Cake 3: Banana Layer Cake with German Icing

(I missed last week's class which was a carrot cake).

Banana Layer Cake with German IcingWe began Saturday's class by making the cake layers. Creaming the emulsified shortening and cake flour together coats the particles with fat so that gluten doesn't form as easily, contributing to a more tender cake. After adding the dry ingredients, we added sugars and water and eggs. The last ingredient to go in were bananas. However, these were overripe ones that had been frozen, giving them a brown, soggy appearance. Ickiness aside, Chef reminded us that very ripe bananas give the best flavour. She also suggested adding banana liqueur to the batter if the bananas aren't fully ripe. The finished batter was scraped into 7-inch round tins and baked.

Onto the oddly named icing: apparently, this icing is often used on German chocolate cake or Queen Elizabeth cake. In any case, Chef didn't think it was very European at all, much more like an American icing. I went over to the range to melt butter and sugar together with evaporated milk. My partner whisked egg yolks and clear vanilla extract together. After tempering the eggs with a bit of hot liquid, I whisked the combined mixture over heat until it thickened. Flaked unsweetened coconut and finely chopped walnuts were the last additions. We learned from Chef that Chinese walnuts are typically more bitter than light-coloured California ones: the lighter the skin, the milder the flavour.

While the icing was still warm and spreadable, we spread icing between the cake layers then masked the whole thing. For the finishing touch, we drizzled melted chocolate on top and sprinkled the side with more coconut. The cake was quite sweet, as a cake should be, and the flavours worked nicely together. I froze my cake after double wrapping the whole box in clingfilm.


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