Sunday, July 18, 2010

HCB - Chocolate Banana Stud Cake

The Heavenly Cake Bakers baked the Chocolate Banana Stud Cake this week. This is a delicious chocolate butter cake with a small amount of mashed banana in the batter. The "stud" part in the name comes from the chocolate chips that adorn the cake. Studding the cake all over with chocolate chips is an easy but time consuming process, so I cheated a little bit and used REALLY big chocolate chips.

Droste milk chocolate pastilles

Ok, they're not chocolate chips. They're "pastilles" or chocolate disks, about 1" in diameter, and they're made by Droste (you might know Droste cocoa powder). I brought these delicious chocolates with me from Holland. These particular ones were milk chocolate with 35% cocoa content. Yum!

Delicious Chocolate Banana Stud Cake... but what's inside?

Click on the "read more" link below to read about the changes I made to the recipe.

When I offered to bring dessert to a dinner party we had today, I figured this cake would be perfect. With all respect to Rose Levy Beranbaum, taking a one layer cake to a dinner party didn't seem right or "fancy" enough. So I baked it into an 8" two layer cake. My filling of choice: strawberry mousse. You can find the recipe for the mousse HERE. All you do is replace raspberry puree with an equal amount of strawberry puree.

The cake batter came together quickly. Instead of mixing the liquid ingredients in a food processor, I used my immersion blender which worked great.

Immersion blender to mix the liquid ingredients

The batter looked somewhat curdled which worried me a little bit especially since there was no mention of it in the recipe. I continued and divided the batter into two 8" cake pans, and a small ramekin (quality control, remember?).

Both cakes and cakelette are ready for the oven (despite the curdled look)

After a 25 minute visit to a 350 degrees F oven, the cakes are ready.

The cakes are baked and cooling on the wire rack

I leveled both cakes and sandwiched the strawberry mousse between them.

 The cake is filled and is waiting to be glazed

Since I didn't have enough cream, I passed on the ganache glaze and went with my go-to chocolate glaze instead. While making the glaze, I kept the cake in the refrigerator. After glazing the cake, I studded it with the chocolate pastilles and the chocolate chips. The way I planted the pastilles on the cakes made it easy to divide the cake into 16 small servings.

This cake was a big hit at the dinner party. Between the 7 of us, we ate 12 slices of cake. Some were disciplined and had only slice (like my husband) while others, on the "carpe diem" side of life, had 2 or 3 slices :o) Either way, I was happy it was such a big hit.

A picture of my second slice of cake. Delicioso!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Everybody, including hubby and I, loved this cake. The cake was soft, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with lots of chocolate flavor, and a hint of banana. Hubby's rating: 8.5 out of 10.
  • In addition to the obvious change in size and cake format, I also substituted 2 Tbsp of butter with canola oil. I find that a chocolate cake is more moist that way.
  • I added about a teaspoon of Medaglia d'Oro instant espresso powder to the batter to heighten the chocolate batter.
  • Something funny I'd like to share. When I asked the dinner party hosts and their guests if they could guess "the secret ingredient" of the chocolate cake, nobody was able to guess it. I told them it's a fruit and still no dice. Then I asked them to smell the cake before eating them, and sure enough, the banana aroma became obvious and about half said "banana" :o)

25 comments:

  1. I like the way you use the huge chocolate rounds! Probably tasted better than the studs! Too bad i didn't have that in my kitchen...only had about to expired M&Ms..LOL!

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  2. I LOVE that you used the Droste pastilles. I wish that I had thought of it but I will remember it for next time. The strawberry filling sounds wonderul too.

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  3. I love how you studded your cake. I made strawberry filling too. Great job on your cake.

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  4. I've been seeing everyone studded banana cake post tonight, and they're all very beautiful. I like your use of different sizes. All this banana cake talk has inspired me to make and post my own!

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  5. Very pretty Hanaa! I love that you had your guests guess the secret ingredient (I thought the answer's gonna be espresso powder). Interesting to know the banana taste is not noticeable. I'll find out later when I have my piece.

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  6. Brilliant! Love those Droste pastilles. And the strawberry mousse is just gorgeous.

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  7. good all on the immersion blender. i didn't mention it in my post, but that's what i used to. so much easier to clean!

    i would never have thought to pair this cake with a strawberry frosting, but it obviously was a hit and i'll remember it for next time!

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  8. Hanaa - yes I baked mine in 7 inch pan. Have to with all the cakes we're eating :). I had 6 inch pan too but I quite like the 7 inch look better - wider and not as tall.

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  9. Your cake is fab! I love the filling and the pastilles - brilliant.

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  10. Beautiful cake, love how you decorated...very creative :-)

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  11. It's always fun to see the cakes fro RHC, this one looks absolutely splendid. The large chocolate disks were a great idea. I used to buy the Droste dark chocolate disks, a few are a perfect chocolate fix.

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  12. voilà un gâteau assez gourmand et irrésistible, je craque devant une telle tentation
    bonne journée

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  13. Wow, strawberry mousse sounds like a great filling for this! I think it might have been what foiled the tasters, because my tasters immediately guessed banana. Beautiful cake!

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  14. The Droste pastilles are a brilliant touch. The cake looks so stylish.

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  15. Absolutely gorgeous, just like all your other cakes! I love how you used strawberry mousse as the filling. I can imagine eating more than once slice!

    You're very inspiring to me! I want to run off to the kitchen and bake a cake every time I read one of your posts!

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  16. It's a well known fact that I don't like chocolate...at all...ever. That said, I love the way you decorated this cake...and my family LOVES chocolate, may have to put this to the test at home! Very nice.

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  17. ב''ה

    "carpe diem" indeed!

    Looks great.

    btw, I tried subbing some oil for butter in a cake I made recently. Not sure exactly with what to compare it to.

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  18. Your cake is stunning Hanaa!! I love the way you decorated it. This would be a huge hit with my husband if I substituted chocolate mousse for the strawberry.

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  19. Hanaa, I can not believe I am just now getting to your blog and what a blog!!! I absolutely LOVE this cake. Gorgeous, delicious, wonderful, and the pretty pink filling and chocolate Droste chips . . . all I can say is WOW!

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  20. That is a very handsome cake. I'm sure it's as delicious as it is beautiful. This is my first visit to your blog, so I've spent some time going through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did. I love your recipes and will be back often. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  21. My mouth is watering.. that looks so good!

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  22. Love the very idea of using pastilles Hanaa. I have a few rolls of these that a friend got from Amsterdam ... dark choch, milk choc and orange. Might just use mine like you did; hope you don't mind!

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