Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Banana Slices

It has been some time since I have indulged in a chocolate covered banana, so when I saw this recipe, I could not pass it up.   The recipe was found in a rather hi-brow dessert cook book so I was not to sure that I could achieve the same that was in the picture.

Even though the recipe had a step that involved making some type of foil collar to put around the cake, I decided to go ahead and make it. The collar was to hold the mousse layer at the same height right to the edge of the cake so it would set evenly.

In the long run, I skipped that step anyway. I just trimmed off the edges after the mousse set up so all of the cake was evenly covered with the mousse layer.  I have included both options in the recipe below.

This is definitely the recipe for someone who loves chocolate dipped bananas and if you also like them covered with peanuts, you can sprinkle them on top of the chocolate layer before it sets.

Chocolate Banana Slices
adapted from Kaffeehause Cookbook

3 eggs, room temp.
2 tbs milk
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
3 tbs Dutch cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
vegetable oil spray (if doing foil collar method)

1 1/2 tbs rum
6 oz finely chopped bittersweet choc
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

1 tsp corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

To make the base or cake layer, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the inside of a 8X11 cake pan.  Place parchment on the bottom and dust the bottom and sides with flour.

Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, mix for about 1 minute.  The put a pot of water over medium high heat and let come to a simmer.  Take the bowl from the stand mixer and place it over the simmering water, making sure the bottom does not touch the water.  Let the mixture cook while whisking constantly.  Continue to whisk and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the batter is hot to the touch.  You can test both qualities with your finger to detect any graininess as well as the heat factor.

Transfer bowl back to the stand mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, beat the batter on high speed for about 3 minutes.  The batter should be triple in size and fluffy after beating.

In another bowl, sift together the salt, cocoa and cake flour.  Set aside.  Then take out a saucepan and melt the butter on medium heat. Add the milk and heat until simmering.  Remove and stir in the vanilla.

Take half of the sifted mixture and fold into the egg batter.  Once blended, fold in the other half.  Scoop out a spoonful of the batter and stir it into the milk mixture. After that is blended, stir it back into the batter.  Spoon out batter into pan and smooth the top until all is even.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched  Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes and then invert onto rack.  Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely before adding the next layer.

To make the filling place a sauce pan with the cream over medium heat.  Let come to a simmer and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and pour in the rum and let sit for 3 minutes, without stirring.  Then whisk until smooth.  Cover bowl and place in freezer.

After 15 minutes in the freezer, remove and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Cover and place bowl back in the freezer.  Continue with this process until the mousse is very thick and holds its shape like frosting.

Place the sliced bananas on top of the cake, cut side down.  Then smooth on the mousse.

If using a foil collar, spread the mousse evenly and leave about 1 inch from the edge of the cake.  Fold a 40 inch long strip of foil in half lengthwise.  You will have a strip 6 inches tall.  Spray the foil with the vegetable oil and wrap around the cake, oil side in and tape together at the ends.  You may need to crimp the foil to get a tight fit.  Then, using an offset spatula, smooth the mousse over the remaining 1 inch edges so it is touching the foil.  Place the cake on a serving tray and put in refrigerator to let the filling set.  This should take about 2 hours.

If not using a foil collar, follow the directions in the first sentence of the above paragraph. but smooth the mousse all the way to the edge of the cake.  Make sure it does not go over the side of the cake.  Place the cake on a serving tray and let the filling set.  This should take about 2 hours.

Then you can make the glaze. The above recipe came up short for me and I was unable to completely cover the cake, so I added an additional half of the glaze ingredients listed with the original measurements ( 2 tbs heavy cream, 1 oz chocolate and 1/2 tsp corn syrup).  Pour the cream into a saucepan placed over medium high heat.  Let come to a simmer and remove from heat.  Whisk in corn syrup and chocolate until mixture is smooth and resembles a dark hot chocolate.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

If you opted to use the collar, remove it from the cake. Pour the glaze on top of the set mousse layer and use a spatula to smooth it out, covering all of the edges as best you can.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until glaze sets.

If you did not use a collar, trim the edges where the mousse layer was uneven, using a hot, wet knife.  Use that same method for cutting servings.  Serve chilled.
                 **LAST YEAR: Chocolate Coconut Candies**