|Leaning tower of cake|
Hoorah! Time to escape the tyranny of the cupcake and dive headfirst in to the cake chapter. I’ve never been a huge fan of cake decorating so plastering one big one with icing instead of 12 fiddly small ones appeals a lot more. Eager to crack on, I piled up the ingredients in the kitchen and set to work, aided and abetted by my best friend (yes, the pregnant one I’ve vowed to shower with baked goods). Everything seemed to be going well until the first two layers came out the oven. ‘Isn’t it odd’ I remarked, ‘the cake in the book looks so much darker than mine, I wonder what could….f*$%, I’ve forgotten the blimming cinnamon’ (or words to that effect). Best mate remarked she had thought the mixture was lacking a spice when she tried it, before helpfully going on to suggest I buy a third cake tin to fit all my mixture in. I quickly rescued the situation by stirring some in the last layer and shoving it in the oven and it actually came out quite well.
I commenced icing (after an Apprentice intermission) and stood back to proudly observe my masterpiece before realising it had taken on somewhat of a tilt. I gave it a furtive shove, which improved the situation slightly, but there’s no denying it was a bit wonky. It was also absolutely massive. Not as big as Geoff the fudge cake (that’s another story, I’ll just say when you use 2 packets of butter to ice a cake you aren’t messing around), but still a giant. Serves 10 – elephants? Flatty matey happened to be baking as well, a giant blueberry ring cake. Between us we’d enough calories on the table to sink a supermodel. The following morning I tried to weigh myself to see what effect all this bowl licking was having but mercifully the scales were broken; a situation I need to remedy before complete denial sets in. As it is the act of carrying said cake to work for the Easter Baazar has given me a very strange pain in the top of my bottom.
Anyway, all the cake sold out within half an hour (yes I was one of the customers – it’s all for charity!). I absolutely love it, it’s moist and sweet with enough fruit in to make it one of your 5 a day. Kat says – bake it today!
Kitchen wisdom gained:
- More concentrating, less gossiping/watching the Apprentice when baking ensures you don’t miss out ingredients entirely.
- Don't bully your workmates into buying your cake as yuo will be compared to 'the Mafia'.
Domestic Goddess score out of 10: 7 – While this is a darn tasty cake, leaving out a key ingredient is an automatic points deduction, such a rookie mistake! (-2). Leaning tower of cake effect (-1).Final score: Hummingbird 1 – Kat 1
Hummingbird cake recipe
300g caster sugar
300ml sunflower oil
270g peeled bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus extra to decorate)
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g tinned pineapple, chopped into small pieces
100 g shelled pecan nuts (or walnuts), plus extra to decorate (I used an extra 50g)
3 x 20cm cake tins, base lined with greaseproof paper
1. Preheat the oven to 170C
2. Put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer) and beat until the ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.
4. Stir in the pineapple and pecan nuts by hand until evenly dispersed.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
7. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins slightly before turning out on to a wire cooling rack to cool completely
Cream cheese frosting (makes double regular recipe)
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter (at room temperature - makes life A LOT easier)
250g cream cheese (from the fridge, not room temperature)
1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed
2. Add the cream cheese and beat until incorporated
3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, for at least 5 minutes. Don't overbeat as it can become runny.
Assembling the cake
1. When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand (I actually used baking parchment, helps to clean up the mess) and spread about 1/4 of the icing over it with a palette knife.
2. Place a second cake on top and spoon over another 1/4 of icing over.
3. Top with the final cake and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides.
4. Finish with pecan nuts (or walnuts) and a light sprinkling of frosting.