Archive | February, 2013

Hummingbird belly cake for the peeved and pregnant

15 Feb


Finished product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Cake Doctor

I’m fed up with being pregnant. My due date was over a week ago and I’m driving myself crazy twiddling my thumbs and pacing through the house willing this baby to be born. I’ve even given her a name (Zoey)! Please prescribe me something to take my mind off the impending arrival?

Thanks,

Mum-to-be

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Dear Mum-to-be

Firstly, congratulations! Secondly, take a deep breath. You know as well as I do that the more impatiently you’re waiting for something, the longer it takes. And when this particular something happens, you’re going to need every ounce of energy you’ve got.

So, your prescription has three purposes: the first, to take your mind off what you’re waiting for; the second, to give you the energy you’ll need to get you through the next bit of your adventure; and the third, to give baby a nudge in the right direction.

Hummingbird cake takes a little preparation, but its mashed bananas, chopped pineapple and crunchy pecans make it a slightly more elaborate take on the traditional banana cake. Spread the finished product with apricot jam and royal icing and voilà – this recipe would even do for a Christening. Most importantly, however, the end result isn’t just any old round cake. This prescription’s method and ingredients will distract and energise, but its form is designed to gently nudge that baby along – by focusing so much on the shape of your belly, you’re bound to get things moving!

Best of luck with both baking and baby Zoey.

Love,

The Cake Doctor

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Complaint: peeved and pregnant

Prescription: Hummingbird belly cake (adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

Ingredients

300g caster sugar

3 eggs, preferably at room temperature

300ml sunflower (or other vegetable) oil

270g ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 large bananas)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

100g tinned pineapple, chopped into smallish pieces

100g pecan nuts, chopped

apricot jam, about 1/3 jar, warmed gently in a small saucepan on the stove

Pre-prepared royal icing, one packet

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (or 180 if your oven’s not fan-forced).

Butter a large round mixing bowl and two smaller mixing bowls. The bowls should be made from Pyrex (or another oven-proof material) and be selected so that when placed upside down they look fairly similar to a pregnant belly and boobs. Don’t worry if they’re slightly too big or too small, you can always trim and fit the cakes when they’re baked.

Buttered bowls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put the sugar, eggs, oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with a freestanding electric mixer, a handheld electric whisk, or just a wooden spoon. When all ingredients are well incorporated, remove from the electric mixer, or set aside the whisk or wooden spoon.

Wet ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt over the wet mixture and fold in with a spatula or slowly mix using the paddle attachment of a free-standing mixer.

Dry ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combined ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the dry ingredients are just mixed in, fold in the chopped pineapple and pecans.

Pecans and pineapple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final mixture

 

Divide the mixture between the buttered bowls and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Make sure the ‘height’ of the mixture in the belly bowl is slightly greater than that in the boob bowls.

Baked bowls

The size of your bowls will affect the time it takes for their contents to cook –the larger, belly bowl may need 5-10 minutes longer than the boob bowls.

Mixture in bowls

The good thing about Pyrex is that you’ll be able to see straight through the sides at how cooked your cakes are! In any case, they’re ready once they’re golden brown on the outside and a skewer gently inserted into the middle comes out clean (although moist).

Leave the cakes to cool in their bowls.

Cooling cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once your cakes are cooled, it’s time to size, shape and fit them together.

Cake out of bowl

First of all, slice a little off the top of each cake so that when it is placed upside down (with the roundest side up), the cakes will sit on a stable base.

Trimming cakes

Then take a cake board, platter or large plate on which to assemble the cakes.

Cakes on tray

Position them according to your own shape and trim the edges so the boobs fit snugly in around the belly. Brush with a little warmed apricot jam to help them stay together.

Trimmed and fitted cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, brush the whole surface area with warmed apricot jam. This will help your royal icing stick.

Jammed cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle your benchtop with a light dusting of icing sugar and roll out your royal icing with an icing sugar-coated rolling pin. It needs to be about half a centimetre thick, and a long oval shape.

Rolling royal icing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolled icing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the icing is the right size and shape to cover your belly and boobs (the cake versions), which may take some trial and error depending on their size, gently roll the icing around the rolling pin, hold the pin over the cakes, and let the icing roll out onto them.

Icing on rolling pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icing on cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press down the edges firmly, trim excess icing, and tuck in any bits that will look neater folded than cut. If your fingers start to get sticky, dip them in icing sugar. It’s like using flour for kneading dough!

Shaped icing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, decorate the cakes as you see fit. You can colour royal icing by kneading one or two drops of food colouring into a ball of leftover icing.

Coloured icing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the colouring is even, roll out the icing again and add a ribbon.

With ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It might even help to write her name on your belly so she can’t be mistaken as to who it’s for!

Finished product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, get baking. And remember to turn off the oven if labour happens to strike before you’re finished…

Love,

The Cake Doctor x