Monday, February 4, 2013

Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing

Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
Sorry this post is slightly late and will probably be slightly incoherent and delirious. It was a very busy weekend and I woke up this morning totally sick and gross. Damn you immune system, you were doing so well this year! Anyway this weekend we were celebrating my niece's one month with a traditional Chinese full moon party. It was a pretty small gathering with pretty much just family and I was in charge of the cake.
Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
My brother & sis-in-law requested their favourite cake flavour, banana cake with passionfruit cream cheese icing, a flavour combination we learnt about from Simmone Logue and have loved ever since. The construction of this cake was a nightmare, nothing went to plan for me. But we'll talk about that later. It was worth all the effort because it was for this cute face:
Full Moon Party
All together now: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

So anyway, I used the same recipe as last time but I was gonna make it special by baking four layers of cake and using this petal icing technique. I usually stay far away from icing techniques like this that require tidy and precise work. I am not good at either. But the tutorials online make it look so doable that I just had to try it. I learnt very quickly that the cream cheese icing I had made was WAY WAY too runny for it. And it was so runny that my cake semi-collapsed, so I had to make a whole new batch of icing and start over. The macarons I wanted to make in rainbow colours spelling out her name turned out so uneven and ugly but I didn't have time to redo them. BAH.
Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
Like any full moon celebrations there was ang koo kueh from Alice's (tortoise-shaped glutinous rice flour cakes filled with mung bean paste). I love this kueh.
Full Moon Party
I also helped prepare the red eggs, which are meant to symbolise fertility and harmony.
Full Moon Party
Lunch was ordered off the Mamak catering menu; a gigantic pile of fried chicken, huge serves of nasi lemak, mee goreng and chicken satay and a HUGE 4 FREAKIN LITRES of teh o ais limau (Malaysian iced tea with lime). I drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of chicken.
Full Moon Party
We had to wake up little Sarah to cut the cake...
Full Moon Party
...which made her bawl her eyes out at first, hence the funny face below.
Full Moon Party
And there's a shot below of the layers inside the cake. Not as wonky as I thought, and super moist and delicious. Yay! I also decorated the cake with gold coin chocolates and some red Lindt chocolate eggs. It's the first time that having the supermarkets selling Easter eggs ridiculously early has actually come in handy! I don't want to talk about the macarons, sometimes you just make a bad batch of macs. Now I need to go make myself some chicken soup.
Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
(based on this recipe, makes a 4-layer 20cm square or round cake)
For the banana cake:
250g softened unsalted butter (salted is fine too)
2&1/4 cups (about 500g) sugar (I used caster/superfine but granulated white sugar is fine too)
4 eggs
2 cups mashed very over-ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
500g (4 cups) plain flour
2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda
1 tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 2 tsp lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), grease well and line the base of two 20cm square tins with baking paper (or round tins if you prefer a round cake). Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined then add banana and vanilla and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon, allspice) together in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk to them mixture, fold until just combined, then add the remaining dry mixture and buttermilk and repeat. Divide mixture between the tins and bake for 50-60 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. (If you only have one tin bake one cake after the other) Cool cake in its tin on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning out.
Banana Layer Cake with Passionfruit Cream Cheese Icing
For the passionfruit cream cheese icing:
500g (about 4.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
250g (about 9oz) cream cheese, softened
3-5 passionfruit pulp(adjust to taste, you need more if you strain out the seeds)
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
About 500g (4 cups) icing sugar, sifted, adjust to correct texture

Place  butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth and fluffy. Add passionfruit pulp and lemon juice (I strained the seeds out of the passionfruit pulp so I would have a smooth pipable icing but this isn't necessary). Gradually add icing sugar and mix on low until it starts to come together, then mix on high until fluffy. You may need to add more icing sugar to get the ideal consistency, you want the icing to be easy to pipe but to hold its shape. 

To assemble cake, slice the two banana cakes if half if you wish to have four layers. Sandwich a layer of icing between the cake layers and crumb coat the outside. You may need to chill the cake and the leftover icing if it is too runny. Spread or pipe remaining icing on the outside of the cake. If you wish you try the petal icing technique I used in the photos, there is a tutorial here but I wouldn't recommend it for a soft icing like this cream cheese one.
Full Moon Party
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27 comments:

  1. I love banana cake with cream cheese icing, but usually I'm too lazy to make the icing so I end up eating the cake as is. The petal icing looks great and I'm totally coveting your cake server right now!

