Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hummingbird Cake

Serves: 16
Time: about an hour for the cake + bake time
Source: adapted from Southern Living Magazine

I often double this and bake it in two 9" pans and two 6" pans.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla/vanilla sugar
  • 1 8oz or 225g can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 3/4 cups mashed/pureed ripe bananas
  • cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
  • dried pineapple flowers (directions below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease and flour 2 or 3 9-inch/23cm cake pans. Mash ripe bananas in a bowl with a fork and chop pecans into small, but not fine, pieces. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil until dry ingredients are just moistened. Add vanilla, pineapple, pecans and bananas, stirring until combined.
  3. Pour batter evenly into 2 or 3 round cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350F/175C for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack lined with baking paper.
  5. Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Decorate with dried pineapple flowers. Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting

 Makes: 3 1/4 cups or 7.5dl
  • 1/2 cup or 113g butter, room temperature
  • 8oz or 225g cream cheese, room temperature VERY IMPORTANT!
  • 16oz or 455g powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (sprinkle between cake layers)
 Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in vanilla.  Do not overmix!

Pineapple Flowers

Makes: about 2 dozen

Time: about 3 hours - prepare 1-3 days in advance

1 large pineapple (about 1kg) (the recipe works best if the pineapples are not quite ripe).

1. Heat oven to 225F/110C. Line a couple baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

2. Peel pineapples with a serrated knife (Remove "eyes" using a very tiny melonballer, or paring knife if you don't plan to use a flower cookie cutter for shaping them.)  Cut crosswise into very thin slices. Take a small metal flower-shaped cookie cutter and press into pineapple slices.  Use a rolling pin on top of the cookie cutter to press firmly.  Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake until tops look dry, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.  Using tongs, flip slices over and continue to cook until reasonably dry, about an hour or so. Arrange on a wire rack and leave to cool and dry a bit more for a few hours. (note: A convection oven is an advantage for faster drying so use it if you have it.)

3. When the flowers are dry, but still a bit pliable, hold the center of the flower between your thumb and forefinger in one hand and pull the petals of the flower upwards with your other hand to give them a more realistic look.

4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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