06 December 2009
This is my husband's traditional birthday cake. His mother got the recipe out of a magazine a long time ago and since then he HAS to have this cake - otherwise it's not a proper birthday.
CHOCOLATE BANANA SHEET CAKE
6 large eggs
6 tablespoons water
300 g / 10.5 oz sugar
120 g / 4.2 oz flour
80 g / 2.8 oz starch
50 g / 1.8 oz cocoa powder
1 package vanilla pudding powder
1 package vanilla sugar or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 l / 2 cups milk
150 g / 5.3 oz butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup strawberry jam
4 tablespoons dark rum
200 g / 7 oz dark chocolate
Before you do anything else, preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F and prepare your baking sheet. I like to use the "deep pan" and some parchment paper that I make stick to the pan with a little bit of butter. Those dark globs are butter.
Weigh out the flour, the starch and the cocoa powder. Then sift it.
If you don't like sifting (or your sift is in the dishwasher), either mix it with a wire whisk or give it a couple of spins in the food processor. You just don't want any lumps in your delicate dough.
Separate the 6 eggs. Kinda pretty, isn't it? Set the yolks aside, we'll need them later.
Add the water to the egg whites and beat it on medium (with the whisk attachment of course) until it is white and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar and go on beating until you have stiff peaks and some of the sugar is dissolved. It's a bit like making a meringue.
See? Stiff peaks. That's what you want.
Legend says that beaten egg whites are just right when the foam can support a whole egg. I'd rather not try this out, but you get the point.
Anyway, slowly stir the yolks into the meringue batter.
Fold in the sifted flour mixture, this must be done very gently. It's best to do this by hand. And I like adding the flour in 2 to 3 installments.
Once you have a smooth batter, pour it onto your baking sheet and smooth it out.
Then bake it for ca. 20 min. until it feels like a dry sponge.
Turn it over on a cooling rack and get the paper off while the cake is still hot. That side looks much better than the top, right?
That day, I decided to make just half a cake and freeze the rest of the chocolate sponge. Just wrap it in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and label it.
I'm just showing you this so you won't get confused when I write things that don't 100 percent correspond to the pictures.
Making the vanilla cream is just like cooking pudding, with the difference that you melt the butter with the milk. So basically follow the instructions of your pudding package plus the butter.
This is my half sheet cake and I put it back onto the baking sheet with parchment paper. Then drizzle on the rum so that the cake gets a little bit moist. And tasty. You can't beat rum in baking.
Stir the strawberry jam until it is spreadable, maybe get some big chunks of strawberry out and cover the whole cake with the jam.
Cut the bananas into 5 mm thick slices and lay them in a single layer on top of the strawberry jam.
Now spread the vanilla cream on top of the bananas and LET. IT. COOL. And it takes quite a while to cool down. I'm always too impatient and try to cover the cake with chocolate too early and all I get is a big mess of pudding and chocolate.
Melt the chocolate over steam or in the microwave and pour it onto the vanilla cream. I guess I was too impatient there as well - something went wrong and the chocolate got white streaks.
Anyway, this cake is terribly tasty and even better the next day.