Sunday, October 2, 2011
I know I swore I hated cakes, but I'm learning some aren't so bad. Every Thursday I go to my class devoted entirely to the subject. All I eat all day Thursdays is cakes. Everyone in the class makes a different cake, and I try them all. Sometimes I can't stop, especially on mousse day. I was dipping my fork in everything chocolate, caramel and fruit-flavored. This hummingbird cake, the one pictured above, was part of the classic American cakes day. It was so easy and such a showstopper. The Southern favorite reminded me of carrot cake, really moist and sweet. The batter has crushed pineapple, bananas and pecans in it.
Below is the Heaven and Hell cake, which apparently goes for like $100 at the Mansion, a fancy hotel-restaurant in Dallas. It's certainly a Texas-style cake: six layers with peanut-butter mouse in between each and covered with chocolate ganache. The cake cleverly features alternating layers of angel food and devil's food cake. Decadent and ridiculous--that's Texas for you. I much prefer the simpler, homier hummingbird.
110 grams pecans, chopped and toasted
420 grams flour
400 grams sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
180 mL canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
227 grams crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups mashed bananas (3 to 4 bananas)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
57 grams butter, room temperature
227 grams cream cheese, room temperature
454 grams powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
55 grams pecans, chopped and toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Makes two nine-inch rounds. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple, bananas and pecans. Combine ingredients being careful not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly and bake 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the cake cleanly. Let cool before frosting.
For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Sift the powdered sugar and add to the butter gradually. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the pecans by hand. Ice the cake.