Monday, March 9, 2020

Chocolate Marbled Banana Cake

Chocolate and bananas go together like peas and carrots. Growing up in the foothills of Southern California, chocolate covered frozen bananas were a treat on the weekends at the beach. Closer to home, a banana spread with Nutella makes for a high energy treat. This delicious combination is the inspiration for this month’s recipe. Easy to prepare with items already in your pantry, this is just the thing to bring to a springtime pot luck dinner or barbeque. 

2 ½ c. (10 ¾ oz.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ c. (9 ½ oz.) brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ c. (2 oz. 56 grams) salted butter, softened
½ c. (4 fl. oz.) full fat sour cream, room temperature
1 ½ c. mashed banana (2 or 3 large)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ c. (4 ½ oz.) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Ganache Frosting
¾ c. (6 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1 c. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
Optional Decoration
2 oz. white chocolate baking bar, broken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8" by 8" or 9" by 9" baking pan with non-stick baking spray
In medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda and mix with a wire whisk; set aside. In a large bowl, blend the brown sugar and butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer, then scrape the sides of bowl. Add the banana and beat on medium until the mixture is smooth. Add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla and beat again on medium until smooth. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend on low until just combined, don't overmix. Pour the melted chocolate in a stream over the top of the mixture and fold it in by hand just a few turns until the mixture is marbled. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cooling rack for 15 minutes to allow the cake to firm up a bit, then turn the cake out of the pan and place it right side up on the cooling rack; cool to room temperature.

Ganache Frosting
Microwave the heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl for 1 to 2 minutes until it's steaming, then add the chocolate chips and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir ganache until it is smooth, then refrigerate uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. When it's reached about 70°F, the ganache should mound and be spreadable without flowing. Frost the cake top and sides with the ganache.

Optional Decoration
Melt 2 oz. of white chocolate on med/low heat, stirring every 30 seconds until it is completely melted. Pour into a disposable icing bag or plastic quart bag and cut off a corner. Drizzle decoratively over the top of the frosted cake. Yield: 9-12 pieces. Enjoy, JW

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