29th Wedding Anniversary
“Knowing you will be with me in all my tomorrows, makes my today so wonderful”.
On Saturday morning I was still feeling terrible after three days of flu so when my husband asked me if I needed anything from the supermarket I knew that I wanted to make a cake for our 29thWedding Anniversary, but had no idea what I was going to make. I told my husband to bring a few basic things such as eggs, flour, cream cheese and white chocolate.
Yesterday morning I was already feeling much better so I started thinking what to make with the ingredients I had. I knew that I wanted to make a white cake, as the last cake I made two weeks ago, was a very dark chocolate cake. (I was planning to post this cake last week but it has to wait a few more days).
Looking in my bookmarked recipes file I found this recipe which was made with Génoise sponge cake and that also gave me the idea to use two very ripe bananas which had to be used. The cake required cake flour, which I normally don’t use, so I google searched to see how I could replace it and found the answer here.
For the filling I made some whipped cream which I used half with the cream cheese and flavoured with some poached red grapes I made again on Tuesday, this time I made a larger amount and used some different spices such as cinnamon, cloves, peppers and star anise. When I pureed the grapes to add to the cream cheese mixture I made sure that there were a couple of peppercorns in the mixture as well as a clove. That gave the cream cheese a lovely spicy taste as well as some colour to the cream.
For the topping I used half the whipped cream with white chocolate and baileys liqueur. I caramelized the two ripe bananas with honey, brown sugar and almonds. When I finished the decoration I still thought that something was missing so I melted some couverture chocolate and added the leftover almonds and caramel which were in the tin. Since my piping bag was already in the sink I just used a plastic bag to make some stripes, which however did not work very well because of the almonds.
The list of ingredients looks huge but it was not a very difficult cake to make. The whole procedure takes about two hours, including cooling and refrigerating time as simultaneously you can prepare the next step. You can use the same mixer bowl to whip the cream, then to add the cream cheese and a third time to whip the chocolate and whipping cream without having to wash it three times. The same applies for the bain Marie in which you can melt both chocolates.
Although the cake was supposed to wait for today, no one of us could wait for today, so we ate half the cake yesterday and the children had a second piece.
Spicy White Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Bananas, Recipe by Ivy
Basic Génoise Sponge Cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 cup sifted cake flour or if you don’t have any use 1 ½ cup all purpose flour from which you remove 3 tablespoons and add 3 tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch)
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat the oven to 180°C (350F°).
- Trace on a parchment paper your baking tin but do not cut until you have sifted the flour. Your will also need another piece of parchment or aluminum foil as you have to sift the flour and corn flour many times. When you have finished with the sifting cut the parchment paper and line a 26 – 28 cm (10 – 11-inch) spring form cake pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool and pour into small mixing bowl; set aside.
Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and put the eggs for five minutes to soak for better aeration.
- Break each egg separately and put in the Mixer bowl. Add sugar, vanilla and salt. Using an electric mixer, whip egg mixture at high speed for about 10 minutes. This will give you time to sift flour and corn flour five times so that they will mix well.
- Pour about 1 cup of batter into the melted butter, and fold just until combined. Return butter mixture to reserved batter, and again fold to combine.
- Using a sift (I used a small tea strainer) sift the flour in the egg mixture a little at a time and fold with a spatula. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated into the mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared tin.
- Smooth batter evenly and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (I baked it for 30 minutes).
- Cool 10 minutes, then run a table knife blade around the outside edge of cake, freeing the sides and allowing air to get under the layer.
- Invert cake onto rack and allow to cool completely.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 tsps thyme honey
- 2 tablespoons brown cane sugar
- 1/3 cup almonds, grinded
- In a bowl add the honey and the bananas cut about 1 cm thick diagonally. In another bowl mix sugar with almonds.
- Coat bananas with honey and then dip in the sugar-almond mixture.
- Place on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, as soon as the sponge cake is ready.
- 750 ml heavy cream
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- Beat cream with icing sugar until peaks form.
- Divide mixture and refrigerate half.
Note: I did not add too much sugar in the cream as the white chocolate I used (MILKA) was very sweet.
Cream cheese filling
- 400 grams cream cheese
- ½ of the whipped cream
- 2 tablespoons pureed grape sauce
- 25 ml baileys liqueur
- Add cream cheese to the remaining whipped cream and whip.
- In a food processor add the poached grapes with a couple of peppercorns and one clove, as well as the baileys liqueur and process. Add to the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.
- ½ of whipped cream
- 200 grams white chocolate (Milka)
- 25 ml baileys
- 1 tsp butter
- In a bain Marie melt the chocolate and add the baileys and butter and mix. Allow to cool and put in the mixer bowl and whisk until creamy.
- Add the half whipped cream and mix to combine.
Reserve a couple of teaspoons of whipped cream for the dark chocolate.
- 50 grams couverture chocolate
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp whipped cream
- Almonds and caramel from bananas (optional)about 1 tablespoon
- In a bain Marie melt the chocolate. Add the whipped cream, butter, caramel and almonds and mix.
- Allow to cool before using to decorate the cake.
Putting the cake together
Divide the sponge cake and put one piece in a platter.
Put spring form ring on the cake and add the cream cheese filling. Put the second piece of sponge cake and remove the parchment paper. Refrigerate for an hour.
Remove the spring form ring and decorate the cake with the white chocolate cream.
Add the caramelized bananas and the dark chocolate.
Serve the cake with poached red grapes or only with the syrup of the grapes.
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