Banana split ice cream cake

Happy national ice cream day! I couldn’t let the day pass without celebrating one of my favorite foods! Because I can’t just do things the simple way, and make a regular banana split, I decided to make a banana split cake, made from layers of banana chiffon cake, 3 flavors of ice cream, homemade sauces, and topped with cherries.

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I would recommend starting this at least one day before you need it. The cake components need time to set, and shouldn’t be rushed. I also recommend making the chocolate sauce right before you assemble the cake, otherwise it will thicken up too much and won’t be pourable.

BANANA CHIFFON CAKE

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ c granulated sugar divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ c water
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a mixer and the yolks in a large mixing bowl.20170711_224103
  3. Add ½ cup of sugar and the cream of tarter to the whites.
  4. Using a whisk attachment, whip until stiff peaks form.
  5. While the whites whip, add the mashed bananas, oil, water and vanilla to the yolks. Whisk until well combined.20170711_224854
  6. Add the flour, remaining cup of granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt to the yolk mixture.20170711_225153
  7. Whisk until well combined and smooth.20170711_225321
  8. Once the whites have come to stiff peaks, fold the whites in to the batter carefully but thoroughly.20170711_225619
  9. Spray the bottom only of 3-9” round cake pans, and line with parchment.20170711_225754
  10. Separate batter evenly between the 3 pans.20170711_230118
  11. Bake at 350 until golden brown, and the middle of the cake springs back to the touch, or a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in to the middle of the cake.
  12. Once cooled, refrigerate the cakes until cold.

PINEAPPLE OR STRAWBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 ¼ c crushed pineapple or thawed frozen strawberries
  • ¼ c water
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 T pectin

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place fruit and water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.20170712_231721
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and pectin, add to the boiling fruit.20170712_231234.jpg
  3. Stir constantly for 20 minutes, until thickened slightly.20170712_232021
  4. Skim off any foam.20170716_121914
  5. Refrigerate until use.20170712_233033

 

CHOCOLATE SAUCE

  • 8 oz chopped dark chocolate
  • 10 oz heavy cream
  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.20170715_182214
  4. Whisk until incorporated and glossy.20170715_182605
  5. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, hold until it is just cooled but still pourable.

ASSEMBLY

  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream
  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ½ c heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries with stems
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Banana cake layers
  • Pineapple sauce
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Chocolate sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Let the ice cream sit out until soft but not too melted.20170712_221427
  2. Line the 9” cake pans with parchment. One at a time, place the whole pint of ice cream in a cake pan and spread out in an even layer. Repeat with remaining 2 pints and pans.20170712_232318
  3. Place the cake layers, top side down in each of the pans. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.20170712_232403
  4. Once the layers are set, and you’re ready to build, starting with the strawberry layer, peel the parchment off the cake layer Run a knife along the edge of the cake and ice cream to loosen the sides.20170715_183002
  5. Carefully run hot water over the bottom of the pan, using your hand to support the cake, then tap the pan on the counter until the layer comes out.20170715_183022
  6. Place the layer on your serving plate, ice cream side up, and remove the parchment ( I also use a cake board under the cake, but it’s not mandatory).20170715_183116
  7. Spread the strawberry sauce evenly over the layer, letting some drip down the side.20170715_183148
  8. Repeat the steps with the vanilla ice cream layer and pineapple sauce.20170715_183355
  9. Finish with the chocolate layer and chocolate sauce.20170715_183529
  10. Freeze the built cake while you prep the remaining items, and you’re ready to serve.
  11. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until stiff. Place in a piping bag with a large star tip.20170715_183831
  12. Chop the peanuts.20170715_182318
  13. Pull out the cherries and allow them to dry briefly in a paper towel.
  14. Once you’re ready to serve, pipe several large rosettes around the top of the cake, as well as one in the center.20170715_183906
  15. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the whipped cream.20170715_183948
  16. Top each rosette with a cherry.20170715_184329
  17. Enjoy!!20170715_184327

Spring Carrot Pots

Even as an adult I have a soft spot for the ever popular cup of dirt. I know their generally geared towards kids, but who doesn’t like chocolate pudding and cookies?

