Banana Boston Cream Pie

This isn't really a pie, as the name suggests, but a two-layered sponge cake. It differs from the original Boston Cream Pie in that we use[ bananas in the batter to make it even richer. Here's a quick clean-up tip: when assembling the cake, place a baking sheet under the wire rack to catch the drips as you pour on the chocolate. Drizzling on the chocolate can get very messy!]

Total Time:
6 hr 40 min
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
4 hr 40 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
1 (10-inch) pie
Level:
Advanced

Ingredients
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 6 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pastry Cream, recipe follows
  • Chocolate Ganache, recipe follows
  • Pastry Cream:
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half and seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 3 1/4 cups)
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (10-inch) cake pans with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment with the other 1 teaspoon butter. Set aside.

Puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla in a food processor.

Sift the cake flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the remaining 10 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar. On medium speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the banana mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and bounces back when touched with your fingers, about 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon your oven. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

To assemble the cake, using a long serrated knife, trim off the rounded top of each cake layer to make them flat. Place the bottom layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spread the Pastry Cream evenly over the top. Place the next cake layer upside down on the first. Wrap the cake around the sides with double layers of plastic wrap to keep the pastry cream from oozing out. Gently press down on the top layer. Remove the plastic wrap and scrape off any excess pastry cream.

Slowly pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the Chocolate Ganache onto the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Let sit for 5 minutes, then, in several applications, slowly pour on the remaining ganache until the cake is completely covered. Chill until ready to serve.

Pastry Cream:

Combine 2 cups of the cream, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and bean in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk until pale yellow. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the egg yolk mixture back to the hot cream, and whisk well to combine. Return to medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. Whisk until smooth before using.

Yield: about 3 cups

Chocolate Ganache:

Scald the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Add the hot cream and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly before pouring over the cake.

Yield: about 4 cups


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