Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate-Banana Layer Cake

Servings: 12-16
1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup prepared instant coffee, cooled
1/3 cup water
3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. instant coffee
2 tbsp. milk, warmed
8 oz. (250g) cream cheese, softened
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate curls (optional-See How to Make Chocolate Curls below)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180 C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper or parchment paper.

2. Stir cake mix and cocoa in large bowl. Add eggs, prepared coffee, water and bananas; beat with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes; pour evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans. Immediately remove wax or parchemnt paper. Cool cake layers completely on wire racks before filling and frosting cake.

4. Dissolve the 1 tsp. instant coffee in warm milk. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add milk mixture; beat 2 minutes, then blend in melted chocolate. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth and fluffy. Use to fill and frost cooled cake layers. Immediately press pecans into frosting on side of cake. Garnish top with chocolate curls.

Makes 12-16 servings.

How to Make Chocolate Curls
Unwrap and heat a square of Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate for a few seconds in the microwave. Holding the square firmly in your hand, draw a vegetable peeler over the flat bottom.

Date: November 14, 2004