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Prep 30minBake 30-35minMakes 12-15 serves
Originating (and excessively popular) in America, Hummingbird cake is a tropical mix of banana and pineapple, and when layered with an orange cream cheese frosting makes a great celebration cake. Sweet and indulgent, a small slice is all that is needed to satisfy.
150g (1 cup) plain flour
75g (½ cup) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
220g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
2 very ripe large bananas (about 250g each)
440g crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained and juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
185ml (¾ cup) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)
Orange cream cheese frosting
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 orange, zest finely grated
375g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush three 20cm round cake tins with extra sunflower oil to lightly grease and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
Sift together the plain and self-raising flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and coconut and stir to combine, breaking up any lumps.
Mash the banana and combine with the drained pineapple, 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the reserved pineapple syrup, eggs and oil. Add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared tins and spread with the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Stand the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
Meanwhile, to make the Orange cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and orange zest until very smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition and beat until well combined and really creamy. Divide the Orange cream cheese frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
Take one portion of the Orange cream cheese frosting and use a palette knife to spread half over one cake layer. Top with a second cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting of the first portion. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread another portion of frosting over the sides and the remaining portion over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pecans to decorate
This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Prep 30min (+ 2hr cooling time and overnight freezing)Bake 1hrMakes 12-15 serves
There is something wonderful about ice-cream cakes. This one is a layer of cheat's strawberry ice-cream sandwiched with orange-scented pistachio meringue. It makes a wonderful dessert for any summer celebration.
1 litre good-quality vanilla ice cream
Strawberries, hulled and halved, to serve
Coarsely chopped pistachios, to serve
Edible flowers (optional), to serve
500g strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons rose water, to taste (optional)
4 egg whites, at room temperature
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
45g (⅓ cup) ground pistachios
1 orange, rind finely grated
Preheat oven to 150°C. Mark two 20cm circles on two pieces of non-stick baking paper. Turn the paper over and line two oven trays.
To make the Pistachio discs, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar, whisking well after each addition, until very thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the orange rind. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the ground pistachios until evenly combined. Divide the mixture between the two trays and use a palette knife to spread to fill the two marked circles.
Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C and bake for 1-1¼ hours, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until crisp on top. Turn off the oven and allow the discs to cool in the oven (this will take about 2 hours).
Meanwhile, to make the strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring to t a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes or until syrupy but the strawberries still hold some of their shape. Strain the sauce through a sieve set over a heatproof bowl. Transfer to strawberry pieces in a bowl and stir the rose water through the sauce. Cover both with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool.
When ready to assemble the cake, line the base and sides of a 22cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Place a pistachio disc in the base of the lined tin, trimming to fit if necessary.
Scoop the ice cream into a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes at room temperature to soften slightly. Spoon over the cooled strawberry pieces and use a large metal spoon or spatula to briefly fold together to form a rough swirl pattern. Spoon the ice cream immediately into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to press down and remove any air pockets. Cover the ice cream with the remaining pistachio disc, trimming to fit if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
Remove the cake from the springform tin and place on a serving plate. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and edible flowers, if using . Spoon over some of the strawberry sauce. Serve in wedges with the remaining strawberry sauce passed separately.
This cake will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
The strawberry sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively freeze it for up to 1 month and thaw in the fridge.