Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Hidden Banana Cake

I made this cake based on a few recipes,  the cake was Rose Levy Beranbaum's, the idea of the hidden banana was Sonia's and the outlook was inspired by joyofbaking.

Creams made with dairy cream are always lighter than buttercreams, and how I wish that I can use dairy creams on "non sponge cakes", and in our weather, dairy creams just can't be kept out from the fridge for long. If you use when cakes made with butter or oil(in the usual way) and deco with dairy whipped cream, the cake will defiantely turn hard when kept in the fridge, but if you bring the cake out to soften up a bit, the cream starts to weep and melt in our over 32C weather..

Such headache,
hard cake-soft cream
soft cake-runny cream.

It's either 10C or 32C. We can't be anywhere in between unless the house is fully air conditioned (lower than 20C), then maybe the cake will be soft and the cream stays as cream. But this headache was gone after I found this "soft in fridge chocolate cake". I can just tweak the cake to be this and that to my fancy. Keep in the fridge or out of fridge, it stays soft with whatever topping I like to use.

The Cake-33gm cocoa powder
-59gm boiling water
-37.5gm all purpose flour
-37.5gm cake flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
-150gm sugar 
-1/8 tsp salt
-2 large egg yolks
-54gm corn oil
-½ tsp vanilla extract.
-2 large egg whites
A few bananas (hard to tell how many as bananas comes in all different sizes here, some are as long as 8 inches, some 2 inches)

1. In your mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder and boiling water to a smooth paste and set it aside, let it cool down.
2. Preheat your oven at 175C. I did mine at 160C. Line a 9 inch square pan.
3. Combine all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, sodium bicarb, sugar and salt. Whisk it.
4. When the cocoa paste has cooled down, put in yolks and oil and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
5. Put in vanilla and beat for a few seconds.
6. Put in half the dry ingredients (3) and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Put in the balance and beat on high speed for 1 minute.
7. Put in egg whites and whisk on high speed for 2 minutes.
8. Pour batter into lined pan. Cut bananas so that they stick out about 1 inch high from the batter. (I cut mine to short, cos I only had a few). Arrange them in a way so that when you slice the cake, each piece of cake will have one banana hidden. If you plan to cut 16(4x4) pieces, then cut 16 pieces, and if you want to serve 25 (5x5), then cut 25.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean
10. Leave cake to cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool down completely on cooling rack. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes, or just freeze it for 10 mins before frosting.

The Ganache (You can do this before the cake)
100gm dark chocolate
100gm whipping cream

1. Break chocolate and put into a small whipping bowl.(big enough for you to use the mixer with)
2. Heat whipping cream until there are bubbles along the periphery.
3. Pour scalded cream onto chocolates. Leave for 1 minute.
4. Gently stir the chocolate until a smooth ganache is achieved.
5. Leave to cool, coverand chill in fridge until time of use. Chill the beaters too.
6. When the cake is cool, remove ganache from fridge.
7. Beat ganache until it turns light in colour, like Milo. Do not overbeat.
8. Spread whipped ganache onto cooled cake immediately.
9. Slice cake and serve.

** Cake can be kept for a few days in the fridge, and you can enjoy the cake, directly cold from the fridge, it won't harden at all, just like Designer Chocolate Baby Grands. The whipped ganache may turn darker in colour (when left at our room temp) but it's still fine.

Do not think that the banana's flavour is hidden by the chocolate. When I brought the cake to neighbour Maria's place, her workers asked me whether was it Banana Cake, (They haven't see what was in my hand) and said they could smell it the moment I came though the door. I gasped!!!!


  1. that's y i refuse to do any frosting for my cakes! my house temperature is warmer then my own body heat! haha! lovely cake and my favorite bananas in it yummy!

  2. What a lovely moist chocolate banana cake you have here! Hopefully I can try this recipe someday!

  3. Wendy, salivating just by looking and by your description I can smell the both the choc and banana! Going bananas just looking at it! Must move house to be your neighbour!

  4. 很漂亮的蛋糕哟,有专业水准了:)

  5. 巧克力和香蕉是很绝配的味道,可惜我家人都不大爱吃;而我也只做过那么一次罢了。

  6. i love banana!! im definitely going to try this (: (: (:

  7. i did a posting on tau foo fah today using your soy milk recipe..thought i shld let you know.
    btw, regarding this cake, are you saying that it still stays soft even if it's out from the fridge?

  8. Jess Kitchen,
    I used to too, until I knew of this cake.

    Ah Tze,
    Someday, I'll wait for that day

    Haha, do drop by one day.


    Cherry potato,
    Make half portion lor, this one cannot buy outside.

    jgn lupe kasi tau amacam rupenye :)

    Hope u like it

    not trying to be rude, but no thanks

  9. It looks absolutely great with the hidden banana. Chocolate and banana, sounds perfect!

  10. Lena,
    I saw ur tofufah, very smooth leh.
    I think I have to change my muslin bag. Darn lousy, haha.
    The cake is soft in and out of fridge. No joke.

