It has been almost a month since my last post.
I am so sorry.
I have been distracted. By lab work. By presentation writing. Potentially by a strapping young gentleman with excellent taste in shirtwear and a glorious beard.
Lets be honest here. I'm amongst friends. We all know I procrastibake to the max when work needs to be done so based on previous observation I think we can safely say it is the latter of the three.
It's ok though. I think the lack of baking altogether has had a positive effect on my thigh circumference . . .
But anyway I felt like it was time to post again. Cakes before dates after all. It's a dreary Sunday and such Sundays as these call for cake.
By sheer luck I found all of these ingredients in my cupboard or freezer. A few months ago I must have made carrot cake for someone and so I stashed the left over pineapple in the freezer along with some bananas that started going a little funky last week. I love it when I find hidden gems like that. In my below zero adventures I also stumbled upon some pumpkin pie filling #winning. Anyone out there want a pumpkin pie??
It was only now that I realised I hadn't actually blogged about hummingbird cake. At least I don't think I have. This recipe was originally for a three layered cake but the final destination of these little cakes called for them to be individually wrapped in share friendly paper cases. You can use the exact same quantities for a triple layer cake, just spread the batter between three sandwich tins and bake for around 35 minutes. This same recipe made 12 of these baby cakes and a 20cm cake. What you do with the batter is up to you.
Hummingbird cake is a hybrid between banana cake and carrot cake. I find in my case it leans more towards a carrot cake. My mum makes the best carrot cake and for years has been throwing in tinned pineapple. A true hummingbird cake has pecans or walnuts and doesn't have the grated carrot. I threw convention out the window and added the carrot anyway. I was too poor/too lazy to put pants on and go to the supermarket to get the nuts. Which is a shame because I do feel they add a glorious extra element to the textural experience of this cake.
For those of you
electric beater/cake mixer this recipe is for you! No creaming is required so can easily be done by hand if necessary. The icing on the other hand does require a good bit of creaming to get the consistency deliciously light so perhaps you should make friends with your neighbours :)
I adapted this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. It called for white sugar but once again since I lacked the desire to don the pants to go to the supermarket I substituted in brown sugar. Brown sugar has a greater moisture content as well as being darker in colour (due to the molasses) so lends itself wonderfully to cakes such as these where a rich colour and moist texture is required.
adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Makes 3 20cm layers/ 12 baby cakes + 1x20cm cake/ 20ish regular sized cupcakes
300g brown sugar
250ml sunflower oil
300g mashed banana (two large bananas)
100g tinned crushed pineapple (juice drained)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans if desired
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g cream cheese, room temperature
75g butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar
a few splashes of milk to loosen
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius on bake.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, bananas and vanilla until well combined. Sieve in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in three lots and mix until just incorporated.
Stir in the crushed pineapple, nuts and carrot.
Fill the cupcake cakes until two thirds full or spread the mixture between three lined and greased sandwich tins.
If baking cupcakes, bake for 22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If baking a 20cm cake layer, bake for 34 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack or tea towel. Only ice these once they are fully cool.
To make the icing, cream together the cream cheese and butter with a cup of the icing sugar until a smooth mixture develops. Slowly add in the rest of the icing sugar along with the occasional splash of milk and beat on high until a fluffy and smooth icing arises.
Spread the icing onto the cakes in any fashion you desire.