Smells can trigger feelings, emotions, a state of being even. I had such high hopes when I pulled this week’s cake out of the oven. The smell of banana bread filled the house. Mmmmmm…..it was just like being at Nana’s; warmth and comfort and all things good.
I’ve had this cake on my “Someday” List since last summer when I was researching fillings for a banana cake. I never knew there were so many options to be paired with banana: chocolate, dark chocolate fudge, caramel buttercream, cream cheese, cheesecake, cinnamon. I think I’m going to need more than 52 weeks!
Fast forward to January 2012. A friend had a baby, and I offered to take supper to her and her family. #1 I get my baby fix and #2 I can knock out a 52/52 cake. Two birds, one stone. I asked around to see what flavor cake she likes. Lo and behold, she likes banana cake. She does?! Still one stone, but now there’s three birds I can knock out of the park. Never mind the mixing of metaphors. I’m on a roll. “Someday” is here. Banana cake, here I come!
This is supposed to make a 9-inch triple layer cake. (Not sure how thick these layers are supposed to be, but I made 2 8-inch layers and had just enough batter to also make 6 cupcakes. The cake I gave to my friend. The cupcakes were for us to enjoy.)
Banana Cake with Praline Filling and White Chocolate Ganache
- 3 C. cake flour
- 3½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ C. milk
- ½ C. ripe mashed banana
- 8 oz. softened unsalted butter
- 2 C. sugar
- 7 egg whites (I used 1 C. 100% egg whites)
- 1 C. sugared pecans
- 1½ C. white chocolate ganache
Let me help you out here. I don’t have time to make my own sugared pecans. If you’d like to try, click above on the link to see the recipe. Otherwise do yourself a favor and go buy a 7 oz. package of glazed pecans. I bought mine at Aldi. You’re welcome.
White Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
- 2½ C. heavy cream
- 1½ tsp. vanilla
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Prep your cake pans with one of the most wonderful inventions ever Baker’s Joy or Wilton’s Bake Easy non-stick spray. Line your pan with parchment paper, as well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside. I processed the milk and banana in my blender to make a smooth, light puree. Set aside.
In my large mixer bowl I creamed together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. On medium high speed, beat in egg whites 2-3 at a time until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between egg additions.
With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and banana puree alternately in 2-3 additions, beating until just blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Divide the batter among your prepped cake pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. (My cupcakes were done in 20 minutes. The cakes took 30.) Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wired rack and remove the parchment. Cool completely for about an hour.
For the Praline Filling: With a large knife chop the pecans and add to the white chocolate ganache. Stir to mix well.
For the White Chocolate Ganache: Put the white chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl. Bring ½ cup of the cream to boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Let the white chocolate cream stand until cooled to room temperature.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the remaining 2 C. heavy cream and vanilla until softly whipped. Stir in the white chocolate cream and beat until fairly stiff. This is very important: DO NOT OVERBEAT. This should only take a minute or two. You can tell when you’ve gone too far because your ganache is a curdled mess. Go ahead and ask me how I know.
To assemble the cake: put one layer, flat side up on a cake stand or serving plate. Cover the top evenly with praline filling, leaving ¼-inch margin around the edges. Place the second layer on top, again flat side up. Frost the sides and top with the white chocolate ganache. Garnish with sugared pecans.
Like I said, I had really high hopes for this cake. It smelled wonderful coming out of the oven. Sugared pecans, white chocolate ganache…what could possibly go wrong with this?! Well….as a whole it was really good. But once you start looking at the individual parts that’s where I started to lose interest. The cake itself was tasty, BUT it didn’t taste like banana. It was just a very subtle spice cake. The white chocolate ganache and praline filling – couldn’t really taste the white chocolate, just a nicely sweetened whipped frosting.
My husband assured me it was delicious, and it was but NOT if you’re looking for banana cake with white chocolate ganache.