Sunday, 4 March 2007

Marsha Marsha Monkey

This is meant to be a valentine's day cake. I know, it's way too belated. But both my boys were down with 40degC fever on valentine's I didn't have the energy to bake this. It's no joke having to wake up every other hour in the middle of the night to check both their temperatures, and it was like that for a few nights in a row! Then, my better half was away for overseas work and didn't return until last night. Anyway, since today is the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, it's also the Chinese version of the valentine's day. So I merrily set off to bake this Chocolate Banana Cake with marshmallow toppings.

I really have to brush up on my cake frosting/decorating skills. As you can see, in terms of how it looks, this cake "really cannot make it!" :'(

Since I can't really make any piped decorations, I used heart-shaped marshmallows to dress-up the cake a little. In fact, it was my elder boy who helpped me with the decoration.

The only thing that I was satisfied with was how the sponge cake turned out. This time round, I sifted the cocoa with flour three demonstrated in Alice Medrich's video clip. (The video clip shows her making a Chocolate Genoise Cake with Julia Child.) There were tiny undissolved cocoa lumps in my previous chocolate sponge. This didn't happen this time round. I was also delighted that I could cut the cake into 3 layers. Again, thanks to the video clip by Alice Medrich.

I used a chocolate ganache made with just pouring cream and dark chocolate. As for the filling, I didn't like the idea of buttercream (too much fat), so I used the same chocolate ganache, but added in a 2 teaspoon of instant coffee and 2 teaspoon of sugar as I thought it would be a little bitter for my boys.

Despite its look, the cake is really yummy. It's rich, but not too rich (hope you understand what I mean), and the banana really goes very well with the chocolate filling. As for the recipe, I borrowed ideas here and there, and came up with the following version.

(make one 20cm round cake)

for sponge cake:
4 eggs, bring to room temperature
100g sugar
100g cake flour
20g cocoa powder
60g butter, melted

for chocolate frosting:
4 fl oz pouring cream (I used nestle's)
4 oz dark chocolate

for filling:
4 fl oz pouring cream
4 oz dark chocolate
2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp sugar
3 ~ 4 bananas, cut into slices


For sponge cake:
1. Triple sift the cocoa powder and cake flour, set aside. Grease and line a 20cm round pan, set aside. Melt butter and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180degC.

2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stablise the air bubbles in the batter.

3. Sift over the cocoa and cake flour mixture into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture until well blended.

4. With a spatula, mix about 1/3 of the batter with the melted butter in a bowl. Fold in this mixture into the remaining batter. This method will help to ensure the butter will be fully blended and at the same time will not deflate the batter.

5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 25mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely.

For the frosting:
Place pouring cream and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside for 10mins before frosting the cake.

For the filling:
Slice bananas into pieces and squeeze some lemon juice over them. This helps to prevent the bananas from turning brown.

Place pouring cream, instant coffee, sugar and dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool before filling the cake.

Assemble the cake
Cut the cake into 3 layers. Place one of the cake layers cut-side down on a cake plate. Spread the coffee chocolate filling over the layer. Arrange rings of banana slices to cover the whole layer. Top with another cake layer. Repeat the same for the second layer. Top with the 3rd layer, cut-side up. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top and side of the cake. Decorate as desired.


  1. Your cake isn't that bad, in fact I like it. Your cake is much better looking than the first chocolate layer cake I did. The marshmallow hearts is sooo cute. I have this fascination with anything heart shaped :P I bet your cake tastes really yummy!

  2. Thanks Anne for your kind words! It makes me feel so much better :))
    I am not the creative sort of person, and besides I am really lazy, so my bakes are all those simple, easy to make and plain kind, haha!

    You can get the marshmallow from supermarts or maybe even Econ minimarts, they are actually by Hello Kitty. One pack is only $1! Since I can't really pipe, so got to rely on such cute things as decorations ;)

  3. wow! I recognise the marshmallows!! I used to be really a fan of hello kitty but now that I have grown up, it did tone down a little but still, the adoration for Helly Kitty remains. :p

    I would say this is quite a good cake too! I am sure yr family would love it right? Thanks for sharing the recipe. Have fun exploring more creation..

