I believe that many keen home cooks, like me, have a certain cake they cook over and over again. For me, this cake has for the last couple of years been the almost famous chocolate mud cake. It is the cake former colleagues still rave about and its the cake my mum asks me to bake again and again for special occasions. But as with most things in life, there was a cake before the cake. Long before I had ever heard of the mud cake, my cake was a simple banana cake, which I always made whenever it was my turn to bring the weekly cake for my high school class – a much loved tradition in Danish schools. It was the sort of cake you could not mess up, and it always turned out beautifully.
Back then I always used a recipe from the dairy giant Arla, which has a very good recipe service, and that recipe was also the inspiration when I created the banana cake above – although with several changes. I chose to bake the cake in a 6″/15 cm round cake tin instead of a 1 liter bread tin, as it looks a bit more festive. Also, instead of just pouring melted dark chocolate over the cake, I filled and covered the cake with chocolate ganache and decorated the sides with chopped walnuts – but really, any kind of nuts you might have at hand would work just as well.
You can also make a much simpler version of this cake by skipping the melted chocolate or the chocolate ganache covering and eat it like it is or add a bit of chopped chocolate and, if you please, a few chopped nuts to the cake dough, or simply just a teaspoon of ground cinnamon which compliments the banana taste very well.
It was not only the look of the cake and the frosting I changed when I followed the recipe. I added less sugar, as the chocolate ganache filling and covering will add to the sweetness. Also, I doubled the amount of banana, as I love a stronger taste of banana and the moist consistency of the cake it creates.
This photo is taken after the cake spent a night in the fridge. It really does not do the end result justice, but I thought would put it up anyway as I did not get to take a photo on the night we actually ate the cake.
- 100 g melted butter, slightly cooled
- 125 g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 150 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla essence
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
Ingredients for the chocolate ganache
- 70 g butter
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp cream
- 100 g walnuts (or other kind of nut) chopped roughly
Pre-heat the oven to 175/C. Mix flour and baking powder. Whip together eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add a bit of the melted butter to the egg mixture and stir, then add a bit of the flour mixture and stir again. Continue until all the butter and the flour mixture have been added. Add the mashed bananas and put the dough in a buttered 6”/15 cm round cake tin or similar. Bake in the bottom of the oven for about 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool.
Mean while make the chocolate ganache by melting together butter and chocolate over low heat. When melted stir, add the cream and stir again. Leave to cool slightly before slicing the cake in two, spread a bit of the chocolate ganache over one side and put the cake back together. Spread the rest of the chocolate ganache over the top and sides and finish by covering the sides with the chopped nuts.