Hummingbird Meets Cake

Before animal rights activists come rushing at me with pitchforks or there is any other sort of misunderstanding, let me make one thing title – no birds were harmed in the making of this cake.

There were no shootings or other illegal activity of that kind or boiling in a witches cauldron – after all, I myself am a vegetarian 🙂

45The title is simply a small, feeble attempt at comedic wordplay by yours truly because what I made next today is called a Hummingbird Cake. I found this recipe during my extensive searches of the one and only Exclusively Food (I swear, if I keep going at this rate, I will end up making all of their sweet recipes and even many savouries!) and it stood out to me because

a)  It was a simple two bowl (I made it into 1 bowl) cake

b)  It had a blend of many different flavours which I was a little apprehensive about and therefore wanted to try and prove myself wrong

After a couple of adaptations, which is kind of becoming my staple way of doing things, I popped this cake into the oven, out of the oven and into my mouth almost as soon as possible since the aroma given off by this cake is simply killing – it is exotic and sweet and, I know this will sound weird, light – as if it could lift you out of your depression or stress. Seriously, stay out of the kitchen and any rooms within a 20m radius because the smell is seriously delicious and seriously makes you hungry (I should know!)

53So my adaptations were:

  • Increasing the pineapple juice/syrup to 6 tbs (or 1/4 cup + 2 tbs)
  • Increasing drained pineapple (which I forgot to crush and had to mash with my potato masher) to 2/3 cup
  • Increasing ground cinnamon to as much as desired (for me around 2 tsp)
  • Adding in 2 tsp of allspice for extra flavour
  • Substituting crushed walnuts in place of pecans
  • Using specifically LIGHT brown sugar (since dark would be a little too rich with the cream cheese frosting which OF COURSE was off limits for myself)
  • Substituting melted butter (1/2 cup = 113g) instead of oil since I am a firm no-oil-in-sweets believer

71And I really recommend:

  • Adding in 1-2 tsp vanilla or a fruity essence – if it is something strong lower to 1 tsp
  • Adding in a little bit of desiccated coconut, perhaps 1/2 cup – 2/3 for a little extra texture-ality
  • Adding in 1-2 tbs of orange (lemon and lime are not big brown sugar fans) zest
  • That you keep an eye on baking time – I made 1/2 the recipe in a heart shaped tin and it took only 1/2 hr to bake as opposed to the 1 hr 10 minutes for a normal sized cake
  • That you leave your cake to cool in the oven so it does not deflate

61Anyway, I am not exactly sure why this is called a Hummingbird Cake (is there even really a bird called a Hummingbird because many-a bird hum or at least sing) – my take on this is then that, due to the exotic flavours of spices, bananas and pineapples, it is a very exotic bird which feasts on only the most natural fruit on a sunny and sandy beach – makes sense right???
And is it just me or does this cake which is meant to be with cream cheese frosting remind you of carrot cake?

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6 Comments

  1. Shagun says:

    Hi Uru

    I like this cake and would like to make it for Shankar’s b’day on Saturday. It is a bit plain for a B-day cake…can you please suggest how I can dress it up a bit….how do you make a cream cheese frosting….do you suggest mascarpone with fruit or candied ginger on top?

    • Hi Aunty
      This cake would be smashing for a birthday but yes, needs dressing up for the occasion
      A cream cheese frosting is simply an icing made creamier and more delicious using cream cheese along with butter, sugar and flavouring – I suggest a plain frosting rather than richly flavoured for this cake since the cake itself has many components – here is a no-fail frosting recipe:https://gobakeyourself.com/2011/10/01/carrot-at-its-peak/

      As for dressing up, I think layering the cake with this frosting (split cake in two and sandwich) and then frost the top evenly
      Marscapone and fruit might be a little excessive since there is already a type of cheese used but I believe a circumference of candied lemon and orange peel would compliment the colouring quite well
      And then garnish with a small walnut tower in the middle drizzled with honey or golden syrup

      Best of luck and give my happy birthday to uncle 🙂

  2. Love your photos of the baked cake, CCU. especially the “broken heart”. I, too, have trouble getting the right lighting for my photos, so I bought a large piece of white foam board (poster board would also work). Cut in half, one piece goes under whatever I’m photographing and one behind or to the side. Then I take lots of pics from various angles and sort it all out once on the computer and in the iPhoto program.

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