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  2. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! The cake, the baby, the angkoo, the family, the eggs, the catering! What a lovely post!

    I love passionfruit and cream cheese and will definitely be making that icing soon! I've seen that petal effect too (on a different blog to the tutorial you linked) and think it's just fabulous. I know you said you had some probs with the icing but I couldn't even tell. :)

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  3. Lovely niece... The cake looks gorgeous, I have to make this combination, it sounds delicious.

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  4. she is totally adorable :)

    I love banana cake & pairing it with passion-fruit icing just sounds awesome!

    hope you get better quickly :)

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  5. ¡¡qué buena tiene que estar!!.. Te ha quedado preciosa ;)

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  6. your piping is awesome, love it but esp love that cake server!

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  7. This looks epic and that baby is too cute! I love reading about your baking disasters because you would never think it to read this blog - everything you post looks completely picture perfect :-)

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  8. Awww love this post! The cake, the baby!! So cute.

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  9. Dear heavens you are a WIZARD.

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  10. Your niece is beautiful! As is that cake, that is definitely an icing technique I'll be trying in the future (on a day I feel patient haha!)

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  11. That cake looks amazing! I bet it tasted really yummy too!

    My blog: acolorfulcreation.blogspot.com

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  12. Aww happy one month to your niece, Sarah. She definitely entered the world in time for Christmas. What a cutie - those eyes!! Love the petal icing technique. You pulled it off really well and love the cake you chose to celebrate such a joyous occassion xx

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  13. Those layers aren't wonky at all! And I can't tell you how great it is to finally see what my name would look like if spelled out with macarons. FINALLY.

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  14. Awwww.. cuteness! Happy one month Sarah. That icing technique sure does look impressive.

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  15. Great cake and very cute baby Sarah! Have you / your brother and sister-in-law tried 'Hummingbird' cake? It is one of my favourite cakes and not too dissimilar to this - but more fruity and moist. I love the taste and texture. I often make cream cheese icing but have never thought to add passionfruit. What a clever idea! I will be trying it out, so thank you for the inspiration. I did the petal technique for the first time last year. Also not really into fancy icing, I love it! So easy and so effective. It gets a 'wow' from everyone but really anyone could do it! Yours looks fabulous.

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  16. What a gorgeous looking banana layer cake, I am sure it would have tasted amazing! You went to so much trouble doing the macaron letters too, how cute!

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  17. Mmm I love banana cake! Never have the patience to make layer cakes though!

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  18. that banana cake looks so moist!! my cream cheese frosting always ends up too runny!

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  19. hi Steph I actually halved your recipe and made a 4-layer 6" cake today and i have to say 'THANK YOU' cos it tasted SOOOO delicious! The cream cheese especially - it tastes like those from bakeries and cafes! Quick question - can i reverse the proportion of butter vs cream cheese (ie. use more cream cheese instead - 'cos there's this low-fat cream cheese selling in the supermarket)

    Thanks again for sharing!

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    1. I originally had the proportions reversed. It tastes great but will result in a much runnier icing, so as long as you're not planning to do anything fancy with the icing then it should be fine!

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    2. So I guess butter helps to make the icing more 'solid' right? Thanks! My cake photo here just to share:
      http://earlgreymacarons.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/cake_josh_beep_nolariod1.jpg
      I added crushed walnuts - it tastes great too! ^^

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    3. Yes that's right, boo the link said access denied :(

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  20. I just made banana cake with a bunch of ripe ones that were hanging out in the freezer, but I put chocolate chips in it. I love passion fruit and will definitely try this frosting. We don't get fresh passion fruit here though, so I buy frozen puree which does well for most things--but how much should I use to equal 5 fruits worth?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure exactly how much puree you should use, I would suggest that you add a teaspoon at a time and adjust until you are happy with the taste and the texture

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  21. Stephhhhhhhhhh

    Its been about 6 months since ive read a food blog a food blog so your the first im reading because my boss isnt in the office today YAYYY!!! and plus i wanted to show a work colleague your blog / amazing cakes :)

    Hope to see you around soon. We have a lot to catch-up on xx

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