Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chocolate Banana Cake

I made this cake for my brother in law few weeks back. It was a surprise cake for him..

Actually I only knew that day was his birthday at 2.30pm. And Mother in Law asked us out for dinner to have a surprise celebration for him. 2.30pm, and dinner at 6.30pm. 4 hours!!!!! What can I do in 4 hours???

I knew he likes chocolate and I had some nice Dole bananas at home. So, I quickly made chocolate ganache and kept it chilled while I baked the sponge. Then I had to wait for the cake to cool down totally before filling it. When it was cool enough, I whipped half the ganache to lighten it and then quickly filled the cake with the whipped ganache and some sliced bananas.

Then I found that I don't have enough whipped ganache for the covering. I then remembered I had a bag of croquants, then I covered the sides with it, and used the unwhipped ganache to make decorative swirls around the cake, which was hedious, because the ganache was rather too firm.

The Chinese name for my BIL was badly done, I piped a few layers for the words as some parts were thicker, some parts thinner. Well, after everything was done, I quickly popped it into the freezer for a while before I photographed it. Then popped it back into the freezer until dinner time. It was already 5.30pm!!!

Dinner time. My brother in law didn't suspect anything. Dinner went on as usual at a restaurant. Well, we eat out often, so there was nothing special about that. But at the end of it, the cake came out and he was delighted!!!!! Lydia was thinking of blowing candles, but then we told her, no, it's Jik Jik's cake (Jik Jik means uncle, younger brother of father in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect)

Everybody enjoyed the cake, especially my MIL, she said it's her first time eating a fresh banana cake.
My FIL didn't eat much that night, because he was full, eventhough I have warned everybody about dessert, but the next day, he was searching for the cake, ahahah!!!! But he came slightly too late. The cake was finished just before he asked.

I did some mistakes with this cake.... the sponge wasn't dark enough. Maybe I didn't use cocoa powder, but used melted chocolate for the sponge. The whipped ganache filling wasn't discernable visually, but looked absolutely homogenous with the sponge. Sigh.... but nontheless, everybody enjoyed the cake.

With the next shot, the filling is slightly discernable from the cake

I will make this cake again, if ever it gets requested, and I will definately not do the same sponge again.


  1. I have come to conclude that this kind of cake is really your forte - whipping it up in an afternoon is amazing!

  2. Very nice cake! Especially the chocolate ganache, I like it!

  3. Shirley,
    I was rushing like a crazy woman.
    Sometimes baking cakes like these in a rush is no good. My forte ah, hmmm... hahaha, I think cooking is more like it. hahahaha. Anyway, thanks for the compliment :)

    Kitchen Corner,
    The whipped or unwhipped??
    The whipped ganache taste light and fabulous and the unwhipped one is very rich.
    We all liked it too.

  4. i still think tht it's really good..XP
    wht do u meant by whipped or unwhipped ganache? when u whipped it, it goes lighter?

  5. Ice,
    Yup. The decorative swirls are unwhipped ones, and the filling and the icing all over is whipped ganache. Looks really different, right??

  6. My last attempt to bake sponge cake was a failure. :(
    I'm not good in baking at all.
    If I can bake this cake like you, I'm satisfied. :)

  7. It looks very elegant and successful! It's amazing how you were able to finish everything in 4 hours. I think your cake looks beautiful, even though you think it's not dark enough. Everyone's always more critical about themselves. :) Btw, how did you put in the banana? Also, where did you get the sponge cake recipe? Thank you.

  8. Little Inbox,
    I've failed in so many sponges when I first started that I've lost count. I threw away countless sponges, made those failed sponges into biscuits just because they weren't fluffy.
    Making a sponge cake is one of the most difficult things that I've ever done, and once u can do that, nothing else can stop u in the baking world. If a chiffon is on a 5/10 difficulty for me, a sponge is 9/10.
    Try again, I'm sure one day you can.

    I just made up the sponge myself, after baking numerous times of sponges. I just threw in some of this, some of that. Hahaha. I noted down the recipe, but didn't post it because I wasn't satisfied with it. I just sliced the bananas and sandwiched each layer of sponge with some whipped ganache and sliced bananas. You can't see the whipped ganache as it is exactly the same colour with the cake. Which was really dissapointing for me.

  9. This is really special. Never thought of adding banana into a chocolate cake. I love the surprise when cutting into it. Extra flavour and taste I'm sure. Thanks very much for sharing.

  10. woah. didnt know it will really look tht can really go to tht light colour? i tot u added milk into the chocolate!