  4. Hi Lavender Cupcaker, thanks for dropping by :))
    I am already very very grown up, and yet I'm still a fan of sanrio characters, hehe! At the moment, me and my son really like Cinnamoroll!
    The cake was yummy...although, the sponge cake layer was a bit dry after I left it in the fridge for 2 time got to cover the cake, if not, will need to brush syrup over the layers before assembling it.

  5. Hi,the photos u post r impressive..esp Marsha Marsha new in baking cakes.can i know what is pouring cream? it is a dairy or non dairy cream? i wan to give a try of making this cake.. ;)

  6. Hi anonymous, thanks for your compliments :)
    for this recipe, I used nestle's dairy sterilised cream that looks like this. I am not sure whether you are local here? if yes, you can get it easily from NTUC or cold storage. Hope this helps :)

  7. Hi HHB, I like your bread recipes very much, especially the Milk Toast. Very soft and yummy! I'd baked it quite a number of times in August:) As my hubby's birthday is approaching, I'm thinking of making a cake for him(your chocolate banana sponge cake looks yummy to me!). I hv a question on your pouring cream: how much/many gram is 4 fl oz? Hope is not a silly question...Many thanks for your kind advice. Rgds/MH

  8. Hi MH, glad to hear that you like the milk loaf :)
    4 fl oz is half a cup (125ml), I am sorry I didn't manage to weight the cream. Hope this helps :)

  9. Hi! Thanks so much for your info! Hope I can make the cake without any blunder! cos it's my first time baking a cake! Haha! Rgds/MH

  10. Hi MH, do take a look at Alice Medrich's video clip to get an idea how to go about beating the eggs and folding the flour. You can try adding in the flour in 3 additions instead of adding all in at once. Also, do leave the eggs and all ingredients at room temperature before you start. Do let me know after you have tried it! Happy baking!

  11. Hi home baker,

    its a long wkend! im so happy as this means i have more time to bake! i intend to bake this choco cake for my niece who will be visiting me. I have some qns thou. I have been looking thru alot of choco cake receipes and came across alot of terms which im so confused now. What is the difference betw : 1) pouring cream, fresh cream, heavy cream, dairy whipping cream and non-dairy whipped cream? I bought redman whipped cream but i do not know whether its dairy or non-dairy. 2)baking powder and baking soda. Can i use them interchangeably?
    Sorry for asking so many qns and thank you for taking time to answer them. Thank you!!!

  12. Hi Rabbit,

    You can refer to this site on the various types of cream ( As for baking powder and baking soda, they are different things, and not to be used interchangeably. You can also refer to this site for details ( The Redman whipped cream that you bought should be non-dairy. Hope this helps.

  13. hi happy home maker,

    thanks for helping me with the qns! i did 2 cakes yesterday, this choco cake and a pandan chiffon. they taste good! however my choco cake came out of the oven not too ideally. the bottom of the cake is too crumbly and hard. the top was still soft (like molten cake) but the surface smell burnt. I followed all the procedures closely, using the same pan size as well. What could have gone wrong? Also the pandan chiffon was not fluffy as it shd be. when it was baking in the oven, it raised so well and so beautifully.

  14. Hi Rabbit, I guess it could be due to the oven temperature...sounds like the temperature at the bottom is higher than the top...are the heating elements at the bottom of the oven? The type of pan you use will also affect the end product...if you are using those non-stick pans, it absorbs heat faster so, you may have to lower the temperature a little.

  15. Hi Happy Home Baker,

    It's me again, Pinklavender. This time I tried to make a chocolate sponge cake from this recipe but it didn't turn out too well. If you read my post 'Chocolate and Lamingtons', I'd describe what I did. Not sure if it was the 'egg accident' or the way I folded the flour that deflated the sponge.

    You got any tips? I would like to try again as the taste of this cake is quite good.

    Thanks for linking the video of Alice Medrich. It was a great tip to triple sift the flour...:)

  16. Hi Pink Lavender,
    I dont think it is the egg accident that causes it since you mentioned that you have beaten the eggs correctly. By the way did you beat the eggs till it becomes very thick and leave a ribbon-like trail?
    I suspect it is the folding of the flour mixture, you may have deflated it, and also you have to bake the batter immediately it is poured into the pan...letting it sit for 10mins would deflated it further. You may want to take a look at the video clip (refer to the post on Santa Clause cake for the link) on how to fold in the flour. Hope it helps to give you a better idea how to go about it. As it is quite difficult to describe it in words. I wish you success in your next attempt :)

  17. Hi Happy Homebaker,

    Thanks for your reply. Come to think of it, maybe I was too impatient as the huge amount of eggs took a long time to reach ribbon-like'...haha. I will take note of these points when I try again next time. Wish me luck!

