Monthly Archives: October 2014

Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird Cake

A Jamie Oliver recipe – this cake has been around for ages.  It’s gorgeous and very easy to make. I wish I had taken a picture when I cut the cake because it looked fabulous – I will be making this again so watch this space.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 250 ml olive oil plus extra for greasing
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 x 425g  tin of pineapple chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g pecans
  • pinch salt

Ingredients – Icing

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 200g cream cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line two 23 cm cake tins.  
  • Sift the flour and cinnamon in a bowl, add sugar and large pinch of salt.  
  • Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork in another bowl.
  • Drain and finely chop the pineapple, add to bananas with oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Mix until combined and fold into dry ingredients until smooth.
  • Finely chop pecans and gently fold in, and divide batter between two tins
  • Bake for 35 – 40 mins or until risen and golden brown. Run a knife around edge of tins, then leave to cool for 10 mins before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Sift icing sugar into a bowl, add butter and beat until pale and creamy. 
  • Add cream cheese, finely grate zest of 1 lime and a little squeeze of juice, then beat until just smooth.  Important that you don’t over beat this mixture.
  • To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake stand, and spread with half the icing.  Top with the other sponge, spread over the rest of the icing, then grate  over the zest of the remaining lime. Scatter with chopped pecans.

Note: Jame Oliver did make a pecan brittle topping which he sprinkled over the icing. I didn’t add that step because I sprinkled chopped pecans. When eventually I go down the path of making the brittle- I will add it.

 

 

Nigella’s Basic Chocolate Cake

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This is Nigella’s basic chocolate cake recipe  from her website –  simply delicious. I heated it in the microwave for 10 seconds and the chocolate icing just oozed down the cake – yummy!!

Ingredients – Cake

200 grams plain flour
200 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40 grams best-quality cocoa powder
175 grams soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 ml sour cream

Ingredients – Icing 

75 grams unsalted butter
175 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
300 grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125 ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF and line and butter two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins with removable bases.
Put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.
Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.
To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing.
While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
When you’ve done, you may need to add a little boiling water – say a teaspoon or so – or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.