BANANA CHOCO HAZELNUT CAKE


by TESSA HUFF
CONTRIBUTOR, THE CAKE BLOG

It’s the peak of summer, and I am sure we are all starting to feel the heat.  You are most likely reaching for all your favorite frozen treats every afternoon.  One of my favorites is a frozen chocolate-dipped banana.  Yumm!  I’ve been seeing recipes for bite-sized varieties pop up on several of the desserts blogs lately, so I was inspired to make you all a cake version.


So this cake might not actually be frozen or super cool and refreshing, but it is extremely flavorful. And fairly sinful.  So if you can’t beat the heat, then you might as well indulge. If you are courageous enough to brave turning on the oven, then you deserve a slice of this rich and extremely moist cake.


Like the frozen treat, layers of banana cake are paired with dark chocolate.  To elevated this cake, I created a chocolate-hazelnut buttercream. The buttercream was used in the filling as well as frosting. Might as well send a spoonful straight to your mouth while you are at, it’s that good. I’ve garnished the cake with chopped, toasted hazelnuts for added texture and extra crunch. Serve with salted caramel sauce to tie it all together.




BANANA CHOCO HAZELNUT CAKE

a recipe by Tessa Huff
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For the Banana Cake:
3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and lightly flour two 6″ round pans.
  2. Mash ripe bananas in a small bowl with a fork and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.  Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  5. [post_ads]With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Stop the mixer.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients.
  8. Mix in the yogurt or sour cream.
  9. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  10. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined.
  11. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden – about 22-25 minutes for the recommended size.
  12. Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.



For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces chocolate – about 65% cacao
6 ounces heavy cream

Chop the chocolate and place in a heat-safe bowl.  Heat the cream over medium-low until it starts to simmer.  Be careful not the burn the cream!  Once it starts to come to a low simmer, pour over the chopped chocolate.  Let sit 30 seconds before whisking together until smooth.  Let cool before use.



For the Nutella Buttercream:
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

  1. Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk until combined.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to cream a double-boiler.
  3. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
  5. Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
  6. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
  7. Add vanilla and chocolate hazelnut spread.   Whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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NOTE: The buttercream may look like curdled or runny after adding the butter.  Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.

For the Assembly:
salted caramel sauce of choice
toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Slice cooled banana cakes in half, horizontally, to create four layers of cake.
  2. Spread a layer of ganache on top of the bottom layer of cake.
  3. Add a layer of buttercream on top of the ganache.
  4. Place the second layer of cake on top of the buttercream and repeat.
  5. Ice with the remaining buttercream.
  6. Garnish with chopped, toasted hazelnuts – if desired.
  7. Serve with salted caramel sauce!


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