    Btw, saw the post and video, your Santa Clause cake looks very much like the one in the video -wonderful! Christmas is coming soon - another inspirational recipe to follow!

  18. hi happy homebaker,

    i think your frosting looks pretty decent for a home-baked cake. a friend of mine said that those professional looking frosted cakes are done on a rotating base. i guess that is one reason why these cakes have very smooth surfaces. guess good tools do play a part when decorating cakes.


  19. Urms can you give me some advice.For Example The Oven i the heater i should use the top one only or dont use the below one or so what ever ? Thanks :D

  20. Hi Tasmin, I'm sorry I'm unable to answer your question as my oven has only one heating element which is located at the top of the oven. Maybe you can try using both set at the same temperature? or you can refer to the instruction manual of your oven?

  21. Greetings ,
    I've got another question here^^ hope it wont trouble you.I've been reading up about cakes and came across a very interesting thing call the fondant cake which is made out of covering a cake which is already been baked with fondant icing.I would like to ask whether if i use buttercream icing for frosting.And after the frosting turns hard , and i leave the cake at room temperature.will the buttercream icing turn watery or just become soft or etc...?Because i found out that Fondant does not freeze well at all, as a matter of fact, downright lousy! The condensation that can occur when you defrost or bring to room temp can destroy the finish of the fondant.And water spots will form on the fondant

  22. Hi Tasmin, great to hear that you have been reading up on baking :D
    I have never wanted to use fondant for my cake. Ever since I tried someone's birthday cake which is covered with fondant, we decided that we wouldn't want to eat anything that is so sweet ;) So I'm sorry, I have zero knowledge on fondant!

    As for buttercream, I tried once when I first started frost some cupcakes. It was also way too sweet for need lots of butter and lots of icing sugar to get the firm texture in order to use it for piping. I have never tried it again, as I find it too fattening and too sweet for my kids, so all along, I've been using non-dairy whipping cream to frost a cake, even then, I do it only on special occasions. If you read further, there are different type of Italian buttercream and Swiss Meringue, which requires the use of egg whites...these are less sweet, and holds up well. You can take a look at this site for details on buttercream. (

  23. What sugar are u using for ur spongecake

  24. Hi Tasmin, I used caster sugar.

  25. Hi again i tried out the fondant cake..It turn out ..well it looks nice , it taste "NICE" . It was kinda like...too sweet..I used like 1 1/2 Stick unsalted butter and 450g of ICING sugar and 2TS vaillnia extract and 1 TS salt for the buttercream.The Fondant i used 450G MM and 900G Icing Sugar.Is icing sugar compulsory for making the fondant and buttercream.I like it sweet but this time when i eat it i could feel like sugar bits in my mouth....So i was wondering if there's other sugar not so sweet that can be using for making the fondant and buttercream.If not is it ok if i cut down the amount of sugar?Around how many grams of sugar should i use?I hope you give me your advice><.My friend's birthday is nextweek friday :D i want to make a cute and pretty cake that taste nice as well=) (Well not so sweet).Oh and urms..the spongecake i used ur recipe and it kinda turn out like brownie.And how do you cut ur cakes into 3 layers?It's kinda difficult ...

  26. Hi Tasmin, the sponge cake shouldn't be browmie like...looks like you didn't beat the egg mixture need to beat it until it is thick, double/triple in volume and leaves a ribbon like trial when you lift up the whisk. I use a serrated knife to cut the sponge horizontally.

    I have not make any fondant as such I can't give any comments on it. As for the buttercream, as mentioned in my previous comment, you need that amount of sugar so that the buttercream can hold up well for frosting and piping. Icing sugar is commonly used for making buttercream. If you can taste the sugar bits, is it because you didnt sieve the icing sugar, or you didnt beat the buttercream enough? Sorry, I am not much help when it comes to buttercream.

