Friday, March 25, 2011

Banana Caramel Chocolate Cake

When I attend baking lessons, I like to ask the instructor "WHAT IF":
"what if I pipe the lines wrongly ..."
"what if the cake cracks ..."
"what if I roll out the dough too thinly ..."
"what if I over-whipped the cream  ..."  

Not that I'm a pessimistic person, but rather we always get to see beautiful pictures of baked products from books, magazines, internet, blogs etc, but how often do we see the ugly side, the failed attempts (except for the ones we did at home)?  And the next question is - how can we salvage it?  

I was faced with this burning question just a few days ago "What if my swiss roll cracked .... !!!!"  I was not attending any baking class, but rather was at home attempting this banana chocolate roll.  I have no expert to turn to immediately.  To make things worse - the banana fillings & chocolate cream were spilling out from the cracked swiss roll and my hands were all messy (gross!).  Two possibilities - throw the whole thing away or try to salvage it.  

I really love the texture of this chocolate sponge - soft and light.  And the banana caramel tasted really good.  OK, I'm not ready to give up.  Luckily for me, the crack was neat -  a straight line crack, not those zig-zag lines.   I scraped off some of the fillings, cut the sponge into three rectangular pieces, stacked them together and coated a thin layer of chocolate cream all round the loaf.  Chilled and poured chocolate ganache over the cake.

Presenting ... my Banana Caramel Chocolate Roll Cake:

Then, the next question is:  why does my swiss roll cracked?  I think probably my sponge was too thick for rolling.  The recipe is meant for a 36cm x 26cm pan, while my pan is only 30cm x 20cm.  I thought a little difference does not matter - SO IT DOES MATTER!  Despite the unpleasant experience, this chocolate sponge is very soft and tasty, so next time if I need a chocolate sponge recipe, I'm going to use this recipe again.

One important point - don't be overly upset or angry with yourself over a spoiled swiss roll.  It happens to everybody. And, one thing for sure, your next roll will be better (下一个蛋糕卷会更好)!

Recipe for chocolate sponge - adapted mainly from 孟老师美味蛋糕卷
(makes a 36cm x 26cm tray)

4 egg yolks (80g)
25g caster sugar (I used brown sugar)
20g water (I used 20g milk, mix in 1 tbsp white vinegar)
20g cocoa powder - sift

3 egg whites (120g)
60g caster sugar (I used brown sugar)
A pinch of salt (this is not in the original recipe)

45g cake flour - sift [I used top flour + 1/2 tsp baking soda (this is not in the original recipe)]
25g unsalted butter (melted)


1) Whisk egg yolks with sugar over a small pot of hot water until thicken and pale in color.  Mix in the cocoa powder, followed by the water (or milk).  Mix well to combine.

2) In another bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar and a pinch of salt until peak foam.

3) Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk cocoa mixture.  Gently fold in the remaining egg whites till well-combined.

4) Fold in the sifted cake flour into the egg mixture in 3 batches.

5) Take a small amount of cake mixture from step (4) and mix in the melted butter.  Pour this mixture back to cake mixture in step 4 and fold to combine.

6) Pour batter into baking tray lined with baking paper.  Use a spatula to spread out the batter evenly and bake in preheated oven at 190C for 10 - 12 minutes.  

7) Remove sponge cake from baking tray and place it on a rack to cool completely.

Like to see more of my fruity creations?  Click here for a summary of all the fruity treats in March and participate in a GIVEAWAY (Event ending on 8 April 2011).


  1. Wow, the cake looks good too! ;)

  2. Looks good! Give me the courage to try doing swiss roll again.

    1 qn: How do you make banana caramel?


  3. Hi Cynthia - I combined about 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp sugar in pan over low heat and cook till mixture is bubbling (about 1 min plus). Then, carefully pour in 2 tbsp rum (Note: this will cause the mixture to suddenly rise up - it will subside within a few seconds). Then, put in the sliced bananas (about 5 medium-sized bananas)and cooked till softened. You can also use the caramelised banana for pancake.


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