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Banana Chip Cake with Whipped Mocha Frosting

3 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 cups heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9" x 1 1/2" round cake pans.
Line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Grease again and
flour. In a food processor puree the bananas. Blend in the yogurt.
Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse a few seconds to combine. Set
aside. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
in medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with
an electric mixer until smooth and light. Add 1/2 the banana
mixture and all the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed two minutes
until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the wet mixture and beat
on high speed for one minute. Fold in grated chocolate. Divide
the batter evenly between the prepared pans, which should be half
full. Bake for 30-32 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Run
a small, metal spatula around the sides, then unmold and peel off
the paper lining. Cool the cake to room temperature before
assembling.


FROSTING

Heat cream and chocolate in a heave saucepan over low heat, stirring
occasionally to melt and blend the chocolate. Remove from the
heat, stir in the powdered espresso, then pour into a clean dry
container. Once the cream reaches room temperature, cover directly
with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the
freezer until very cold, about 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 3
days. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, beat the ganache
(do not use a whisk beater) on medium-low speed to soft peaks.
Increase to high speed and continue beating until the frosting
reaches a thick spreading consistency. Spread the frosting immediately,
while it is smooth. Frost as desired for a festive look: spread
3/4 cup of frosting between the layers and another 3/4 cup on top.
Mask the sides with a very thin layer. With a pastry bag fitted
with a large open star tip pipe a continuous vertical pattern all
around the sides. Pipe stars around the top of the cake. Finished,
the cake keeps refrigerated up to 3 days. For best results slice
the cake chilled, but let sit 1/2 hour at room temperature before
serving.


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