I had some bananas turning ripe too quickly, and didn't feel up to making a cream pie. Instead, I made a relatively simple cake, provided you have plenty of time to let the various stages cool and set.
The filling is quite fudge-like in texture (and caramel in taste) and you could certainly use less confectioner's sugar to make a lighter frosting. Conversely, the ganache is very thin using more cream than chocolate, but you could increase the amount of chocolate by as much as a cup for a denser, thicker coating. What I did was make more of a glaze that would conceal where the cake was split to be filled, without overwhelming it with chocolate. I think it was a good balance.
The banana cake features buttermilk, though I used buttermilk solids and water instead (who keeps buttermilk on hand these days?). When doing this, add the solids with the dry ingredients and the water at the very end with the bananas.
You Will Need:
For the Cake:
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 mashed bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a bundt pan or two 9 inch layers
Beat together the sugar and butter until light. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
Mix together the buttermilk and mashed bananas.
Alternating with the bananas/milk, add the flour in three additions. Mix well but do not over-mix.
Pour into pan and bake 35-45 minutes (you'll need to keep checking after 30 minutes). Cool ten minutes in the pan and then invert and finish cooling on a rack. Cool completely before proceeding to filling.
For the Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2-2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add brown sugar and cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.
Add confectioner's sugar until desired consistency is reached. I went overboard and used three cups-it was more like candy than filling.
Carefully slice cake in half and with a spoon, hollow out the bottom half leaving a good bit of cake to serve as a wall at the edges. Fill with caramel frosting. Re-position the top and place in the refrigerator to chill.
For the Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
8-10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped up (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the cream and corn syrup until they begin to steam. Pour over chopped chocolate in a bowl. Add vanilla, and let sit five minutes. Whisk until smooth and pour over cake which has been positioned on a rack over a cookie sheet (trust me on this one). Let drip, scooping up and re-spooning to cover bare patches. When through dripping, move to a plate and chill for several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.