Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kristi's Banana Birthday Cake

There was a very special date on the calendar last week.  Kristi's birthday!  It was a big one... she's finally able to rent a car without paying extra fees.  As usual we chose a cake from our "I need to make this but don't have an occasion special enough to justify it" list.  And once again we were disappointed in ourselves for having waited so long to bake our selection.  This is three layers richly dense banana cake separated by a light chocolate whipped cream, topped with decadent dark chocolate ganache and toasted coconut.

Enough about cake, we talk about that all the time here.  Let's celebrate the birthday girl with 25 things I love about her.
1. Her skills in the kitchen (I had to!)
2. Kristi-rules for board games.
3. We can have an entire conversation without saying a single word.  This used to get us in trouble at the dinner table all the time.
4. She's my twin born two and a half years late.
5. Style. My wardrobe is much improved when I can raid her closet.
6. Passion about science and her research.
7. Eggs and bacon for breakfast. Every. Morning.
8. She puts up with my version of the day of her birth.
9. She bought a chest freezer so we could buy half a cow's worth of local beef.
10. Photography skillz.
11. Landscaping skillz. (read: she mows the lawn)
12. Lack of hairstyling skillz.
13. She measured our heights on the kitchen wall every day until her line surpassed mine.
14. Dinner is waiting for me in the fridge when I get home late from work.
15. We have a MRSA stuffed creature hanging from a lamp in our living room.
16. Every wall in our house would be painted purple if she had her way.
17. Descriptions of foods she doesn't like are quite vivid.
18. She has just about as many pairs of socks as me.
19. She wants to do the photo quizzes from my medical journals together.
20. Princess Bride. JAG. NCIS.
21. She's the biggest copy cat I know.
22. Her cat calls me auntie.
23. She's converted me into a coffee drinker.
24. That some people think we look the same.
25. She'll always be my favorite little sister. And never a day older than a high school freshman.

Chocolate Banana Cake (adapted from A Spicy Perspective)
Serves 10-12

Banana Cake
3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon homemade vanilla2 large ripe bananas, smashed
3 cups cake flour (replace 6 tablespoons of flour with cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (add a splash of white vinegar to whole milk and let it sit for a bit)

Chocolate Ganache
10 oz. dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon corn syrup

Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons homemade vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg whites, vanilla, and bananas.
Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a separate bowl.
Sift flour mixture together several times.
Add 1/3 of flour to wet ingredients.
Mix in half of the butter milk.
Alternate wet and dry ingredients, ending with dry. Scrape bowl as necessary.
Divide evenly into 3 greased and floured 9-inch rounds.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden.
Cool on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.

Finely chop dark chocolate.
Microwave heavy cream in microwave until it just starts to bubble.
Remove and stir in chocolate until it completely melts.
Stir in corn syrup.
Let cool until just barely pourable.

Beat all frosting ingredients together until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake, remove layers from freezer and unwrap.
Place first layer on cake plate and top with one quarter of the whipped cream. repeat with layer two.
Gently place third layer on top of the other two and top with remaining whipped cream.
Press toasted coconut along the bottom half of the cake.
Pour ganache over the top so it flows onto plate.

Eat a piece for dinner and another for dessert (which may or may not have been what I did!)

                                                                                         A sneaky kitty ^^

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