Monday, January 20, 2014

Banana Cake with Coconut Cream frosting

So it was a perfect coincidence, the husband's birthday on Friday and having to make molten chocolate cake for my cooking course assignment. All the ingredients were hastily purchased on the way home but a sudden change in plan on seeing the sole ripe banana in the fruit basket. I succumbed to its beckoning.
I have made banana cake multiple times before and here is one of my older recipes. A colleague used to make it for her daughter and seeing how simple it was, I would make it every now and then. I remembered the banana cake slice that we were served after the HP Walkathon in 2012 and did some tweaking, adding some cinnamon. The result was really good and the cake was almost gone by the end of Friday. I am sure that had we not gone out for dinner, we would have licked the plate clean.

Now since I was
all set to make the molten chocolate cake, I did not have any cream and so used coconut cream for the frosting. Ironic that I used milk in the cake but a vegan frosting(duh!! Isn't life full of choices?). On a happy note, banana and coconut - perfect mallu combination for the perfectly mallu husband. (No, he won't accept it).

Now, from my cooking course, I do know that the shape/size of the baking tin do affect the results. Hence, I am sharing here the details of the tin that I used. Also please do read the tips below. A good friend did indicate this to me when we joined a online baking partners group but it did not answer all the questions and neither did I do much investigation back then.

Ingredients (For a 20 cm diameter circular cake): 

  1. All purpose flour : 1/2 cup
  2. Whole wheat flour : 1/2 cup
  3. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  4. Sugar - 1/2 cup
  5. Salt - 1/8 tsp
  6. Banana - 2 medium sized(15cm) ripe
  7. Egg - 1 
  8. Oil - 1/4 cup
  9. Cinnamon stick - 2inch long, 0.7mm thick
  10. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  11. Milk - 2 tbsp
  12. Walnuts - 1/4 cup chopped(optional)
For the frosting :
  1. Coconut cream - 1 tin
  2. Sugar - 4 tbsp
  3. Cocoa powder - for dusting

How I made it:

  1. Preheat the oven to degree 180 degree C.
  2. Prepare your baking tin by applying/spraying oil and then dusting lighting with some flour.
  3. In a bowl, mix ingredients 1 to 5.
  4. In a blender/mixie jar, blend ingredients 6 to 10.
  5. Now mix the dry ingredients in 3 to the wet ingredients in 4. Mix to combine. Do not beat. Fold in the walnuts if using some.
  6. If the batter is too thick, add milk till it comes to folding consistency. By folding consistency I mean that the batter should not fall in lumps when poured from the ladle. It should fall like a nice ribbon.
  7. Quickly pour this into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. Once I had poured the batter into the tin, it was about 1.5 inch in thickness.
  8. Allow it to cool completely.
  9. Now, take a piece of thread - enough to go around the whole cake.(double the length if required). Use this thread to cut the cake into halves. Take one end of the thread and hold in a position midway through the height of the cake. Take the other end around the cake trying to maintain the height and bring the two ends of the thread together.  Now pull the thread ends in opposite directions such that they pierce through the cake and become straight and taut in the middle of the cake, ensuring the cake is completely cut into two.Take the top layer aside and turn it upside down.
  10. Beat the coconut cream till stiff peaks form.  Add sugar and mix well. 
  11. Spread half of this coconut cream on the bottom half of the cake. Place the top half of the cake on top of the bottom half. Spread the remaining coconut cream and using a strainer, sprinkle cocoa powder.
Tips :
  • Use the mentioned tin size or a suitable replacement in another shape. This is very important as the size of the tin decides how long the cake is to be baked as well as the temperature setting. A rough idea would be that heat penetrates at the rate of 0.0014cm per second through water. Now the cake is mostly water, so measure the thickness of your cake and accordingly bake. Also remember that the heat will diffuse from both directions if using a proper OTG. So that affects the cooking time as well. 
  • If not using the frosting, you could increase the sugar to 3/4 cup but this could make the cake too sweet depending on the sweetness of the bananas used. So go with your inner gut feeling. The bananas I used were sweet without the frosting itself. The frosting is not very sweet as it is a few tablespoons of sugar.