    Little Inbox,
    Thanks :)

  11. your title post...I guess you can surprise the people eating this cake by not telling them about the hidden bananas, heehee. A sweet surprise!

  12. Looks so good! So chocolaty and moist. Chocolate and banana is just a wonderful combination. Thanks for sharing.

  13. That's one cool trick huh.. I never know there are bananas inside the chocolate cake until I read it.. Nice one, the cake is finely-baked :)

  14. Bee,
    If I'm not mistaken,
    You did something like this once too right?
    But in muffins.

    U're welcomed



  15. Another recipe I bookmark, I need to find eaters, hahah..
    The part on whisking the dry ingredients saves time from sifting, thanks for sharing this tip.

  16. will definitely, definitely, definitely making this!!!!!!

  17. Hi Wendy, I'm an ardent fan. You give me inspiration almost everyday when I need some ideas for dinner or dessert.
    I've baked the chocolate cake above & used a 8"x8" square pan. It's cooling in the pan now but it's starting to shrink at the top & wrinkle. Why is that? I followed your instruction except that I don't have cake flour & used just plain flour. In fact, I have the same problem with ordinary sponge cake.

    Kindly advise.


  18. Celine,
    Thank you for the compliments.
    Wrinkle.. hmm... could be underbaked and the top skin isn't baked enough.

  19. Hi again,

    Yes, you were so right. The cake is so soft & moist. This is a very good recipe for my black forest cake. I simply love the darkness of the chocolate texture. It's still soft right out of the fridge. Thank you for posting Rose Levy's recipe.


  20. Fantastic, a cake for the tropics! Indeed, a lot of recipes are for "cooler" climate. Thanks Wendy, I'll give this a try!


  21. Hi wendy, u're such an inspiration with your baking skills. I would like to try this recipe as I love choc and banana.

    In the ingredient list, you have stated"150gm sugar together" . Can i ask what do you mean by "together"? Tks


  22. Debby,
    Thanks for pointing out.
    That's a typo. I'll have the 'together' deleted

  23. I baked your Moist Chocolate Cake and put the slice banana like above. Why my outcome don't look like the one you sliced the cake to show the banana? Mine is wet n mushy on banana area. This is the same problem everytime baking with fruits like prune, etc.. and need longer baking time. Don't know what to do...

  24. esther,
    this cake wasn't made using moist choc cake recipe.
    This recipe has far less mositure.
    Please get to know your oven, if everytime is like that, then you should know what to do, prolong the baking time.
    If the original recipe never uses fruit, and u added them in yourself, of course you need to adjust the baking time.

  25. Hi Wendy, I made the above recipe in cupcakes (designer choc baby grands) and its amazingly delicious. I would like to seek your opinion if this cake as an 8 inch cake - can I use this cake under fondant? is it "strong" enough to withstand the weight? Please advise. :) Amy

  26. Amy,
    i've never worked with fondant, but this cake should be fine, I GUESS :p

  27. love ur recipes wendy!
    can you let me know which baking chocolate you use which is economical to use and where to buy from.


  28. Hi Wendy!!!
    love ur recipes.
    could you let me know which chocolate use for your baking stuff. Is it economical and yummy at the same time??

  29. Unknown,
    I like to use Beryls, local Malaysian brand that also produces eating chocolates. It's about RM15/kg depending on where you buy.
    Not available in supermarkets but only at baking stores

  30. i made this today! doubled the recipe cos i wanted a taller cake though. and i didnt put the ganache cos i didnt want it to be too sweet. made just the cake itself. the taste and texture was amazing! i'm not a fan of too-sweet cakes but this one was perfect was a dark chocolate lover like me. paired it with vanilla ice cream and it was heavenly!

    but somehow the baking time took longer than the recipe stated. did 160 for 30mins but it was still watery. ended up turning the heat up and putting it in for another 30mins. and all my bananas sank to the bottom.

  31. c. linda,
    A whipped dark chocolate ganache isn't sweet as there isn't any sugar added in besides whatever that is in the DARK chocolate, unless you find dark chocolate to be sweet.
    Since you doubled the recipe, the baking time should be doubled as well.
    My bananas weren't floating on the batter, they were stuck into the batter all the way in, with 1 inch sticking out, the bananas were cut taller than the batter, if the batter is 2 inches tall, cut the bananas 3 inches :) . In the last picture you can see the bananas showing right through the base.

  32. I find this recipe sometimes give a bitter/metal after-taste. How can I avoid this? Thks.

  33. LL,
    Hmm... I am not sure as it has never happened to me before. Did you line the pan or did it have direct contact with the pan?

