Blueberry Hummingbird Cake

April is my birthday month and so I feel inclined towards celebrating cake in all of it’s forms today. This one is a favourite recipe of mine from the first Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and a slice even features on the cover. The reason that I like it is that it is huge – this is the perfect cake to have for a party or to take to work as it will easily feed 20. It’s light and moist and delicious. A total winner and it’s easy to make to boot.


Images copyright Lawson Photography

As you can see the images here were taken during the shoot at my old house before we moved, by the lovely Pete and Laura Lawson – thanks guys!

Blueberry cake – Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Preheat oven to 170C fan

350g butter, unsalted, room temp
350g caster sugar
6 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon zested
450g plain flour
2 tbsp of baking powder plus 1tsp
270ml soured cream

250g blueberries plus extra to decorate
1 quanitity of cream cheese frosting
(300g icing sugar, 50g unsalted butter, 125g cream cheese)
loosened with 30ml of soured cream and 20ml of lemon juice

25cm ring mould, greased and lined


Images copyright Lawson Photography

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
2.Add eggs, one at a time
3.Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, flour and baking powder
4.Add soured cream and beat until combined, gently stir in blueberries
5.Fill your tin and smooth surface over with a knife
6.Bake for 40-50 mins until the crust is golden brown and the sponge springs back.


Images copyright Lawson Photography

7.Leave to cool in the mould for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wired rack, removing the paper.
8.When the cake is cool, pour the icing mix over the top and sprinkle with blueberries.


Images copyright Lawson Photography

Definitely give it a try readers, it is soooo good!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Thanks for bearing with me this week – we are back in the bedroom!!! I’m still getting sorted but hope to be back next week with my usual schedule.

Florence’s Food: Triple Chocolate Cookies

Before I get into the meat chocolate of this post, I want to dedicate it to all of my blog friends. I wish I could have sent each and every one of you a handmade cookie in the post, but this recipe will have to do instead… big love to you all, especially the DFD crew ;)

Double Triple Chocolate Cookies, Hummingbird style. (Adapted)

Makes twelve.

50g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g white chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
170g soft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
85g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3.

Put the butter and the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.

Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in an electric mixer and beat until well mixed. Of course you can do this by hand. Pour in the chocolate mixture, beating on slowly until well combined.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl, then stir into the chocolate mixture in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the remaining white chocolate until evenly dispersed.

Arrange 6 equal amounts (a large dollop) of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. Make sure that the cookies are spaced out to allow for spreading while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, checking regularly after 10 minutes. They are ready when the tops start to crack and look glossy. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

You can make this with purely dark chocolate if you like (as per the original recipe,) but I love white chocolate and it gives a creamy sweet touch to balance the bitterness of the dark chocolate.

Go on. Spoil someone…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. At the time of writing, it had escaped me that I would be posting this on the first day of Lent so apologies to any of you who are giving up chocolate until Easter. You have my deepest sympathies ;)

Friday Food: Key Lime Pie

Last weekend, Jess finally had a housewarming party (only 12 months later!) which, given that it was summer, actually turned into a housewarming BBQ. As these occasions often call for a contribution, I decided to make a Key Lime Pie – suitably summery and it feeds the five thousand – literally, mainly because it’s so rich but it’s also rather large. Thin slivers are still very satisfying so it’s great if you have many mouths to feed or a party planned.

The recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery and surprisingly simple to make. Be warned, it is deliciously calorific!

Serves 12-16

Filling

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 397-gram tins of condensed milk
  • Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 5 limes (You don’t need green colouring as the zest gives it the green colour.)
  • 450ml whipped cream
  • I use a sixth lime for extra zest to decorate.

Crust

  • 500 grams digestive biscuits
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, melted

Method

Crush the biscuits in a food processor or blender and add the melted butter.
Once combined pour the mix into a 30cm dish. Press the biscuit base into a firm crust, evenly along the bottom of the dish and up the sides to the rim of the dish where you can flatten it out. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees then set aside to cool.
Separate your 8 yolks from the eggs and add to a bowl with the condensed milk and lime juice and zest. Mix until thoroughly combined and the yolks are completely incorporated.
Once your crust is completely cooled, pour in the mixture and wobble it a little to smooth and spread it out.

