Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Filling & Chocolate Ganache Frosting


For the Cake:
3 cups cake flour (or 3 cups all purpose flour MINUS 3 tablespoons)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon well shaken buttermilk

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate (60-72%), finely chopped
8 ounces good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the Ganache (to be poured on top of the chocolate ganache frosting):
8 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Chopped salted peanuts for garnish


To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans.  Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper and then dust with flour and knock out the excess flour.  In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk to combine and set aside.  In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl). Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 10-15 seconds after each addition, until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.  Turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla and bananas, and beat until incorporated. (If the mixture appears curdled, keep beating slowly until the mixture looks like it is coming back together.)    Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.  Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat 10 to 15 seconds, or until incorporated after each addition.  Divide the batter among the prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 35-45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.
To prepare the chocolate ganache frosting, place both chocolates in the bowl of a standing mixer.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, then remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes.  Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture by hand until it is completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Returning the bowl to the standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, gradually add the butter to the chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated. The frosting should be completely smooth and have a silky look.
To prepare the peanut butter filling, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat on medium low speed until just combined.    Sift in the confectioners sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth.
Trim the tops of your cake so they are flat and all the same height.  Place one cake layer on your serving platter (however I recommend using a disposable cake board under your cake to allow transferring the cake from the serving platter to a cake saver MUCH easier).   Evenly spread HALF the peanut butter filling on top of the first cake layer.   Top with 1 1/4 cups of the frosting and gently smooth it out.   Add the next cake layer, spread with the remaining peanut butter filling and top with another 1 1/4 cups of the frosting.   Add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as crumb coating and will help to keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.)    Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm it up.

Meanwhile, to prepare the ganache, place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the bowl of a double broiler over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water and stir the glaze to release excess heat. 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cake on a wire rack on the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 3/4 cup of the warm glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from the fridge and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the edges in a thick stream. You should be able to control the size and length of the streams by how quickly you pour. Garnish with the salted peanuts and chill the cake for about 20 minutes or until the glaze is set.

Serve at room temperature. The cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with a cake dome or in a cake saver, for up to 3 days. 


recipe from Baked Elements