The issue with baking with bananas is that most of the bananas we get at the grocers are quite raw and you’d need to let it sit a couple of days before it is ripe enough for baking. This is one of those weeks when, earlier in the week I really wanted to eat a banana-flavoured dessert, but when the weekend arrived, that craving was gone.
But I still have a bunch of ripe bananas sitting in my kitchen. So what can I do but to think of a banana flavoured dessert to test out.
By the way, I was originally planning to go for a marbled glaze, using a mixture of yellow and dark brown glaze. But, somehow, it just didn’t come out as I imagined. So for the remaining cakes, I decided to try out the color swirl instead. I think these ones turned out quite nicely, don’t you agree?
For the banana caramel
30g + 15g glucose
60g heavy cream
15g whole milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1g fleur de sel
25g unsalted butter
100g ripe banana
1) Weigh the bananas in a blender.
2) Add 15g glucose to heavy cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a light boil.
3) Heat sugar and the remaining glucose to a caramel.
4) Add the hot cream mixture to the caramel and stir until homogeneous.
5) Take the caramel off the heat then stir in the vanilla, fleur de sel and butter.
6) Scrap the caramel into the blender and blend together with the banana until fully incorporated.
7) Pour the banana caramel into the cavities of a 5cm cylindrical mould, 25g for each portion. This makes enough for 8 portions with 15g remaining. Freeze.
For the banana namelaka
87g banana purée
3g lemon juice
1g powdered gelatin + 6g water
45g Ivoire white chocolate
45g cream, 35% fat
Yellow food coloring, optional
1) Melt white chocolate over a water bath.
2) Bloom gelatine with 6g water.
3) Heat the puréed banana together with the lemon juice.
4) Add the hydrated gelatine and stir until fully melted.
5) As this is a very small amount, scrap the banana purée mixture together with the melted white chocolate into a blender and process until emulsified.
6) Add the chilled cream and colouring (if using) and briefly process until homogeneous.
7) Pour this into the mould on top of the banana caramel and return to the freezer. This makes enough for 6 portions of 25g each with 21g remaining.
For the banana and chocolate crunch cake
83g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
50g light muscovado sugar
37g golden caster sugar
42g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 large egg
60g whole milk with 1/4 tbsp white vinegar
14g grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
130g super ripe peeled bananas
40g mini chocolate chips
20g Valrhona chocolate pearls, plus more for decorating
1) Preheat oven to 160°C fan, and grease and line a 9″ x 13″ tray.
2) Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk lightly to combine.
3) Put the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix using the paddle attachment until pale and light.
4) Add to egg to the butter mixture and continue to whisk until incorporated.
5) Whisk together milk, oil and vanilla extract in a cup, then, pour this into the butter mixture. It will separate at first but continue to whisk until the mixture becomes homogeneous.
6) Turn down the speed of the mixer and add the bananas. Continue to mix until the banana is mashed up and mixed throughout the batter.
7) Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing a few seconds each time until batter is smooth.
8) Add the chocolate chip and chocolate pearl and stir into the batter by hand.
9) Pour the cake batter into prepared tin and level.
10) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18 minutes. The cake is done when you poke the tip of a knife into it and it comes out clean. Be careful unmoulding the cake when hot as the chocolate topping will be melted. Try not to handle it until the chocolate topping has cooled.
For the chocolate mousse
200g dark chocolate converture
120g heavy cream
56g whole milk
100g egg whites
30g light brown sugar
1) Melt the dark chocolate over a water bath.
2) Gently heat the cream and milk, then pour a third of the cream mixture into melted chocolate and stir to incorporate. Continue with the rest of the milk in another 2 addition, making sure the mixture is smooth.
3) Whisk the egg whites and brown sugar until stiff peaks. Then, gently fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture.
4) Make this when you are ready to assemble and use immediately.
For the dark chocolate mirror glaze
60g cold water
2 tsp powdered gelatin
40g corn syrup
66g unsweetened cocoa powder
77g heavy cream
1) Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium metal bowl.
2) In a small bowl, pour in the 60g cold water and sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Stir to moisten and soften the gelatine and allow it to sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. Cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and set aside.
3) In a small heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar and 80g water over medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and, with the whisk, gently stir in the corn syrup and then the cocoa powder until smooth, making sure to reach into the corners of the pan. The mixture will be glossy. Using a silicone spatula, stir in the heavy cream.
4) Return the pan to medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to the boiling point. Bubbles will just start to form around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture into the metal bowl. Cool slightly, for about 10 minutes. With a silicone spatula, stir in the softened gelatine until it is dissolved completely and no longer streaky.
5) Strain the glaze into a pouring glass. (Metal will impart an undesirable flavour if the glaze is stored in it.) Cool for a few minutes, stirring very gently so as not to incorporate any air. It is ready to be used to glaze the cake.
1) Pour 45g chocolate mousse into a cavity of a 7cm ring mold.
2) Place a frozen banana caramel and banana namelaka into the mould, namelaka side down.
3) Press the frozen namelaka into the middle of the cake ring.
4) Add another 30g chocolate mousse covering the frozen namelaka. There should be enough chocolate mousse for 6 portions, with 50g remaining. Allow to set in the freezer overnight.
5) Once the cakes are frozen solid, glaze cakes with white chocolate mirror glaze, coloured yellow, and some dark chocolate mirror glaze.
I was worried that the banana caramel would not set in the freezer, which sometimes happen for caramels, but, it sets quite nicely. Just firm enough to unmould. As for the banana namelaka, the original color was just, unappetising, a little grey-ish. So, I added a bit of yellow coloring. I am guessing all those slightly yellow banana desserts you see, the shade of yellow did not come from the bananas.
Have not had many “original” creation for a while that I am happy with. But this one comes pretty close. This creation is made up of a banana sponge with chocolate chips, banana namelaka, banana salted caramel, dark chocolate mousse, covered with my go-to white chocolate mirror glaze.
I was not sure if the dark chocolate will overpower the banana. But it didn’t. There is enough banana components here to make sure the flavour comes through and marries perfectly with the chocolate.