Monday, January 16, 2012

Dad's Dark Chocolate Ganache Covered, Fresh Banana and Peanut Butter-Mousse Filled Yellow Birthday Cake


Happy New Year with a very very very late post. This cake is not even something I made this year but deserves a special post nonetheless. This was Dad's birthday cake from just before Christmas and it was one that was very carefully thought out. But I'm just going to be honest - I've newly rediscovered this phenomenon called "sleep", and I haven't baked a thing since the New Year except maybe a DiGorno's. And I'm not sorry at all. Christmas and New Years were the perfect end to 2011 with some time off of work, a great family gathering at my boyfriend's and then an epic ski trip with a big group of wonderfully silly and awesome friends.

My sister and I really had to puzzle this cake out. If we ever cooked or baked anything just for him, he'd obligingly eat it, but generally speaking, my dad doesn't really have a sweet tooth. We brain stormed and recollected the bits and pieces of our childhood for any memory for a sweet or treat that he favored. What we determined was that the cake would have to have peanuts or peanut butter, a simple classic yellow cake, dark chocolate and maybe caramel. Something like a snickers bar. What I ended up with was a four layer yellow cake with fresh banana filling, peanut butter mousse, and a dark chocolate ganache. Sorry. I can't do simple. Not worth my time.

I'm not a fan of yellow cake but this yellow cake was light, moist and fluffy thanks to an adaptation of a Cake Bible recipe. It was so light and fluffy, in fact, that if I were to make it again, I'd torte it in fewer layers so it could hold up a little better. This is a yellow cake that I'd gladly eat again and serve to my favorite people. The peanut butter mousse (by far my favorite part) tasted just like a Snickers ice cream bar. I could've eaten scoops of that stuff. The airy mousse paired perfectly with the fluffiness of the cake. I sliced up some ripe bananas to go in between the layers and topped the whole thing off with a my favorite dark chocolate ganache.

As an afterthought, I made some chocolate curls and melted some almond bark for the writing. We brought this cake to Dad's surprise birthday party and my uncle's sushi restaurant. There wasn't a teeny tiny piece left. I think he liked it.

One would think that having been a science major in college, and having worked in research all my adult life, I'd be better at documenting what it is I'm adapting in the kitchen. Alas, let's hope that I scribbled down on my stained and tatterred baking notepad how it was exactly that I formulated this creation so that the "experiment" can be repeatable...

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