  27. I see.Thanks for your comment i'll remember!But..i'm still not confident in cutting the's kinda scary if i mess it up...T_T...Maybe i should put seperated the batter into 3 portions and bake it?

  28. Hi Tasmin, Once you get the sponge cake right, it is firm enough for you to slice, no worries about it.

    You can bake the cake in 3 separate baking pans, as long as your oven is big enough to accommodate all three at the same cannot leave the batter to wait, you have to bake it right away once you have mixed it up, otherwise the batter will deflate.

  29. I just bought a cup sieve.The 1 which makes it more easier to sieve by just pushing the button.But the net seems bigger then the another sieve i got(The more difficult to use).Will it affect the result of the spongecake?

  30. Hi Tasmin, I dont think the type of sieve will affect the result. Just make sure you sieve the flour 2 ~ 3 times and when you are ready to add in the flour, sieve in the flour to the egg mixture again. Add the flour in 3 separate additions so that it will be easier to fold in the flour.

  31. Urms do i need to preheat my oven if need how long and what temperature and what temperature should i use after i put the batter in?

  32. Hi Tasmin, you preheat the oven at 180degC and bake it at 180degC. I use an oven theremometer to check the temperature...usually it takes about 10-15mins for my oven to preheat to the required temperature.

  33. Hello Urms Sorry to bother you again i dont have anyone else to ask for..=(
    Urms Do you mind reading this

    This is the recipe i used for the buttercream.I tried making some buttercream icing today again to prepare it for the cake i'm gonna bake this coming Friday.I added 225g sugar (0.5lb) and added the milk slowly and mix it.I taste the icing abit and i could felt sugar bit and the mixture was quite like a clump it was something like the...light whipped cream or tasted good..but after i added the another 0.5lb of sugar i mix it for about like 15-20min manually...and it became like it would leave a ribbon like texture behind...and it's really soft but when i taste it i could taste sugar bits. I did sift my icing sugar TWICE.So..did anything went wrong?...Currently i kept my buttercream icing in the refrigator , airtight. And when it gets ABIT harden like the clump form i'm gonna try whip it again to see if it helps..hope you can give me your advice.xD thank you for being such a greattttt help.If not..could u actually share with me the recipe u once use for frosting the cupcake?

  34. Hi Tasmin, I am sorry that I am really of not much help with regards to buttercream. I have only tried once, and I followed this recipe here: (
    I suspect you could have overbeat the buttercream for too long, it shouldnt be a ribbon like texture, it will be too soft for piping.

  35. Have you ever made an ice cream cake before?I Think i what you're saying is right...fondant and buttercream icing is too sweet. i wanna make an icecream cake.Do u have an recipe and it is better if there's a video along with it

  36. Hi Tasmin, I had posted a recipe on Oreo Ice Cream cake, look for it under the side bar category "Easy as Cake". No, I do not have a video on it, maybe you can try google for it?

  37. Hi Tasmin, I had posted a recipe on Oreo Ice Cream cake, look for it under the side bar category "Easy as Cake". No, I do not have a video on it, maybe you can try google for it?

  38. hello happy home baker,
    i wonder if the pouring cream u mentioned is the same as the one i bought from cold storage.
    heres a picture of it. i've uploaded it on flickr.
    it contains 23% milk fat.
    i hope u can see the picture as im not sure whether i have uploaded it correctly or not. thanks

  39. Hi B, that's the one, although the printing on the wrapper is slightly from the ones I get here :)

  40. thank you very much happy home baker :D i love your blog, i love baking nowadays. but my mum n sis keep asking me to stop baking as they are putting on weight!! lol

  41. Hi,

    This cake has to be chilled or leave in room temperature after decorating ?

    You mention you use nestle is it the can type ?

    Thanks !

  42. Hi Kim, after decorating you will need to chill it in the fridge. Yes, I use the can type of nestle cream.

  43. Poisonkizz18/6/09 2:39 pm

    HI HHB! If you remembered, I commented you before on a tiramisu charlotte cake recipe that I did on Mothers' day (: I'm back again and thinking of baking this cake for Fathers' day next. But I have some queries-

    1. Would the cake have any side effects if I were to use a square baking pan instead of a circle one?

    2. For the nestle pouring cream, I found a can of that in Ntuc but I'm not sure if it's the right one. It states on the can that if it were to be used as pouring cream, I need to add in milk. Is it specifically stated on the can that it is pouring cream? Sorry for asking this.