  34. Hi, may I know what brand of cake flour or low protein flour do you normally use? I only see "nona brand" so far, but the protein content is around 10g per 100g (which is 10% i guess?). There is "blue key" brand's superfine superwhite flour, but the protein content is also pretty high, around 9g per 100g. I can't find any flour with lower than than that :(

  35. Ying,
    I buy from baking shops, of which doesn't come with brand. Nona 10% is higher than Cap Sauh plain flour at 9%. :p

  36. Oh, i see... Perhaps i'll try to get some from bakeries too. Thanks :D

  37. Ying,
    It's bakery supplies shop, not bakeries. Shops that sell cakes don't sell flour.

  38. I did it into cupcakes without ganache cos d cake alreasy taste so wonderful by itself...super soft, fluffy, moist...yum. I substituted boiling water with milk & reduced d cocoa powder. It's a must try & keep recipe. Thank you so much...Wendy...for sharing.

  39. Hi Wendy,

    I've been following ur blog silently for few months now and tried some of ur recipe without fail :) thank u for such a clear instruction. I plan to make this recipe using my KA mixer, could u kindly advice which attachment i shoud use ? Paddle or whisk ? Thanks in advance.

  40. Grace,
    Both will be ok, as it's all only about mixing it together.

  41. Hi Wendy,
    I'm really looking forward to try this out!! How ripe do my bananas have to be? Black like for banana bread or will slightly green do?
    Thanks, Harmony :)

  42. Harmony,
    Very ripe, like banana bread.

  43. Hi Wendy,

    I am a beginner, trying to bake this cake this weekend. seems like very yummy!! :)
    I am wondering at the second pic when the banana still on the top, and the third pic show seems like the banana sink down and make big holes. but the last pic (sliced cake) it shows the banana is in the middle of the cake. it is confusing me (sorry... again..i am a beginner ^_^ ). Are we hoping to get the banana in the middle of the cake or to get the holes as the final result?

  44. Veria,
    1. Second pic: is raw batter. It has not risen.
    2. Third pic: Cooked cake. The hole shows how much the cake has risen as compared to raw.
    3. Last pic: Is the bottom of cake, flipped to show you the banana is not floating.
    Happy trying :) all the best.

  45. Hi Wendy,
    Understood of your explanation now :)
    Btw, can I use the same recipe to bake in the cup cake paper instead of cake pan? if yes, the baking time should be reduced to about 15-20 minutes only? (as like normally i bake my other cup cake recipe)
    Can I also bake using non stick tray pan instead of aluminium pan? will it sink down?
    Many thx in advance.
    NB: will do baking tomorrow for new year cake ^_^

  46. Veria,
    To make this in cups, please refer to the Designer Chocolate Baby Grands link right below the recipe. The main batter is the same.
    Non stick tray, if it's dark, reduce the temperature. i think should be alright to bake in a non stick tray, but you still need to grease it lightly to ensure it comes off

  47. Hi Wendy,
    Just want to update you. I managed to bake the cake.and the result is exactly same like yours. I am so happy and want to thank you for the recipe you shared. Love it so much. and yes it is still soft even I keep in the fridge. many thx again.

    btw, i have made nutella chiffon cake also :) thx

  48. Hi Wendy!
    I tried this recipe today. The smell when the cake was baking was fantastic! When the cake is out, it looks like those sinful brownies but it was soft... Waiting to frost it now and cant wait to try it. Will update u when I get my first bite :)
    By the way, how did you put you bananas in the batter till they r so straight! A third of my bananas started to topple like e tower of pisa before gg into the oven hahaha!
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  49. Hi Wendy!
    Am back with update. I just ganache the cake and I just cant stop myself from having a slice to see how it is. Moist, soft and heavenly chocolaty with banana yumzzzzz haha..
    I noticed that the base and where my bananas are, the cake is extra mushy and my bananas fall outta the cake when I did a wrong cut directly at e banana. Normal? I cool the cake in the fridge w the baking paper still at its base, could that b why e base is mushy? And I used pretty black ripe bananas, could that b reason for my falling bananas? Can advice? :)
    Overall the cake is fantastic, definitely will do again when chocolate cake is called for.
    Thanks so very much!!

  50. Cecilia,
    Try your best to cut the bananas at a 90degree angle, or at least, neatly, put them cut side down in the batter.
    I didn't use over ripe bananas, they were just ripe.
    I guess your bananas were too ripe, hence they turned mushy and wet after baking.

    1. Thanks Wendy. Will try that next time. Am eating the cake two days after bake, still deliciously moist directly fr e fridge and the ganache is like like having a layer of thin chocolate above e cake. Nice!

  51. Hi Wendy,
    I hope to bake this cake for a gathering in a few days time.
    I only have plain flour so can I use all plain flour for this cake? How will it affect the cake?
    Also, is it possible to mix the cake batter throughout with a whisk by hand? As I do not have a mixer.
    As for the chocolate ganache, can I also whisk by hand until it change to light brown in color? Will it take very long to achieve that colour? I'm wondering how does whipping it cause it to turn light brown?
    Do I have to increase the sugar if I exclude the bananas?

  52. Lynn,
    At Step 4 for batter, you can briskly whisk it manually for 3 minutes.
    All plain flour, it's ok, just mild differences with texture.
    For the ganache, it won't take long to change colour. Maybe 2-3 minutes manually, as by machine, it was rather quick.
    Do not reduce the sugar.


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