I am a demanding person admitted. Fruit cakes just aren’t my thing, much to my husband’s chagrin. I’m not saying I don’t like fruit desserts, that’s not all at all! I love a good crunch, shoemaker or cake. I just don’t like fruit cakes. I’ll take one for the team and bake one a couple of times a year, and I can even enjoy it (see my salted caramel apple pie post here), but my fruitcake baking days are few and far between.
However, I really enjoy cream cakes. French silk, banana cream, lemon meringue… Now you’re talking!
When I came across this recipe in my cookbook The Best of Cooking Light, I knew I had to try it. The name “Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie” alone sounds too good to pass up! Looking at the recipe, it was surprisingly easy AND since it’s from Cooking Light, we didn’t feel as guilty as each of us searched for “just another splinter” once we finished our first piece.
To start, you’ll need to bake a single cake crust and cool it, completely. You could make your own bark, if you want. I was short on time, so I used a refrigerated cake crust.
Once the cake crust is cold, you can start the chocolate base. Stir a mixture of cornstarch, sugar, unsweetened cocoa and a little salt in a small saucepan. Gradually beat a little milk, until it is nice and soft. Then, heat the chocolate mixture a little on the stove, before adding some chopped semisweet chocolate.
Once the chocolate is added, continue stirring until it boils. It will thicken quickly and be ready to spread out on the crust after about a minute or so.
Once I had the chocolate on the cake plate, I started with the vanilla cream center. Bananas would actually have to go on top of chocolate, but I didn’t want to cut them into slices and risk browning before I’m ready to cover them with the cream.
The cream is quickly gathered on the stove and then, to amplify the yam factor, only a little cream cheese is beaten into the cream at the end. Once the pudding was ready, I covered the chocolate with sliced banana.
Then, I spread that creamy vanilla cream over the bananas
Now, the cake needed to spend some time in the fridge before adding the whipped topping. I didn’t want the received cream to form a skin on top as it cooled, so I carefully put some plastic wrap directly over the cream before putting the cake in the fridge.
After the cake cooled for about 3 hours, I took it out of the refrigerator, peeled off the plastic wrap, and covered it with some cold whip. I admit, Cooking Light told me to only use 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip. That would have resulted in a really thin top layer. I’m sure it would have been just as delicious, but I used a full 8-ounce container (the smallest Cool Whip container in the freezer section). He just made a nicer cake! I sprayed the top with some mini chocolate chips, carefully covered it with another sheet of plastic and put it back in the fridge until we were ready to dive in.
Honestly, it took everything I didn’t have to dive into until after dinner (I’m still working on the idea of dessert as an appetizer), but we did… and it was DELICIOUS! My daughter asked me if I could do this every day. That probably won’t happen, but it’s on my “Make Again and Again and Again” list. The chocolate, banana and vanilla combined beautifully and despite those “rich” layers, the cake was surprisingly light and didn’t weigh us down after dinner. Also, a big complaint of mine about the cake is the soggy crust. I never eat leftover fruitcake because I just can’t get past the soggy crust. This crust was perfectly crispy the first night and so crispy the second night… When my family finished it!
BANANA CREAM CAKE WITH BLACK BACKGROUND
Adapted from Cooking Light