The Cake Slice: Banana Cake with Praline Filling and White Chocolate GanacheJanuary 20, 2009 at 7:30 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, the cake slice | 40 Comments
Ack–I didn’t realize that this post and the TWD one would fall on the same day! So in addition to having to crank out two posts on Monday night, I have also been subsisting on an all-cake diet for the past week!
This Banana Cake with Praline Filling and White Chocolate Ganache happens to be the latest installment of The Cake Slice. I guess the title kinda tells it all, right? You start with a white cake, softly flavored with banana purée. The tall layers are stacked with a white chocolate ganache frosting that has sugared pecans folded through. Then the cake gets frosted with the remainder of the ganache, and decorated with the rest of the pecans. I halved the original recipe to make a six-inch layer cake. Normally, I get six servings from a six-incher, but this cake was so toweringly high that I was able to get eight!
I will admit that I did not make the sugared pecans according to the recipe’s directions, which call for deep frying. I didn’t want to use up half a bottle of oil to fry off a few nuts, so I dry-toasted them in a skillet instead. Then I added a pat of butter, a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar and a sprinkle of salt, and cooked the nuts until the sugar and butter made a glaze. I use this technique to make crunchy candied nuts for snacks and salads all the time, and it works really well.
As someone who is not terribly fond of white chocolate, it surprises me to say that I thought the ganache frosting/filling was the star of the show! The banana cake definitely has the texture of a white cake, rather than something more banana bready, and the flavor is gentle, too. It goes so well with the frosting, which is made by mixing ganache into softly whipped unsweetend cream. The whipped cream really mellows out and tones down the tooth-achy sweetness of the white chocolate, and the resulting frosting is soft, light and decadent. I will definitely be using this recipe again, as it’s super-good and much less rich than a traditional whipped ganache frosting (which I have described here and here).
All-in-all, this was a delicious cake…and one I’m really glad I made! Here’s a printable link to the recipe (better yet, get your hands on a copy of Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alicia Huntsman and Peter Wynne), and cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our banana cakes this month.