I totally missed my one year blogiversary. My very first post was October 5th of last year, and I totally forgot about it until I suddenly realized one day in November that I had missed it!
To celebrate, I decided to recreate a cake that I had eaten at a birthday party a few months ago. It was a banana cream cake - two layers of moist banana cake, filled with a thick layer of pastry cream, and covered with whipped cream. And it was delicious! To take it one step further, I wanted to decorate it like this tuxedo cake at Annie's Eats, with a gorgeous ganache glaze dripping down the sides.
For the cake I initially considered using my mom's banana bread recipe, which I love because it's so easy and very moist and delicious. But I thought perhaps I should choose a recipe intended for cake, since i wanted a cake-like fluffy texture. So I chose a recipe from David Lebovitz's book "Ready for Dessert". It called for ingredients that I would never think to pair with bananas, including cinnamon and espresso! I was curious to see how the combination would taste.
Once the cake was baked and cooled, I made a batch of pastry cream, using the recipe from my boston cream pie inspired cake. After letting the pastry cream cool in the fridge, I piped a thick layer on top of a layer of banana cake, and returned it to the fridge to let it set. When I though enough time had passed, I placed the second layer of banana cake on top, and placed it back in the fridge while I prepared the whipped cream frosting.
When I was ready to decorate the cake, I opened the fridge, and gasped when I saw that the pastry cream was oozing and dripping down the sides of the cake. Not pretty. I guess I didn't let it set enough. But I tried not to freak out, and just used a spatula to scrape off the excess pastry cream and dump it in the sink. What a waste. At least there was still a thin layer of pastry cream in between the two cakes!
After covering my cake with whipped cream and piping a shell border on the bottom, I returned it to the fridge and then began to make my ganache glaze. I used an Ina Garten recipe, and it was so simple to make - just semisweet chocolate, heavy cream! I didn't want the glaze to melt the whipped cream on my cake, so I waited for it to come to room temperature first. But perhaps I waited too long, because by the time I spread it over my cake, it wasn't drippy enough to ooze down the sides!
The next time I make this, I think I'd change a few things - a) I'd use my mom's banana bread recipe, as it is still my favorite; b) I'd lighten the pastry cream with whipped cream, which might help it from oozing out the sides; c) I'd spread the ganache when it's warm and still slightly runny. But the cake still ended up tasting great, and I especially loved the flavor combination of all the components! Bananas, chocolate, and cream - YUM! Perfect for a blogiversary! :)