  11. That's really good for a cake made within 4 hours! haha....I spend ages planning and making cakes and they don't turn out that good =( I guess I need a lot more practice ;P

    I love the way you piped the ganache on the top =) I've never thought of putting bananas in a chocolate cake, it sounds delicious and it looks really cool too! And I actually like that the ganache camouflaged with the cake so well =D haha...

  12. Terror lah you! The cake decor was so well done.

  13. what a pretty cake and the piping was beautiful. I think you are really a professional baker..having completed the cake in such a short time

  14. MaryMoh,
    The banana is filled like how a black forest cake is filled with cherries.
    And it's actually quite popular here.

    Haha, no milk, just whip it until it looks light.
    Do not overwhip, else it turns grainy.

    Hahaha, I don't like magic, as in "Now you see me now you don't". hahahaha.
    I was doing everything like a mad woman, especially during filling and deco, that's the crucial part that needs a steady hand, and when one is rushing, hands tend to shake.Haha.


    No... I'm just a home baker that bakes for fun ler. Nothing pro about me.
    Thanks for the compliments.

  15. HAHA! I remember what you told me about the sponge layers and whipped ganache layers! LOL! Actually, you're right! They look homogenous! But hey, who cares!? What matters is as long as the cake tasted freaking good! One large cake disappeared in a night! Considering our culture isn't big on sweet stuff, you and the cake are very geng lor! Some more hor, you could whip up a cake in a short time! Hebatnya!

  16. Wendy, you are superb! You can came out such beautiful cake in a few hrs!

  17. Pei-Lin,
    Homogenous hoh!!! Haahahah!!! Now u believe leh.
    Siapa bagi tau it's a big cake?
    7 inch only.
    It disspeared the next day around 3pm, not one night ler...
    Working with almost shaking fingers, pressure pressure!!!

    I actually very paiseh about the decorative piping on top.... very badly done leh...
    But okla, not for client.

  18. As I've said...I've always idolise you because of your speed and precision in baking and cooking :)

  19. You are right! Can't tell the layers, but still look really yummy. Just made a chocolate cake for my husband birthday too, but used can cherries instead of banana. Looking at your cake and eating mine is like tasting both, lol! ;)

  20. I love chocolate banana cake. Got hooked to them after tasting the cake from "Secret Recipe". I must try your recipe. Looks delish!!

  21. Meldy,
    Working with almost shaking hands!!!! Cos too kan cheong oredi, haha!!

    Wah, means u made a Black Forest? Can wait to see ur post on this.

    I haven't post the recipe.
    Maybe you can concoct ur own for the sponge, and just use whipped ganache to fill.

  22. I don't know what you're talking about, I think the cake is beautiful!!! =)

  23. Wendy - That cake is gorgeous! Even if it did not turn out exactly hoe you wanted it too!

  24. Hi Wendy, I have one question and no one can help me to answer and I cannot even find in youtube. How do you sparkle the toasted nut at the side of the cake as we cannot turn one side of the cake. The cake have to sit still, no upside down no sliding. Then how do we sparkle the nuts?...Sandy

  25. Sandy,
    to sprinkle nuts on the side, I tilt the cake.
    I learnt while watching the bakers(via the glass window) in bakery decorating cake.
    You put the nuts in a plate. Scoop the nuts up in one hand, cake on plate in another hand, tilt the cake slightly over the plate with nuts and gently press the nuts in with your palm.
    To prevent cake from sliding down, put a bit of cream on the bottom layer, acting like glue.

  26. HI Wendy
    clear explanation. Now I understand..Thanks Wendy :-)...Sandy

  27. Hi there,
    I'm addicted to read yr blog!
    I thot this cake is perfect!! thanks for sharing.

  28. hi there,

    I like reading your blog, i found your blog when i was googling for the Hakka Thunder Tea Rice. I have already tried one of your recipes on the Chocolate Hidden banana cake. The cake was very nice and soft but mine banana was too wet that the centre of the cake was wet when i took it out from the oven.

    Can you share with me how u manage to keep the banana of this cake to be in the centre of the cake ie banana did not sink to the bottom. thanks


  29. Janice,
    This is a filled layer cake.
    The banana is not baked.
    I slice the cake into layers, fill with whipped ganache and some banana slices.
    Therefore, the banana is in the center.

    If the chocolate hidden banana cake was too wet in the middle, it is undercooked. Bake it longer then. Always test your cake before removing from oven(the skewer test) if you're not familiar with the baking times. The timing is usually not accurate if it's small oven.

  30. i cannot find the recepie.


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