark chocolate glaze
nb To be made after step 9 of assembly (see below)
1) Place the dark chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a heat a bowl over a bain-marie. Stir the mixture as it melts.
2) Once the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat.
1) If needed, trim the top of the cakes to even out the surface (my cakes came out flat so this step wasn’t necessary).
2) Divide the peanut butter filling in 2 and spread it on 2 the cakes (I think it’s better to do it before placing the layers of cake on the cake stand because the pb filling is a bit thick and does not spread easily. I wouldn’t want to press down too hard on the stacked layers).
3) Place one of the cakes with the pb filling on a cake stand.
4) Smooth out 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate ganache on top of the peanut butter layer.
5) Place the second cake with the pb filling on top.
6) Smooth out 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate ganache on top of the peanut butter layer.
7) Place the final cake on top.
8) Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on the sides and on the top of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes for the chocolate ganache to firm up.
9) Use the remainder of the chocolate ganache to frost the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
10) Make the dark chocolate glaze.
11) Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place a wire rack over it.
12) Place the cake on the wire rack (admittedly, I skipped this step and poured the glaze when the cake was still on the stand).
13) Slowly pour 3/4 cup of the warm glaze over the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth it over (I don’t think the rest of the glaze is necessary, 3/4 cup is plenty! I used the whole amount, but I think it’s too much).
14) Place the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
15) Once the glaze has set, transfer it to the cake stand. Serve at room temperature.
The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.