As I mentioned in my Robins Egg Cake with Filo Nests post, I love the spring, and I get really inspired by spring and Easter, and cups of dirt seemed like a great base for a cute Easter dessert. Wanting to up the cuteness quotient, I wanted to make carrots you could pull out of the dirt and eat, and because no one wants a real carrot in their pudding, I went with peanut butter carrots. The carrots are great on their own too, you can set out a plate of them with other Easter candy, or stick a few in a basket.

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The base is my favorite chocolate pudding recipe. It’s thick and rich, but if you want something a little sweeter sub milk chocolate for the dark chocolate. For the cookies, I used extra chocolate cookie dough, but you can just as easily use nabisco famous wafers, or Oreos.

Ingredients

Chocolate Pudding

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, choppedIMG_0341
  1. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the milk, and half and half.IMG_0343
  2. Place yolks in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally until hot, but not boiling.
  4. Temper milk mixture in to yolks, and return to the pan.IMG_0342
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbling.IMG_0344
  6. Remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla and chocolate, until incorporated.
  7. Strain into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap to the surface, then refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.IMG_0345

 

Peanut Butter Carrots

  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, or as needed
  • 1 package orange Wilton candy melts
  • Green frill toothpicks or Easter basket grass (see notes below)

For the carrot tops I tried to different things. The first was using Green frill toothpicks that I cut the pick down to 1 1/2 inches. The other was using Easter basket grass. I gathered in to bundles of 12-14 pieces, then tied them off before cutting  a  1 1/2 inch piece with the knot at one end.IMG_0347

  1. Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Cream on low until blended.
  3. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until blended. Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture is thick and dough like, and will hold its shape.IMG_0339
  4. If you’re using the basket grass, form a cherry tomato sized ball of peanut butter mixture. Stick a bundle of grass in the middle, closing the mixture up around the knot, then roll in to a 2″ carrot shape.IMG_0337IMG_0336
  5. If your using the toothpicks, shape the mixture in the a carrot shape before inserting the toothpick through the length of the carrot so only the top frill shows.IMG_0338IMG_0335
  6. Place all the carrots on a parchment lined sheet pan, and freeze for at least 3 hours.
  7. Melt the entire bag of candy melts over a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.IMG_0334
  8. Place melted candy melts in a glass ( a tall narrow container makes it easier to dip the carrots).
  9. Working quickly, dip each carrot until the coating just touches the “carrot greens”. IMG_0332
  10. Shake off any excess coating before placing back on the parchment. Repeat until all carrots are coated.IMG_0331
  11. Refridgerate until the coating is firm.

 

Assembly

  • chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 12 oz chocolate cookies (homemade, nabisco famous wafers, or Oreos)
  • peanut butter carrots
  • mini chocolate eggs
  • large piping bag
  • Container of choice (see note below)

I made my mini pots in mini silicone cupcake cups that look like  terra-cotta pots. You can use real mini pots, but you need to plug up the hole in the bottom. You can also make a large pot of carrots using a wide shallow pot, or a serving dish (I used a clear pirex bowl so you can see the layers).

  1. Whisk the cooled pudding until smooth.IMG_0330
  2. Whip the cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer until stiff, but not over whipped.
  3. Fold the whipped cream and pudding together until just combined. Place in piping bag, set aside.IMG_0329
  4. Crush the cookies, either in a food processor, or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. It’s ok if it’s a little chunky, it’s supposed to be dirt.IMG_0328
  5. Sprinkle enough cookie crumbs at the bottom of the container until just covered.
  6. Pipe the pudding mixture next, until just before halfway full.
  7. Sprinkle on more cookie crumbs.
  8. Pipe in more pudding until just below the top.
  9. Sprinkle with more cookies.IMG_0327
  10. Stick a carrot, greens up, in each mini pot. Or multiple if using a large pot.IMG_0357
  11. Decorate with mini eggs. IMG_0349
  12. Enjoy!

