Monday, 8 November 2010

Hummingbird Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Hummingbird Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

Firstly, I'm really sorry about the bad quality photos on this post. This weekend was very hectic and I just didn't find time to photograph this cake in natural daylight and as it was quickly shot on my phone camera they really don't look that great.

But apologies out of the way, because this cake is absolutely delicious and super easy to make, as is the frosting. Really, you just dump everything in a bowl, mix it together and then bake. There's no butter in the batter which did worry me at first, however after tasting you really cannot tell - the banana keeps it so moist and the 4 eggs seem to make up for the lack of any other dairy. As Julie Powell once said "Think it over, any time you taste something that's delicious beyond imagining and you say 'what's in this?' the answer is always going to be butter
" - but not this time Julie!

A hummingbird cake isn't usually frosted with chocolate, but as I have started a diet today I wanted to pack in as many possible calories yesteday and went all out, and I think it worked wonderfully. Adding a spoon of chocolate spread is an easy cheat to get a rich chocolatey frosting when you have forgotten to buy some chocolate to melt in... oops. If you would prefer, just omit the cocoa and chocolate spread so you have a vanilla frosting instead.

Hummingbird Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

Hummingbird Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen
Serves 12-16 people

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients
375g self-raising flour
200g light muscovado sugar
200g caster sugar
170ml vegetable oil
50g pecan nuts, finely chopped
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
200g crushed pineapple and it's juice (from a tin)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 eggs

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
500g icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp cocoa powder
200g full fat cream cheese
, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
1 heaped tbsp chocolate spread

Hummingbird Cake Method
Preheat oven to 170 C / 325 F, then grease and line three 8" baking tins and set aside.

Place all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined.

Divide between the three tins and bake, rotating the tins after 15 minutes,
for 25-30 minutes until the tops spring back when you gently pressed with your fingertip.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from their tins and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Method
Make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature or you will have lumpy frosting!

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until smooth and creamy and of a good spreadable consistency.

Cake Construction
Using a serrated knife trim the tops of the cakes so they are all flat.

Place the first layer onto your cake plate and spread on 1/4 of the frosting. Place on the second layer bottom side up and spread with another 1/4. Place the last layer on top, bottom side up again, and use the remaining frosting to cover the cake.

Hummingbird Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting - The Inky Kitchen

I reserved some of the frosting for piping on decoration and added a homemade florentine cookie as I had some left from earlier, but the cake looks just as lovely smoothed over and sprinkled with some more chopped pecans.

This cake is best kept refrigerated because of the cream cheese in the frosting - just remove it from the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving to take off a little of the chill.

I used this recipe from Delia for the florentine cookies, which were a present for Pete's Grandad on his birthday, but I added a little chopped stem ginger to them too!

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