    3. If I don't use the lemon juice, will the cake taste different?

    Thanks for taking time off to answer my queries HHB. Really appreciate it.

  44. Hi Poisonkizz,
    1. The cake will be 'shorter' since a square (assuming you are using a 20cm pan) will have a bigger surface area than a round one.

    2. It is the same one I used, with the text "Nestle Cream, Pure Dairy Serilised Cream" on the can.

    3. The lemon juice is used to prevent the banana slices from turing brown, it will not enhance/affect the taste of the cake.

    Hope this helps.

  45. Poisonkizz18/6/09 4:08 pm

    Thank you very much that really helped (: / Happy baking in the future!

  46. How many cans of pouring cream did you use for 4 oz?

  47. Hi Shades, I used one can, 4 fl oz is about half a cup, 120~125ml.

  48. for the pouring cream, did u heat the nestle cream and add milk to it den add the chocolate? or do u just heat the cream and add the chocolate?

  49. Hi, I heat the nestle cream together with the chocolate, I didn't add any milk.

  50. Hi,

    May I replace cake flour with plain flour? will there be a difference?

  51. hi XY, you may replace it with plain flour, the texture will not be as soft and light though.

  52. if i substitute heavy cream for pouring cream will it make any difference? If not, what could be a substitute for it? i dont think we have any pouring cream here in my area...I'll check walmart tomorrow or something..i plan on making this for my dad for father's day on sunday, amidst all the final exams going on x_x


  53. This is the second time i tried making a sponge cake, but I failed again...:(
    The batter doubled by 2x but refused to turn ribbon-like after 13 minutes of super-high speed electric whisking. Maybe it's because I can't fold flour? It didn't look like it was deflated when I poured it into the pan...could you show us a video/picture of what it looks like in an 8-inch circle pan? how high does the batter reach in the pan? mine went about 1/2 i think..and it didn't rise in the oven at all :( i baked it on the middle rack, then last 5 minutes on the top because i thought it'd give it time to rise..(didn't work :[)
    also, mine had lots of air bubbles, just like the first time...i whisked on low to stabilize, but still lots of air bubbles T__T boohoo~
    I'm not going to give up! D:
    do you know what I did wrongg?
    Oh well, my dad will still eat it..^^'
    Thank you for the recipe! :D you're amazing~

  54. Hi Skye, sorry for the late reply as I was away and didn't have access to blogger. You can use heavy cream instead. Hope your cake turned out well :)

    Hi NomNomSushi, did you use eggs that were cold from the fridge? You need it to bring them to room temperature so that it is easier to whisk. The eggs and sugar mixture double turn pale, thick, double/triple in volume and leaves a ribbon like trial when you lift up the whisk/paddle. The batter should fill up to 75% of the cake pan. The cake batter should start to rise at least 10-15mins into baking, not at the last 5mins. You can take a look at my video clip here ( on how to beat the eggs and sugar mixture. Although it was a roll cake, but the steps are the same as making a sponge cake. Hope this helps :)

  55. hello HHB, i tried baking this today using a 9" round springform pan, and upping the ingredients by 25%. unfortunately my cake didn't rise much - it was only about 1 inch high when it came out of the oven :(

    i think the problem might be my method of folding in the dry ingredients. i couldn't get the flour mixture to blend thoroughly with the eggs+sugar so i kept folding... which probably caused the batter to deflate :( any advice would be appreciated!

  56. Hi Jac, did you beat the eggs and sugar mixture until it becomes thick and is able to leave a ribbon like trail when you lift up the whisk? If this stage is done correctly, then likely it is due to the folding of the flour mixture. Sift the flour at least three times before using. When ready to fold, sift over the flour mixture to the egg & sugar can do the folding of the flour in 3 separate additions instead of all at once, it will be easier to fold. The finished batter should not be thin and runny, otherwise the cake will not rise upon baking. Hope this helps.

  57. may i know how to open the video clip,thankz.

  58. Hi, not sure which video clip you are referring to? as there is no video uploaded on this post?