So I recently announced the news to my family that my second Cookbook ‘Gimme the Recipe 2’ is in the works for 2016. I’d kept it quiet for ages and was bursting to tell but creating and publishing a cookbook is like the looooongest pregnancy ever and now that I’ve announced I’ll be asked every second day how’s the cookbook coming along!! The text is written and we’ll be moving along to the exciting stage of styling and photographing for the cookbook over the next couple of months and I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on behind the scenes. It is very exciting!
To announce the news I decided to accompany it with cake – I do like a bit of drama and flourish and wanted a bit of a showstopper. I don’t bake regularly, very infrequently actually so when a cake is produced it’s usually for a special occasion.
I’d seen pictures of Hummingbird Cake over the years but had no idea what the fuss was about. Yes they looked pretty but I had never checked out the recipes or come to realise that these cakes are fruity and moist and akin to an indulgent carrot cake. Another relatively recent discovery was that you could freeze bananas and as a bunch of them blackened in the kitchen I put them aside to chill and rest in the freezer until time permitted a bit of baking. If you like carrot cake you’ll love Hummingbird Cake.
You will need four x 8.5 inch / 22cm baking tins greased with a little butter and the base lined with baking paper.
You will need:
400g caster sugar
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 large or 6 medium bananas mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g pineapple (drained from can, reserve juice for frosting)
Pre-heat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 3.
Combine the sugar, eggs, oil and mashed bananas and cinnamon using an electric mixer.
Gradually add in flour and baking powder and mix on low to a smooth batter and add the vanilla extract.
Fold in the chopped pineapple and pecans by hand using a spatula.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 tins and bake for 25 minutes at 150C/Gas Mark 3 then raise the heat to 180C/Gas Mark 6 to cook for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the cakes to cool in the tins until cool enough to handle then tip out the cakes, peel off the baking paper and allow to cool completely on a wire tray.
You will need:
600g Icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
250g Cream cheese – I use Philadelphia
Couple of tablespoons of pineapple juice
Extra pecans for decorating.
Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat in the butter and pineapple juice.
Add in cream cheese, if needs more moisture beat in more juice or a little warm water.
Once the cakes are completely cool stack them generously buttered with frosting to stick the layers together and then use a palette knife to coat all sides and smooth it with a little warm water if necessary.
Decorate with some whole and crumbled pecans.
‘Til next time, Sheila