Hummingbird cake is a longtime favourite of mine. Its combination of banana, pineapple and nuts makes beautifully moist, while slatherings of cream cheese frosting make it deliciously tangy sweet. It is like a blond fruit cake, but lighter.
I decided to make this cake because I got some bananas from the supermarket. Here is the 'ripeness' timetable:
Wednesday: Bought some bananas. Status: Green
Sunday: Yellow/green (note: weekend baking deadline has passed)
Tuesday: Yellow/brown spots
Wednesday: Yellow/more brown spots
Thursday: Ripe enough for hummingbird cake (but no time to bake).
So I put the bananas in the freezer till the weekend.
Hint: Peel the bananas and put them back in their peels before freezing. Otherwise, you'll have to cut the peels away from the frozen bananas when you need to use them. The skins will also turn a horrid brown colour, but the bananas are still okay.
The cake can also be made with pecans or walnuts, though I've used macadamia nuts in this version. Hope you like it.
Ingredients2/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
440g can crushed pineapple, lightly drained
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
250g light cream cheese, softened
150g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar mixture
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 24cm springform tin.
2. Place macadamia nuts on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the caster sugar, brown sugar, coconut and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
4. In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pineapple, vanilla and macadamias.
5. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
6. Pour into the baking tin. Bake for at least one hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake completely, then remove from the tin.
7. To make the icing, place all ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread over the cold cake.
Ingredients (some of), including frozen brown bananas
The cake is lovely and golden, but still needs a protective coating of cream cheese icing...
This is a moist, flavoursome cake, offset by the tang of the icing.