Mini Hummingbird Cakes

cute and nummy

Hummingbird Cake. Don’t write it off until you’ve tried it. The first time I heard about hummingbird cake, I was very much in opposition of it. Bananas, pineapple and crushed pecans? Why would anyone put those ingredients in cake… all at once? It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago I over heard some friends talking about its scrumdiddlyumptiousness, that I became curious and concluded that trying it was the only way to be sure it is all that they say it is.

Sit back, pull out your recipe book and start scribbling the awesome that is hummingbird cake.  

HEAR YE, HEAR YE!: This recipe calls for self-rising flour. Don’t do like me and use regular all purpose flour, only to realise the dim-witted mistake you made 5 minutes after putting your batter into the oven.

After an effortless search, I found a recipe to make your own self-rising flour here. Then my cakes were perfection.

What you need:

For the cake

Butter & flour for greasing & flouring ramekins

1 ½ c. self-rising flour

1 c. granulated sugar

¼ & 1/8 c. vegetable oil

¼ c. finely chopped pecans

1 very large ripe banana, mashed

4-ounces crushed pineapple, with juice

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

½ tsp group cinnamon

2 large eggs, beaten

For the frosting

¼ c. shortening

¼ c. (half stick) unsalted butter @ room temperature

4 oz. cream cheese @ room temperature

½ tbls white vanilla extract

4 c. powder sugar

¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour eight-5oz. ramekin, tapping out excess flour; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared ramekins. Bake for 28 – 30 minutes.
  4. After removal from oven, let cool in ramekins for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting. Cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt and slowly add to shortening, butter and cream cheese mixture. Make sure all sugar is incorporated.
  6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Spread frosting on top of first mini cake, and then place your second mini cake on top of first. Spread frosting on both cakes and set aside. Repeat for remaining 6 cakes until you have 4 mini cakes with two layers, fully frosted. Optional: Sprinkle tops with crushed pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Bon Appétit.

            Makes 8 mini Hummingbird Cakes. Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

I used some flowers from my V-day arrangement to decorate the cakes. I figured the decor should represent some aspect of a hummingbird and flowers did the trick! Aren’t they cute? And the cakes taste just as good as they look too! If you’re concerned about what type of flowers to use these links here & here helped me. 

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I went strawberry picking… Now what?

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday and Rob planned a pretty interesting day but one of the highlights for me was strawberry picking.

I was so excited! If I had to eat one fruit for the rest of my life, it would definitely be strawberry.  It’s sweet and tangy. It’s red. It’s cute. It smells delectable. It’s bite sized. It makes the best jams, jellies, fillings, frostings, toppings, ice creams, juices (I can go on and on but there is more to this post than strawberry picking and I don’t want to bore you to death with ramblings)inhales deeply…AND I read that it helps fight cancer… just saying.

Rewinding to a couple days ago… we got to Froberg’s Farm in Alvin, TX and eagerly bought ourselves a bucket each. At that point, I think we were too giddy to rationally think through how many pounds of berries we would each pick that day.

Glee overwhelmed me. My routine went something like this: spot red juicy berry, pick it, toss it into bucket, admire harvest at hand, smile and scout more berries. When my bucket was half way full I remembered why I carried my camera. Please enjoy the photos below.

As we walked back to weigh and cash our berries… Rob suddenly came to his senses… “Wait! How many pounds of berries do you think we picked?” We looked at each other with brief worry in our faces then laughed it off.

“It can’t be more than two or three pounds man.” Candice replied boldly. I like referring to myself in the third person sometimes. *ehhem*

It so happened that we picked 7.42 pounds; approx. 119 ounces; approx. 30ish cups… of strawberries. That’s probably 50ish of my handfuls.

The challenge: Make use of 7.42 pounds of strawberries in 4 days. Challenge accepted! Let us begin looking at some berry yummy recipes. *snicker*

Uno.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: These were very easy to make and oh so yummy! Warning: Do not eat more than 6 in one sitting. You are bound to get a tummy ache. Don’t like chocolate? No worries… I gots plenny more recipes to share.

Two.

Strawberry Tart Cake: This cake was the perfect amount of sweet and berry.

Third.

Sharing is caring yo. Give to your family, friends, strangers on the street. Start dispersing dem berries in every which way you can.

4.

Strawberry Jam: This was by far the yummiest jar of strawberry jam I have ever had. Yes, matter of factly, it does have something to do with me actually making it myself. The recipe was simple and result is superb. Try it! Rob and I had some on a couple of Club crackers with cream cheese. Mmmmm mmmm mmmmM.        Note: Be sure to follow proper canning rules to store you jam.

Last but not least.

Strawberry Mini Pies: These were definitely my favourite. As you can see, I could hardly wait to try one… I even used the same jam that I made in no. 4 as my filling. You can use strawberry butter if you prefer.

So there you have it. If ever you are in a similar predicament as I, here is a simple guide to give you a start on using up your berries before they go bad.

Enjoy!

Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Today I’m sharing a carrot cake recipe. I got it from my friend, Lorraine. She’s an exceptionally good cook and her carrot cake is the best I have ever had. Its soft, not too sweet and simply perfect.

{Fresh out the oven}

{Cooled and ready for frosting}

{Bon Apitoie}

Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients

1 ½ c. flour

1 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c. corn oil

2 c. grated carrots

½ tsp salt

½ c. walnut (optional)

Method

  1. Put oil & sugar in mixing bowl and beat for 5 mins.
  2. Add eggs and beat one at a time.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together and add.
  4. Add carrots & walnuts.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 mins. (20 mins for cupcakes – makes approx. 24)

I got the cream cheese frosting recipe from Cannella Vita. I really like this one because the cream cheese flavour isn’t very pungent like others I’ve had. I think all the ingredients are blended perfectly to create a really sweet but mild flavour. Try it! It’s my favourite! (On a side note, I halved the frosting ingredients and still had a little left over after frosting my cupcakes.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
  • 1 Tbs. white vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs ( 8 cups) powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated. Enjoy!

Appreciating Dad

Yesterday we surprised our dad with a cake baked from scratched and decorated by hand. We also gave him a card and his other present is – on its way – lol.

My parents have been divorced for about 10 years now. However, that has never stopped my dad from continuing his role to us as a father. We saw our dad more than once a week. He spent time with us. He provided for us. He showed concern for us. He supported and encouraged us. He never neglected us. He loves us.

I am very thankful to have a dad who knew the importance of his responsibility and was dedicated to it despite the circumstances.

Happy ‘belated’ Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

{Three chairs for the world’s greatest dad}

{He really appreciate his card}

{The cake was soft and not too sweet. Just right}