I think the combination of chocolate and banana is one of the all time great and classic combinations. I had high hopes for this cake and couldn’t wait until we got to it. The results however I found less than stellar. I thought that the cocoa mixture totally obliterated the taste of the banana. I ripened my bananas for an entire week so I know they had alot of flavor. I found the cake to be moist but very dense and cloying with chocolate flavor. I also found the chocolate ganache to be way to strong and this whole thing just seemed to be too intense of a chocolate flavor for my taste. I think it would have been better with just some whipped cream or creme fraiche instead of the ganache.
I have traveled this rocky road before but this recipe just made me want to scream about these issues. I apologize to everyone in advance, these are just my opinions and I mean no disrespect to anyone. I love Rose, I truly do. She is a wizard with cakes, but ever since I embarked upon this project I have found some of the steps in her recipes to be nothing more than gimmicks to make the recipes seem different from other similar ones. First, I absolutely hate this sifting the flour into the cup method of measuring. It seems that no matter how careful I am with this step I end up with a haze of flour all over my kitchen that I spend the next week cleaning up. I have resigned myself to the fact that the recipes in this book have all been formulated and tested to use this method of measuring but I have to admit that of all the cookbooks I own, and I own alot of them, this is the only one that doesn’t use the scoop and level method. I just wish it did. Secondly, this penchant Rose has for using the food processor for very simple tasks just baffles me. We had to do it twice in this recipe (of course I didn’t). I don’t see why we needed a food processor to mix sour cream, ripe bananas, and cocoa mixed with boiling water. This could easily have been done in the mixer or by hand and still reached the same result. Instead we had to drag out the food processor, use it for about a minute and then spend 15 minutes washing, drying and putting it away. Who has time for this. I have ranted about the food processor and ganache many time so suffice it to say I made mine the old fashioned way. Again, these are just my opinions but it has been one of those kind of weeks and I needed to vent my frustrations. Let’s bake.
Cocoa powder and boiling water are mixed and set aside to come to room temperature. Once it reaches room temperature the cocoa mixture, sour cream, vanilla, eggs and banana are blended in the food processor until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt are mixed to combine. Then butter and half of the chocolate mixture are added and blended. Then the remaining chocolate mixture is added in two additions, blending for at least 20 seconds with each addition.
The finished batter is poured into the prepared pan and baked for 35 to 45 minutes. Did anyone notice that the recipe didn’t state what oven temperature to use. I took a guess and baked mine at 350. It took 45 minutes to test done and once it was cooled and removed from the pan I felt it was still a bit underdone and could have gone for an additional 5 minutes.
Allow the baked cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then unmold it and reinvert so the top side is up and cool completely.
To make the ganache, chopped chocolate is put in a bowl. Cream is heated and then poured over the chocolate and allowed to sit for a few minutes. Then the mixture is whisked until smooth and completely blended. Vanilla and the optional liqueur is added. I wanted something strong and gutsy to go with the bananas and a trip through the liqueur cabinet produced the perfect thing. I decided on bourbon for my ganache. Frost the cooled cake as usual and stud the cake with chocolate chips. I alternated dark and white chocolate chips as I thought it would make a nice contrast. I was less than thrilled with the results.
Next Up: Designer Chocolate Baby Grands