What could be more classic and more homely than the traditional banana cake with chocolate frosting?
What about ramping it up a notch by not only substituting a browned butter flavour instead of regular butter, but also using a salted chocolate ganache as a frosting. Can you say amaze-balls? The browned butter turns it from a regular banana cake, to something special that you could serve as a dessert or for a birthday (or any special occasion really!) and it brings out a wonderfully nutty depth of flavour. The salted chocolate ganache also makes it a great cake to serve at your next dinner party. It is rich and decadent, just what you need to turn your next occasion from regular dinner party, to showstopper dessert.
It’s also not difficult to make, perhaps a little more more than your regular banana cake but definitely so worth it! I’ve been wanting to make this cake for a while, the original recipe for the Brown Butter Banana Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache comes from Fine Cooking, but I wanted a slightly scaled down version that would be easier to make (for you guys who are also short on time like I was!) so my version is below.
This cake really is excellent for those days when you want something just a little bit more special than a regular banana cake, but you don’t want to have to put in a lot of effort. This recipe is pretty easy and although you have to wait for the browned butter to set again, you could totally make this earlier in the day or even the day before and then it’s just like using regular butter in a banana cake but 1000x better! Mmmm butterrrr… My boyfriend always says that everything I make has butter in it, but I say stop bashing on butter. It is preeeeeetty amazing plus it’s almost always a must in baking! Even better when browned, so I would advise not to skip that step. Want all this glorious-ness for yourself? Get going! Happy baking!
- 175g (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tspn baking powder
- 3/4 tspn salt
- 1 tspn cinnamon
- 1/2 tspn baking soda
- 2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 5 medium-sized bananas)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature[br]
- 60g (4 Tbspn) butter
- 400g (14oz) bittersweet chocolate (around 50-60% cocoa)
- 3/4 tspn sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn dark brown, about 5 minutes.
- Immediately scrape the browned butter and milk solids into a shallow bowl. Refrigerate until softly set, about 1 hour.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line two 20cm (8 inch) round cake tins.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mashed bananas and buttermilk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and using an electric hand beater), beat the browned butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the flour and banana mixtures in three additions each.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared tins, and smooth with the spatula. Tap the tins on the counter to break any air bubbles.
- Bake the cakes, rotating and switching positions halfway through baking, until a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the tins on racks for 10 minutes.
- Turn the cakes out onto the racks, remove the baking paper, and leave to cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn dark brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately scrape the browned butter and milk solids into a medium-sized bowl. Add the chocolate and kosher salt.
- Bring the cream to a boil in the same pot over medium heat, and then pour over the chocolate and butter. Let stand 2 minutes, before whisking together until smooth. Cool at room temperature, stirring every 15 minutes, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.
- If you get impatient, you can stick it in the fridge to cool it faster, but you may need to let it stand on the bench for around 15 minutes before spreading on the cakes.
- Put one of the cake layers on a cake plate (or whatever you will be serving/transporting the cake on) and top with 1/3 of the ganache, spreading it to the edge with an offset spatula.
- Add the other cake layer on top and spread the remaining 2/3 of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of sea salt.
- The cake will keep at room temperature, covered with a dome, for up to 24 hours.