August 5, 2013

Jamaican Banana Layer Cake| A Marcy Goldman Recipe

This is my first layer cake. And i was as excited as any one could be. When i began the baking. And this cake defeated most of my beliefs about a layer cake. I ve always thought baking layer cakes are tedious, frosting them is a pain and a layer cake for two people is ludicrous. I was proven wrong. Incredibly wrong. So, believe me when i say, you should not let a layer cake intimidate you. Instead, you have to get in your hands in the batter and intimidate the cake!


Now, i have to tell you all about Marcy Goldman. True to the title, her book, A Passion For Baking, reflects her deep innate passion for baking in every page, in every image and every letter. Its easily a beginners guide and a professional baker s delight. Its hard to find a book that can be both, mind you. It also doubles up as a super baking book for a person like me, hanging in between. You know, the jack of all trades kind?
Our group of  Avant Garde Cookies turned one this month. My! my. I cant believe that we ve been cooking along for a year now. So, we decided to have a blast this month by going overboard with food. We picked baking a layer cake with frosting et al for the first week. And i picked Marcy s book without batting a lash the moment the decision was made. Like i said, i was a little petrified at the thought of making a layer cake and frosting it too. But Marcy makes it sound like eating a cake itself so, i m here with my first cake. I dint want to make a chocolate cake. No, really, with no disrespect to chocolate lovers, i m not a chocolate person. And no, stop staring at the screen as though you are reading a mad woman s journal. Its ok not to be crazy about chocolate. But this one has chocolate frosting. So, i guess i ve made peace with you all.Lets move on to the cake,shall we?

Recipe For Jamaican Banana Layer Cake
( A two layer banana flavored cake with chocolate frosting)

Prep Time: 2 hours including time to frost
Cook Time: 30 mins for the cakes
Serves 7 to 8 generously 
Yields two 6" round cakes
Source: Loosely adapted from Marcy Goldman s A Passion For Baking

Ingredients

For The Cake
Flour 162 g
Sour Cream:
Amul cream 3/4 c
Lemon juice 1/2 tbsp
Sugar 210 g powdered
Eggs 2 large at room temp
Unsalted Soft Butter 112 g at room temp
Banana puree 1/2 c
Baking powder 2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Rum extract 1.5 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Dry dessicated coconut 1/4 c divided
Chocolate chips 1/4 c
Banana slices from 2 large bananas.

For The Frosting 

Unsalted soft Butter 1/2 c  (115g)
Confectioner s sugar 2 to 2.5 c
Milk 2 tbsp
Cocoa powder 1/3 c

Directions

Lets make the cakes first.
Take two 6 inch round pans and grease generously. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream and lemon juice, whisk and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and whisk well.
Preheat oven to 180 C for 10 mins
In another larger mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric whisk until fluffy.
Now add the cream and whisk well again until well incorporated.
Break the eggs in next and add the rum and vanilla extract.
Whisk the mixture well until frothy.
Now, add the banana puree and whisk again till incorporated.
To this mixture, add the flour mixture in two batches, folding in the mixture into the wet mix gently every time you add a batch. I used a silicon spatula to fold.
After you add the second batch and you ve folded, make sure you see no dry flour mixture anywhere at the bottom or the sides of the bowl. If you find any, scrape and fold again.
Now, whisk the batter on low speed with an electric beater for about 1 minute until you see folds in the batter.
Once done, add the chocolate chips to the batter and mix. But take care not to over mix the batter or you will have dense cakes.
Pour half the batter into one of the prepaped pans and the other half into the other pan. Your pans must be half full.
Sprinkle the dry desiccated coconut on the top of each pan.
Now, i dint want my cakes to crown. So i covered the tins with a tin foil sheet before i put them for baking.
I would recommend doing this as we ll be frosting our cake.
Once you cover the tin with foil, bake for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes clean.
Once done, take out and let cool completely.
Now comes the difficult part. Either to slice away and eat or to let cool further and frost. The choice is absolutely yours but remember the gorgeous chocolate butter cream before you make a choice.
Once the cake cools down, put it in the fridge for a good 3 hours.
Cold cakes are easier to frost.
At the end of the third hour, get started with the frosting.
In a mixing bowl, place the butter, sugar and the cocoa.
Whisk well until fluffy and incorporated. An electric whisk works best for this.
You need to have a thick spreadable consistency of the frosting.
Once the ingredients get mixed well, add the milk and run the whisk on high speed for about 2 to 3 mins.
This is for getting an uber smooth butter cream.
Once done, bring the cakes out.
Place the cakes on an elevated surface on the plate in which you will display the cake. You cant possibly be shifting around the cake easily once you begin frosting it.
Place one cake on the plate.
Now, take about 1/4 c of the icing and spread carefully on the top.
Gently arrange the slice of banana over the iced layer.
Now place the other cake over this.
Now, gently put a dollop of the frosting on the top and spread evenly with a spatula.
When you start frosting the sides, place some frosting on the top of the layer and gently drag down the sides to spread. I apologise for not taking pictures but this is my first time too and i was concentrating completely.
Make sure you cover the entire cake with frosting.
Even out the frosting with a spatula in the end.
You can do something fancy if you have it in you on the top of the cake.
I had some icing remaining and i piped them as roses on the top.
Once done, leave the cake in the fridge for half an hour for the icing to set.
Slice and serve.


P.S.  Use of rum extract and coconut is optional but i wanted the full jamaican impact so opted using the both.
You can also use coffee instead of rum.
The cream may curdle when you add lemon juice but there s no need to panic. 

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