Put it back into the oven for another 20-30 minutes. When it’s done the surface is firm to the touch (but not discoloured.)
Leave to cool again.

When you are close to serving it, or this can be done in advance, smother the top of the pie with whipped cream. I sprinkle the top with a few pinches of lime zest to decorate.

Then enjoy!

Mmmm. I want to make this all over again now!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

 

Friday Food: Brooklyn Blackout Cake

You can all breathe a sigh of relief! It’s the end of January and so I thought we all deserved (at least a picture of) a big piece of chocolate cake!

I also decided to post this particular recipe as it’s one of the cakes I’ve made for the cake table this evening at Pete’s birthday party, at his request. We have a tradition now of him leafing through the The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbookand choosing his own cake. This one is pretty spectacular and although I would have liked mine to turn out taller, it’s still very impressive. A must for chocolate fanatics or anyone just wishing to celebrate the end of January! ;)


Image Credit: Zoe Bakes.

Ingredients:
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
260g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160 ml whole milk

For the chocolate custard:
500g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
200g cornflour
85g unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 x 20cm cake tins, base-lined with greaseproof paper

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius (Gas 3)

2. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld electric whisk)
and cream until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl
with a rubber spatula after each addition.
Turn the mixer down down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder,
baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed.
Add half the flour, then all the milk, and finish with the remaining flour.
Mix well until everything is well combined.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins.
Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins
before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

4. For the chocolate custard: Put the sugar, golden syrup, cocoa powder and 600ml of water
into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally.

5. Mix in the cornflour with 120ml of water, then whisk into the cocoa mixture in the saucepan.
Bring back to boil , whisking constantly.
Cook until very thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill until very firm.

6. When the cakes are cold, using a serrated knife, slice a thin layer off one of the cakes.
Put this layer into a food processor and process to make fine crumbs.
Put one cake on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the chocolate custard over it with a palette knife.
Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the custard over it.
Top with the last cake and spread the remaining custard over the top and sides.
Cover with the cake crumbs and chill for about 2 hours.

How much do you just want to shove your face in that?

Birthdays are the best :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Favourite… Cookery Books

This afternoon, I thought I’d try something new, another round up, but with some serious audience participation.

A little while a go I wrote about the Great British Bake-Off Cook book and a few readers mentioned that they would like to hear about peoples’ highest rated cook books. It made me think, a ‘favourites’ feature would be great… I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours ;)

So these are Florence’s Favourite (and recommended) top recipe books, please pitch in with your tried and tested favourites in the comments box. (I’m thinking they would also make great Christmas presents…)

Jokes about how to boil an egg aside, Delia’s how-to books are like a kitchen bible for me. Whenever I need to figure out a basic technique, am unsure of cooking times for a roast joint, or need a basic recipe, for meringue for example, this is the book(s) that I come back to time after time. I jest not when I say Delia even taught me to bake bread.

My favourite recipes are often sharing dishes. We regularly have friends over for casual meals in the week, nothing fancy, just one-pot-wonders that feed more than 2 of us anyway and make for a relaxed catch up. Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends by Rachel Allen, (I’d recommend Rachel’s Favourite Food equally) is full of them, along with occasion foods and menus for impressing your husband’s boss, light bites with girlfriends and Christmas foods. I’ll take her kitchen too.

No list of cookery books is complete without Jamie Oliver and Jamie’s Dinners is another of those well worn books in my cupboard that I turn to time and time again for recipes like Jools’ favourite Stew, Jamie’s Lasagne and Aubergine and Mozarella Pasta. Jamie’s Italy is also a favourite, mainly due to my obsession with Italian food.

Everyone has got it, but you can’t beat the Hummingbird Bakery book for baking. My sister thinks the recipes are a bit hit and miss, but every one I try comes out a cracker and it’s a go-to for desserts when we’re entertaining, as well as Sunday afternoon baking adventures.

These are not just the books I own, or have been given (I have tons more) but the ones I turn to day in day out and find reliable too. They come with Florence’s official seal of approval!

Do share your favourites and feel free to agree or disagree with my choices. I’ll look forward to finding some new favourites!

Love,
Rebecca
xo