Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hummingbird Cake

Recently after a couple of days away from home, I returned to find a surprise gift from my mum.
Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food book!! I literally screamed with excitement! Not only was it a lovely lovely surprise to come back to, but i am super obsessed with the new comfort food series!

Okay and I admit I am guilty of pretty much forcing my mum to watch the recorded series with me. While she is too polite to tell me that it's fine for me to watch it quietly on my own, she also lets me rewind, play, rewind again, play..  just so I get to listen to the recipe properly.

It's good I got the book now, so I won't be harassing her with that any more! The rewinding and pausing I mean, not the watching of the episodes- we're still going to do that! :-P

The good thing about these recipes are that even though they are a bit time consuming and super indulgent (comfort food being the key word here)- they are actually doable! It's totally possible to come up with an awesome result at the end!

The first recipe I tried out was the lovely Hummingbird cake! Packed with bananas and pineapple and pecans, this cake is amazingly delicious! The cream cheese frosting makes it very indulgent and the best bit? The pecan brittle on top that I admit to being super proud of!!

All these components together make the perfect combination of a sweet, indulgent, fruity cake topped with the perfect amount of crunch!

On a side note- not completely relevant but I shall add it anyway, My baby boy made us sing happy birthday to him three times while cutting the cake!..and it wasn't even his birthday cake! I guess it would be safest to just bring a ready sliced cake in front of him. I would- but seeing his face light up in delight EVERY SINGLE time is totally worth it :-D

I will be posting about his epic chocolatey Nutella cake soon!!

Anyway- the recipe for the Humminbird cake can be found here !

Make it!! not only is it fun to make but it is also going to make everyone very happy!!

Pecan Brittle


For the cake:

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

For the icing:

400 g icing sugar 
150 g unsalted butter, (at room temperature) 
200 g cream cheese 
2 limes

For the Brittle:

100 g caster sugar 
50 g pecans


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins. 

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and a large pinch of sea salt. 

Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork in another bowl.

 Drain and finely chop the pineapple and add to the bananas with the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold into the dry mixture until smooth. Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in, then divide the batter evenly between your prepared tins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre. 

For the icing, sift the icing sugar and add the butter and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Add the cream cheese and finely grate in the zest of 1 lime and add a squeeze of juice.
Beat until smooth, but don't over mix it. keep it in the fridge while moving on to the next step.

To make a brittle topping, place the caster sugar in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and shake flat. (Jamie adds a splash of water to this, but that doesn't work well for me- so do whatever suits you).

Swirl the pan occasionally until dissolved and lightly golden. Add the pecans and a pinch of salt.

Stir around to coat, and when its finally nicely golden, pour onto a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to set. Once cool, smash up to a dust- or a bit chunkier the way I prefer it! You don't need to use all of this so you can set some aside for other desserts!

Assemble the cake by placing one sponge on a cake stand or a plate and spread with half the icing. Top with the other sponge and then spread over the rest of the icing.

Grate over the zest of the remaining lime and finally, sprinkle over the brittle.

This cake is absolute genius.. make it..then; 'serve in a bluebell wood on a fallen tree, as you do'-  ;-)