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Bakealong Chocolate Babka

Its a new month which means a new bakealong challenge. Need a refresher on what that means? Check out this post for more info.

this month brings chocolate babka. If you’re unsure what babka is, it’s a sweet yeast dough filled and twisted before being topped with streusel. This one has a pretty common chocolate filling, with the addition of chocolate chips and chopped nuts. I’m not usually  fan of babka, but this one is so good, I couldn’t stop eating it.

Like last time, I’ll post the recipe with photos and my own notes in bold. You can check out the original recipe here. Also like last time, I recommend using the buttons at the top of the recipe to switch to ounces or grams for a more exact recipe.

Pay attention to the times in this recipe! I thought it would have 30 min to 1 hour rises like other doughs, but each rise is 1 1/2 to 2 hours and another hour to bake. I made the mistake of starting this after work and didn’t get to bed till late because of it.

DOUGH

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast, SAF Red or SAF Gold instant yeast preferred the little packets in the baking aisle are fine, but if you plan on making bread often, invest in a large bag of good yeast.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, Triple Cocoa Blend, or the cocoa powder of your choice, Dutch-process or natural  I used Dutch processed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder I didn’t have this and honestly I don’t know if I would have liked it anyway
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips I used mini chips
  • 1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired

GLAZE

  • 1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt until well-combined

TOPPING

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients (starting with the lesser amount of water), mixing until everything is moistened. Add additional water if necessary to enable the dough to come together. If your dough looks like my picture add more water, my dough was too dry when I tried to kneed it.20170404_185240
  2. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then mix/knead it until it’s soft and smooth. I used the dough hook in my mixer.20170404_193218
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl. The dough is going to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s quite puffy.20170404_212825
  4. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Set the pieces aside, covered, while you make the filling.IMG_0310
  5. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and espresso or not. Stir in the melted butter. The mixture will look grainy and slick; that’s OK.IMG_0311
  6. Shape each half of the dough into a 9″ x 18″, 1/4″-thick rectangle. Don’t be fussy about this; 19″ or 20″ is as good as 18″.
    Smear each piece of the dough with half the filling, coming to within an inch of the edges. I rolled mine a bit longer to get more, thinner layers. Also don’t just plop the filling in the middle and spread. It’s thick and can be hard to.spread thin, so I dropped small amounts all over the dough, then spread it all out to form anot even layer.
  7. Scatter half the chips and nuts over each piece. If desired, process the chips in a food processor first, to create smaller bits of chocolate and a less chunky filling. I just used mini chips instead.IMG_0312
  8. Starting with a short end, roll each piece gently into a log, sealing the seam and ends.IMG_0313
  9. Working with one log at a time, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise (not crosswise) to make two pieces of dough about 10″ long each; cut carefully, to prevent too much filling from spilling out.IMG_0314
  10. With the exposed filling side up, twist the two pieces into a braid, tucking the ends underneath. Repeat with the other log.IMG_0315
  11. Place each log into a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Don’t stress to much if this is a little messy, there’s a streusel that will help cover up any mess.IMG_0316
  12. Brush each loaf with the egg glaze. Mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly, and sprinkle half the topping over each loaf.IMG_0317
  13. Tent each pan with plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise until they’re very puffy and have crowned a good inch over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.IMG_0318
  14. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 300°F.IMG_0319
  15. Bake the bread for 35 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes (for a total of 50 to 60 minutes); the loaves should be a deep-golden brown. I swear to god the hardest part of this recipe was lightly tenting with tinfoil and NOT having it blow off before I could even close the oven. It’s not even a convection oven!IMG_0320
  16. To ensure the loaves are baked through, insert a digital thermometer into the center of one loaf. It should register at least 190°F.
  17. Remove the loaves from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out of the pans onto a rack to cool completely. I just want to reiterate loosening the loves when they’re warm. I forgot to, and they were difficult to remove once they cooled.
  18. Slice the babka and serve it at room temperature; or rewarm individual slices briefly in a toaster, if desired. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.IMG_0323

The dough is really the most important part of this recipe, which means you can play around with the filling to.use the flavors you want. I’m already thinking about making a cinnamon nut, or a nutella babka soon.