The ABC bakers are starting 2012 with the first recipe from the new book we're baking from: The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge. When I emailed Abby about that, she was very excited. I also asked her to pick our first recipe for us and she happily did: Nut-Crusted Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake. What a great recipe selection that was.
|Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake with Chocolate Glaze|
To find out more information on how to join the ABC bakers, please click here.
With any recipe that calls for bananas, make sure your bananas are very ripe.
The cake batter is butter-based and calls for room temperature butter. I like to soften cold butter in the microwave on 20% power for about 2-3 minutes.
Melted bittersweet chocolate is stirred into half of the banana batter. I had to forgo the sugar-nut crust because I was taking it to work (nut allergies).
Then you take turns scooping banana batter and then chocolate batter into the Bundt pan. As you've seen me do before, I took some batter and put it in a little cake tin for "quality control" purposes :o)
Apparently, I hadn't properly prepared my cake pan because the cake stuck to the pan a bit (which hasn't happened to me in quite some time especially since I've switched over to using Baker's Joy which is a cooking spray with built-in flour). Hmmm... what to do to hide the imperfections?
Ah, more chocolate. I used a little bit of chocolate glaze to drizzle on top of the cake, and voila. You can hardly see the imperfections anymore.
The cake smelled amazing while it was baking. Luckily, the small cake I made for "quality control" purposes, cooled off pretty quickly so I could taste it. The cake was moist, and very tender, with aromas from both the bananas and the chocolate. It was a tad too sweet for my taste so next time I'll reduce the sugar amount a bit.
- This cake was a big hit at work. I saved a slice for my husband and he really liked how moist this cake was. He gave it a 9 out of 10.
- I've learned a few things when making this recipe:
- Cream sugar and butter together first, and then add the bananas and vanilla (otherwise the butter floats on top without mixing in right). I learned that the hard way, but then grabbed my whisk attachment and incorporated the butter into the batter with brute force (aka high speed) and that worked :o)
- Spray/butter and flour your pan REALLY well (the cake stuck in the pan a little bit which hasn't happened to me in a long while). Otherwise, there's always the chocolate glaze drizzle :o)
- My changes to the recipe:
- Increased the amount of salt fro 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp. I find that it brings out the flavors more especially the chocolate flavor.
- Used a combination of two chocolates: 72% Ghirardelli and Hershey Extra Dark to simulate "bittersweet chocolate".
- Due to nut allergies, I skipped the sugar/nut mixture for the outside of the cake.
- A big Thank You to Abby for selecting such a wonderful cake recipe to start the year with!!
- The recipe for this cake can be found in the The Weekend Baker, or online on the Fine Cooking magazine website.