Hummingbird cake is popular in the southern American states and has expanded to the rest of the world. The main components that make it a Hummingbird is the combination of coconut, ananas, banana, and walnut. This is a two-layer cake coated generously in a cream cheese frosting.
The dried ananas flowers are completely optional, but they do serve as not only a clue to what is in the cake, but they are also delicious. Just be advised that they do take about 4 hours to dehydrate in a slow oven.
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
1 can (220g net) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans
1 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
Dried Pineapple Flowers, for garnish
Cream Cheese Frosting:
450g cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 kg confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350F, with rack in the center. Butter and flour two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat oil, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; blend well.
Divide batter between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.
Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold onto cooling racks to cool completely. Assemble cake, or wrap each layer well and freeze (thaw before using).
To assemble: with a serrated knife, trim and discard rounded top off one layer. Place layer on serving platter. Spread top of layer with 1/4 inch of frosting. Top with untrimmed layer. Hold the layers in place by inserting three skewers through them. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with pineapple flowers, if desired. Serve at room temperature. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)
To make the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
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