About a month ago, I predicted that I would soon be making this cake, and, like a well-trained Kreskin, my prediction became manifest when I baked this mound of banana chocolate deliciousness for my very own birthday! Well, really it was a co-creation between me and my mom, due to it's complex nature. It is, by all accounts, mine included, a damn fine cake, but it is time consuming. (Just time consuming, not difficult.) It comes from the new Baked cookbook Baked Elements and it contains not one, not two, not three, by four different parts (cake, filling, icing, glaze). I recommend splitting it into two days or getting a co-baker/sous chef to help you out. I promise; It will be worth the effort. I mean, come on, it's banana + peanut butter + chocolate (squared). What's not to love??? Actually, it reminds me a lot of the peanut butter and banana sandwiches that I used to have as a kid (and sometimes as an adult), but, you know, with chocolate added. So good!
Bananas Cake, adapted from Baked Elements
For the banana cake
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp, cut into cubes
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I use butter)
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 very ripe bananas (1 cup)
1/2 cup buttermilk + 1 tablespoon
For the milk chocolate frosting
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces milk choc, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes
For the peanut butter filling
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup confections sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate glaze
8 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Make the Bananas Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment. Dust parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.
In medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on med speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on med until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 10 to 15 seconds after each addition, until the egg is incorporated. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla and bananas and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat for 10 to 15 seconds or until incorporated after each addition.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove parchment.
Make the Peanut Butter Filling
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on high until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat of medium low until just combined. Add confectioners sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Make the Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Place both chocolates in the bowl of a standing mixer. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, then remove from heat and immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture by hand until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Returning the bowl to the standing mixer, on med speed, gradually add the butter to the choc mixture and mix until incorporated.
Assemble the Cake
Place one layer on a platter. Evenly spread half of the pb filling on top. Top with 1 1/4 cups of the frosting and smooth. Add the next layer, spread with remaining pb filling and top with another 1 1/4 cups of the frosting. Add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of cake and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up. (This is the crumb coating.) Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm.
Dark Chocolate Glaze: Place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the bowl of a double boiler over med heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Remove the bowl from the water and stir the glaze to remove excess heat.
Slowly pour about 3/4 cup of the warm glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place cake in fridge for 5 minutes to set glaze. Remove from the fridge and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the edges. You should be able to control the size and length of the stream by how quickly you pour. Garnish with peanuts. Chill for 20 minutes or until the glaze is set. Serve at room temp.
The cake can be stored at room temp, covered with a cake dome or in a cake saver, for up to 3 days.