Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Bahamas or the Double Chocolate-Banana Layer Cake

 I think I matured in the culinary sense, between reading recipe magazines and books like le Larousse des desserts, seeking out advices from my culinary-gifted-mom, getting inspiration for cake representation, imagining recipes of my own—the fact that I could pull off this recipe above all is the proof to my progress. I had to come up with a banana cream filling on my own because it was difficult for me to find one credible on the net and there wasn’t any in my books. With a little bit of thinking I came up with a halfway encounter between banana mousse and vanilla Bavarian cream. The cake layers are Italian and specifically Genovese based—where the name—that is a soft and light délice. And well the chocolate, is chocolate. I recommend you this recipe since I’ve been working scrupulously by adding personal notes and comments and seeked out professional advice from . I hope you read this recipe and, why not, try it out. Bon appétit mes chers lecteurs et lectrices!

What you will need for 1 medium-sized and 1 small-sized cake or 5 to 6 small-sized cakes:


Genoese (Genovese) cake:
75g flour
20g de butter
2 whole eggs
75g granulated sugar

Banana Bavarian cream:
2 big bananas
½ a small lemon
2 gelatin sheets or 1.25g d’agar-agar
1egg yolk
25g of granulated sugar
110g (110 ml) of whipped cream

Chocolate Ganache frosting:
75g baking chocolate (like Callebaut)
75ml single cream
3 tbsp icing sugar powder

During the filling process you will need one additional banana and the other ½ of the small lemon.

Cookware and cutlery:

One baking mould
Wire Whisk
Food processor or electric mixer
Offset spatula


Genovese cake:
Preheat the oven at 180°C (th6).
Sift the flour into the strainer over a bowl
Melt the butter gently in a saucepan, keeping it sparkling, and then let it cool down.

Break the eggs in a mixing bowl; whisk with a fork to blend in the yolks to the whites. Pour over the sugar and stir. Place the mixing bowl in a simmering bain-marie and start whipping. Continue until the mixture thickens (55-60°C).
Pull the preparation out of the bain-marie and beat it until complete cooling (using a food processor or electric mixer).
In a small bowl, Put 2 tbsp of this mixture and blend in the molten butter until smooth.
Spill the flour into the mixing bowl all at once, lifting the dough with a spatula, now add the content of the small bowl by mixing very delicately.
“Sweet Cakes” edition in “Fine cooking” magazine, volume 31, provides vital advice on how-to mix when adding ingredients, it says: “Mix with restraint: Mix in every ingredient only until it’s fully incorporated, no longer; too much mixing can produce a tough cake. Stop the mixer before you add each ingredient to avoid over mixing.” (p.64)
Pour in a mould and bake, until the cake surface starts to caramelize and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, around 15 minutes (or 20mns if you’re doing twice the dose.)
Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

Banana Bavarian cream:
Put the gelatin in plenty of cold water to soften, rinse and drain.

In a saucepan, cook the egg yolk along with the sugar and milk over a low medium heat stirring continuously with a spatula or wooden spoon (just like cooking custard).

When still hot add the drained gelatin—or agar-agar with a little of sugar to help disperse it—stirring to dissolve completely, then immerse the saucepan in a bain-marie full of ice cubes, until the mixture starts to thickens (at 20°C, careful not to keep it too long).

In the meantime, smash the bananas into purée using a blender and add the juice of half a small lemon. Blend the whipped cream to the purée delicately and finally add it to the former mixture gradually. After you mix them well, the mixture has to become homogeneous.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before use.
You can add 1tbsp of honey to add some flavor.

Chocolate Ganache frosting: 

In a saucepan, bring the single cream to boil and then add the chocolate broken into pieces stirring well. When the chocolate melts down completely (put the saucepan in a bain-marie if it helps) add the icing sugar powder and continue to mix until a clear homogenous mixture forms. 

Refrigerate until the mixture is cold and feels quite firm when you touch it, at least 2 hours.

Assembling/ Setting up the cake:

Filling: Cut out circles out of the Genovese cake; count 3 layers for every cake. Coat one side of the lower and upper layers and both sides of the middle layer with chocolate Ganache frosting. Spread the banana Bavarian cream first onto the lower layer. Cut one banana into equal parts, dip them in the other half of lemon juice, dry delicately, and set on the cake layer. Add another coat of Bavarian cream on top. Lay the middle layer over the Bavarian cream filling. Repeat the same action once again. Refrigerate, covered tightly with plastic for at least one hour.

Glazing: Set the cake on a flat support. With an offset spatula spread 1 spoonfull of chocolate Ganache around the size of the cake to smooth the surfaces and fill in any crumbs. (The glaze should have a thick and spreadable consistency) Scrape the entire glaze over the top and all around the sides, working few stokes as possible to keep the shiniest glaze possible. Scoop up any excess glaze from the support onto the cake to cover bare spots. Let the cake rest on the rack for a couple minutes before refrigerating for several hours before serving—I kept it overnight.


·         HERMÉ Pierre Le Larousse des desserts. Recettes techniques et tours de mains, 21e rue du Montparnasse, Larousse, 2009, p. 39-48-59.

· in “Fine cooking” magazine. Sweet Cakes, volume 31, p. 45-92-98-103.

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