My friends invited David and I over for a crepe party on Pancake Day/Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. Needless to say, I am a fan of any party involving a steady stream of fresh crepes and an extensive topping bar. I had three crepes that night, playing around with combinations of berries, slivered almonds, lemon juice, powdered sugar, freshly whipped cream, and Nutella. It was a delicious, delicious night.
It wasn't until two days later that I realized that I had forgotten to make my favorite: Nutella and bananas.
What had I been thinking? This was a mistake that had to be rectified as soon as possible. But not with crepes. With cake.
I wanted to recreate the experience of eating Nutella and banana crepes, but in the form of a cake. I chose to use thin layers of chiffon cake, for several reasons. Chiffon cakes are a bit on the eggy side, and are usually not very sweet. They're not fluffy or dense or crumbly or buttery - they're airy and light, which means that they can balance out the decadence of three layers of Nutella and bananas.
This cake has a lot going on, so I opted not to frost or top the cake. If you did want a bit of oomph, for presentation purposes, I think it would be wonderful with a light dusting of powdered sugar or swathed in barely-sweetened whipped cream...though if you want top it with another layer of Nutella and bananas, who am I to stop you?
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strong coffee, lukewarm
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
4 bananas, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Sift flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the coffee into the dry ingredients until just combined. Beat in oil, egg yolks, and vanilla extract.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in three additions.
Bake 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool pans on wire cooling racks for ten minutes. Cut around the cakes and turn out onto racks to cool completely.
Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut each cake in half with a serrated knife or cake cutter. Place one layer on your serving plate. Spread an even layer of Nutella onto the cake (make sure to go all the way to the edges) and top with bananas. Put another layer of cake on top of it and repeat until your cake is finished.