This week had me getting into a baking frenzy with two gatherings over the weekend, one for the sister’s housewarming and one for the BIL’s bdae. I decided on the same cake flavour for both, the chocolate banana cake, with different decorations. Having experimented on the buttercream floral, I might decorate one with those and another will be a dripped chocolate cake with a simple cake topper. Here’s the recipe, adapted and pulled together with 3 different recipes.
(Makes a 4 layered 6 inch cake)
- 100g milk
- 80g cake flour
- 70g canola oil
- 20g cocoa powder
- 6 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
- 100g caster sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
- 300g dark chocolate drops
- 400g whipping cream
- 200g egg whites
- 400g caster sugar
- 400g butter at room temperature, cubed
- desired colour pastes or flavours
- 75g dark or milk chocolate drops
- 75g double cream
- extra portion of cream (if necessary)
- moustache topper made with black candy drops, moustache mould and lollipop stick
- 3 – 4 bananas
For the chocolate sponge
- Preheat the oven at 170 degrees and line the bottom of the baking tin with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together and set aside.
- In a small pot, heat the oil to about 70 degrees or until you see streaks in the oil.
- Pour in the sifted flour mix and whisk to combine.
- Add the milk and combine.
- Add the yolks and whisk till combined.
- In a clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites till foamy and add the cream of tar tar (this is optional, it works to stabilise the egg whites) and whisk till soft peak.
- Add the sugar a spoonful at a time and beat till firm peak.
- Add a third of the meringue into the batter and use a hand whisk to combine the egg whites and the batter. You do not need to be too gentle a this time because this step is just to make the batter to be at a similar consistency with the meringue for easier combining.
- Fold in the rest of the meringue gently till the egg whites is no longer visible. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin.
- Place the cake tin in a tray of boiling water to gently bake it in a water bath. Make sure to line the base of the cake tin in aluminium foil if yours is one with a removable base.
- Bake in the preheated oven of 170 degrees C for 15 minutes and lower the oven temperature to 145 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before unmoulding and wrap in cling foil and chill till ready to stack and assemble.
For the chocolate cream
- Place dark chocolate drops in a heat proof bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water (bain marie).
- Beat the whipping cream till stiff peak.
- Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate gently and chill in fridge till ready to use.
For the swiss meringue buttercream
- Heat water in a heavy pot till water is simmering.
- Whisk egg whites and caster sugar over the pot of simmering water (bain marie) till the temperature reaches 70 degrees C. (I used a digital thermometer.)
- Remove from heat and beat the heated egg white in a mixer fitted with a balloon whisk till the meringue is cooled. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Add the butter a little at a time, whisking at slow speed till all the butter is incorporated.
- Add desired flavours using jam, fruit puree or colour pastes.
- Chill in fridge till ready to use.
- When taken out from fridge, allow to warm up a little and use a hand whisk to slowly bring the buttercream back to silky texture. In the beginning, it may look split, but fret not, whisk slowly continuously and the cream will come back together.
For the dripping chocolate
- Place the chocolate drops in a metal mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream till steaming hot, but not boiling.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, wait a few minutes before stirring through gently for the chocolate to melt fully.
- Cool the chocolate slightly and add extra cream if chocolate is not runny enough before dripping over cold cake.
To stack and crumb coat the cake
- Cut the chocolate sponge into 4 even layers. I baked mine in 2 tins and hence cut each cake into 2 layers and eventually got 4 layers.
- Place one layer on a cake board and pipe on a layer of chocolate filling, add sliced bananas and place a second chocolate sponge layer on top, repeat with chocolate filling and sliced banana for the next 2 layers and place the last later of cake layer on top.
- Slather on a layer of swiss meringue buttercream and use a spatula to remove any excess. This is crumb coating to lock in the crumbs and make covering the cake easier later on. I am going for the naked cake look and hence I’ll leave the cake to chill in fridge like this and decorate once it’s chilled.
To complete decoration
- Apply dripping chocolate and decorate with moustache cake topper. To make the moustache cake topper, I melted black candy melts, piped the candy melt into the moustache mould and inserted lollipop stick once the candy has set in the fridge. (only thing is, I inverted the moustache and didn’t even realise till the nephew pointed out *.*.
The flavour’s good and for one of the layers, I added raspberry pastry cream and it worked as well as the tart cream cuts the sweetness from the chocolate and the buttercream. I wanted to add mini confetti balloons, but couldn’t bear to and ended up giving to the children to play. I had fun making these cakes though the cleaning was tedious. Till the next bake…