Friday, September 10, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cake w/ Custard & Bananas - Don't Save It For Someones Birthday!

Don't you just hate waiting a whole year for your birthday to come around to enjoy your special cake?I'm putting an official end to that, I here-by grant you permission to eat cake any day! Sounds like a great idea, huh?

The cake recipe is adapted from a Hersey's cook book and the girls love it, so I haven't tweaked it much, the cake batter seems really runny but it ends up being so moist.

Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder - European style or Hershey's
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. In a large mixer bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 22-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. I know the minutes sounds random, but I always like to start checking my cakes a little early by the time you smell them, they are over baked.

A tip for you: I don't grease and flour pans. Cut a circle of parchment paper out the size of the bottom of your pan, spray the pan with no stick spray, lay the parchment in and spray again. Run a knife around the edge of the pan when cooled, invert the cake and pull off the parchment.

While cakes are cooling, make a batch of frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder 
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Add butter to the mixer and beat on high for 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla, turn mixer on and add milk a little bit at a time until a frosting is firm but still soft enough to spread. Spread a little bit of the frosting on the cake and if your spreader is not gliding nicely add a little more milk. I like to use a small offset spatula to frost.

A tip for you: The custard is staying put in the center of the cake because I put a small amount of the icing in a pastry bag, and piped a circle of it on the outside edge of the cake.

Custard (Pastry Cream)
1 1/2 cups milk (low-fat works fine)
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter

Pour milk into a saucepan, add vanilla bean paste and heat on medium heat until almost boiling. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and sugar until well blended and smooth. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the yolks. Add the rest of hot milk to yolks and whisk till combined.

Heat the mixture till boiling, whisking constantly. Cook for one minute until thick. Remove from heat and add butter. Strain the pastry cream into a bowl, through a fine sieve to remove any egg bits. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the surface of the cream and store in fridge. You can make the cream up to a couple of days ahead.

I got the custard recipe from Cindy Mushet's book the Art and Soul of Baking.

On top of the custard add a layer of bananas, then put the top layer on the cake and continue till it's all frosted and pretty. Make sure and store the cake in the fridge.

Happy Birthday whenever that may be!

Serves 8.




  1. That looks absolutely decadent and moist and most importantly perfect for my belly! Will try this one for my son's b-day coming soon! Thanks for the recipe and good luck with Project Food Blog!

  2. don't think can save it for anyone's birthday either! so yummy!!!

  3. Looks so good. Will have to try it for my friend's going away party :)

  4. Chocolate and banana is a heavenly food combination. This cake is perfection. Good luck with Project Food Blog!

  5. mmmmmmm. i think i'd make that with a peanut butter filling. call it a chocolate elvis. :) haha. sounds wonderful!

  6. haha your husband seems like my husbands: always the same requests! But I understand why he might want this cake every time. I'm not a fan of chocolate but with the combination of custard and bananas....yummy!

  7. I couldn't agree more about cake!! ANY day is a good day for cake and this one looks to die for!! :)

  8. Gina, that looks amazing! I love chocolate and bananas and this cake is positively decadent sounding. Wish I had a piece right about now :o)

  9. Yum! Yum! Yum! Chocolate and bananas. Nothing could be finer.

  10. Chocolate, custard and bananas--that sounds delicious! My husband wants German chocolate every year, so one year I made a German chocolate skyscraper cheesecake, just to break up the monotony.

  11. mmmm,drooling!:))a fabulous cake!

  12. What a great wifey you are! I love this recipe.

  13. This looks so good! Oh my, deeeeeeellliiissshhh!

  14. oh looks fantastic! loved the recipe

  15. Oh Gina this looks so good! My daughter has loved bananas since the day she was born, she will love this. Happy birthday to your husband!!

  16. I think Jana may be on to something, I could just imagine the addition of chopped up peanut butter cups in the center too! Thanks everyone!

  17. These are two flavors I can never get enough of...Looks amazing :)

  18. what an incredible cake! you had me at chocolate cake, and then you added that luscious cream and banana' delicious that must have been!!!

  19. I don't know if you can make anything better than this. I mean truly...chocolate, bananas, and lots of luscious cream. Can I please come over for a slice? :-)

  20. That looks delicious! I do get in the habit of just making cakes for birthdays. This is one I definitely don't want to wait for! Thanks :)

  21. What a yummy looking cake! Also a great idea to pipe some frosting around the edge of cake to keep the frosting from running. I'm writing that tip down.

  22. My daughter's birthday was yesterday and I made our family favorite -which is tradition that I can't mess with! But, this is such a winning combination that I'll have to find another reason to bake a cake :)

  23. Gina, beautifully done! I frequently do a custard filling on a cake, but it's been a long time since I put bananas between the layers of a chocolate cake. Probably because my husband isn't a huge fan of bananas. But I am, so I maybe I'll make one for ME!

  24. Gina, this is a 5-star chocolate cake! Banana and chocolate are great together.

  25. But it's chocolate! Sure, it's gorgeous. Sure, it looks incredible moist and delicious. But, it's chocolate! ::sob::

  26. I luv, luv this cake. All the things I enjoy in one dessert...cake, chocolate, custard & bananas! A luscious and decadent treat.

  27. Oh this looks sooo yummy and I am going to say healthy since it contains fruit, right? :-)

    Good luck in the Project Food Blog!

  28. Banana and chocolate? I love it!

    Good luck in Project Food Blog. Can't wait to read all your entry posts!

  29. What a good wife you are Gina :) This sounds so good, I can see why he would request it. My husband always talks about a pie with chocolate and banana, I wonder if it's similar to this cake. Will have to ask him. Thanks for the permission to eat cake any day I want, hehe :)