Banana Split Chiffon Cake

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    10 to 12

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 325°F/160°C

The chocolate and caramel drizzle glazes, topping an intense but ethereal banana chiffon cake, make for a glorious combination. It is sublime served with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, and chopped toasted walnuts.

Ingredients

Batter

VOLUME WEIGHT
2 large very ripe bananas, peeled and lightly mashed 1 cup 8 ounces 226 grams
walnut oil, at room temperature (see Notes) ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 2.9 ounces 81 grams
canola or safflower oil, at room temperature 2 tablespoons (30 ml) 1 ounce 27 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tablespoons (30 ml) 1.1 ounces 32 grams
7 large eggs, separated, plus about 3 additional whites, at room temperature
yolks ½ cup (118 ml) 4.6 ounces 130 grams
whites cups (296 ml) 10.6 ounces 300 grams
pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . .
bleached cake flour cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off) 8 ounces 225 grams
superfine sugar cups, divided 8.8 ounces 250 grams
baking powder 2 teaspoons . 9 grams
fine sea salt ½ teaspoon . 3 grams
cream of tartar teaspoons . 3.9 grams

Special Equipment

One uncoated 10 inch (16 cups) two-piece metal tube pan, encircled with 2 cake strips (see Notes) | A wire rack elevated about 4 inches or higher above the work surface by setting it on top of 3 or 4 cans, coffee mugs, or glasses of equal height OR a long-neck glass bottle (weighted with sugar or marbles to keep it from tipping) OR a large inverted metal funnel that will fit into the opening at the top of the pan

Method

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.

Mix the Bananas and the Liquid Ingredients

In a food processor, process the bananas, walnut oil, canola oil, and lemon juice until smooth, stopping the processor and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and process until combined, about 10 seconds.

Make the Batter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, mix the flour, all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Make a well in the center. Add the banana mixture to the well and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until very thick, about 1½ minutes.

If you don’t have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue

In the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Add the Meringue to the Batter

Using a large balloon wire whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter just until blended. If using the whisk, you will need to shake out the meringue that gathers in the center as you fold.

Scrape the batter into the pan. Run a small spatula in circles through the batter to prevent air pockets. There is no need to smooth the surface. The batter will come to about inches from the top of the rim.

Bake the Cake

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted between the tube and the sides comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. During baking, the cake will dome above the top of the pan and cracks will form. Avoid opening the oven door before the minimum baking time or the fragile cake could fall.

Cool and Unmold the Cake

Immediately invert the pan onto the prepared wire rack or invert the center tube opening of the pan onto the neck of the bottle to suspend it well above the countertop. Cool completely in the pan, about 1½ hours.

To loosen the sides of the cake from the pan, use a rigid sharp knife or stiff metal spatula, preferably with a squared off end, scraping firmly against the pan’s sides and slowly and carefully circling the pan. In order to ensure that you are scraping against the sides of the pan and removing the crust from the sides, leaving it on the cake, begin by angling the knife or spatula about 20 degrees away from the cake and toward the pan, pushing the cake inward a bit. It is best to use a knife blade that is at least 4 inches long and no wider than 1 inch.

Grasp the center core and lift out the cake. Run a wire cake tester or wooden skewer around the center core. Dislodge the cake from the bottom with a metal spatula or thin sharp knife. Invert the cake onto a flat plate covered with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray and reinvert it onto a serving plate. Let the cake sit for 1 hour, or until the top is no longer tacky. Then cover it with a cake dome or wrap it airtight.

To cut the cake, for the fluffiest texture, use two forks instead of a knife to tear apart the slices. Insert the forks back to back, pushing them downwards to the bottom of the cake as you pull them apart, thus splitting the cake into slices. Alternatively, use a serrated knife but hold the cake gently without compressing it as you cut.

To plate, pipe or spoon lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side of each slice and pipe or drizzle chocolate glaze and caramel on top.

Make the Chocolate Drizzle Glaze

See recipe.

Store

Airtight: room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 5 days; frozen, 2 months.

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