Monday, February 25, 2013

Banana Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache

I've wanted to make a chocolate peanut butter cake for a while, but I've only seen a few peanut butter mousse recipes. In Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Berenbaum, she has a recipe for chocolate peanut butter ganache. During my water yoga class, I had a flash of inspiration: bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate.

I've made one Momofuku Milk Bar inspired cake before: the Pumpkin Pie Cake. I was scared of cutting out layers from a sheet cake, so I make them in regular cake pans. I also was a little concerned about the declared difficulty of Christina Tosi's cake recipes.

Shannon of A Periodic Table to the rescue! She did a fabulous tutorial for the Apple Pie Layer Cake, and I felt much more confident after reading it.

I made the banana cake from Milk Bar. The recipe warns of a difficult emulsion (most batters are emulsions, which is why you add ingredients to them slowly and in a specific order), but it came together fine. If you are new to Milk Bar, I would suggest making the Corn Cookies or Compost Cookies first, as those recipies will help acquaint you with Christina Tosi's techniques.

Tosi pairs her banana cake with gianduja, an Italian chocolate hazelnut candy, or upscale Nutella. I went decidedly more American with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache and a cut up Heath Bar.

I still don't have the 6-inch cake rings, so I assembled the cake in a 6 by 2-inch round cake pan. I reused the acetate collars given to me by the Wegman's bakery.

I was a little worried about removing the cake from a pan without a removable bottom. I let the cake set up in the freezer for about 20 minutes; the ganache completely hardened and the cake tipped out without any difficulty.

I'm enjoying this method of layering cakes and fillings, and my family enjoys eating the cakes. I see lots more in my future!

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