Sunday, April 14, 2019

Monkey Tail Banana Cake

I am glad to have the weekend to recoup from bread baking, but here I am baking on my own time. Sometimes blogging and baking of my choice is a great diversion or way to unwind. Through work and my personal life, I have come to realize that people's perceptions are just as diverse as people themselves. A misperception can be major or minor, depending on the person and we cannot control another person's perception. Someone once told me perception is everything. If so, things can easily get quite confusing.

Just like my perception of the name of this cake. When I came across this recipe, I thought the name was just a whimsical choice. I soon came to realize it actually defined the cake flavor. I had never heard of an edible monkey tail. If you a unfamiliar with this as I was, it is something they serve at festivals or carnivals. A monkey tail is actually a frozen banana that is dipped in chocolate and covered in peanuts.

This particular banana cake has pecans instead of peanuts and the filling is hazelnut spread. I liked a slice slightly warmed which makes the filling and the chocolate chips slightly melted. This has a whipped cream and cream cheese blend frosting, so it has to be refrigerated. However, since the cake contains 6 bananas it is very dense, so it is best served at room temperature or warmer.

Monkey Tail Banana Cake
adapted from The Cooking Channel

3 eggs, room temp.
6 mashed, ripe bananas
16 oz sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup chopped pecans, plus extra for garnish
1 cup mini chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs baking soda

Ingredients/Frosting and Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs whipped cream stabilizer (optional)
1-8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
13 oz hazelnut spread (I used nutella brand)

For the cake, grease the interior of three 9 inch round cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the butter and both types of sugars. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until blended. Fold in mashed bananas.

Combine 1/3 of the dry ingredients with the banana batter, folding until no dry streaks remain. Repeat adding the sifted ingredients in two more additions. Once blended, add nuts and chocolate chips and stir until evenly dispersed into batter. Divide batter evenly into thirds, about 3 cups each, filling each prepared pan. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes, rotating at the halfway point.

Let cakes cool in pan 10-15 minutes and then invert layers onto rack to completely cool. Once cooled, proceed with frosting.

Start on the frosting by filling the bowl of a stand mixer with cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until no lumps remain, stopping on ocassion to scrape down sides of bowl. On medium high speed, continue to beat and stream in the heavy cream. If you opt to use the stabilizer, add it with the heavy cream. Beat the mixture until you have a whipped cream consistency.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving place or cake board. Cover the top of the layer with half of the hazelnut spread. Add the next layer and cover it with the rest of the spread. Then top with the third cake layer. Frost cake on top and sides. Sprinkle top of the cake with nuts and mini chocolate chips. Lightly press to adhere.

Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed for best texture.

                                     **LAST YEAR:St Patricks Mocktail Cheesecake**