Monday, 20 January 2014

Hummingbird Cake

I love baking. It's not something I do often these days, because with there only being three of us I end up eating too much, but when I do I love to cook something that I enjoy eating and sharing.

Having blogged yesterday about Poke Cake assembled with predominately manufactured ingredients I thought I owed you the real thing.

Hummingbird cake, not to be confused with the delicious confections from the Hummingbird bakery, is something that I was introduced to when I was living in Tasmania. I often used to go to the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston which was in the centre of town. It had an amazing Chinese Joss House which was sometimes actually used by the Chinese community, and the most amazing art displays. It also had a tiny cafe with the most incredible homemade cakes.

Originating in the Deep South of America Hummingbird cake is one of my favourites. Recipes vary but it always has banana and pineapple. It can contain carrot. The version I chose to make has both walnuts and pecans, of course you could just use one or the other, or leave them out if entirely necessary, but both makes a difference. Walnuts are more bitter, pecans are buttery and softer to the bite.  Without the nuts it's still fine, but unless there was a really valid reason for ommission, leave them in!

This version also contained mango and passionfruit. A real fruit cake. One of the amazing things about Hummingbird cake is that it keeps really well, it still is moist and fresh a few days later, if it lasts that long. Hummingbird cake needs a cream cheese frosting, with plenty of citrus flavour in it I think. However the cake is fine unfrosted, and is a great addition to lunchboxes unfrosted. If you leave out the mango, up the tinned pineapple and leave out the passionfruit it becomes a lot more budget friendly.

I used the BBC website recipe for Hummingbird Cake which originally is a Great British Bake Off recipe. The only alterations I made was I used self raising flour instead of plain and bicarbonate of soda, and I used rapeseed oil, as its local, and brilliant.

What's your favourite cake?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Bad Food Bake Off - Poke Cake

It's no secret that I have a serious Pinterest habit, I love it. I pin all sort of things, and one thing I pin are recipes. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a really lovely looking finished article then discovering the main ingredient is a packet mix. Much to my delight my fellow Pinterest addict Tattooed Mummy feels the same way.

However when the aforementioned Tattooed one started sending me pin after pin of revolting recipes I knew desperate action was required. We had to make one.

I chose "poke cake" as it just appealed to my over developed sense of kitsch. I also (don't judge me) had the "fixings" (I daren't call them ingredients) in the house. I had to ammend the recipe as it called for cheesecake pudding mix and all I had knocking about was vanilla pudding mix. As a compromise I made a cream cheese frosting. I shan't replicate the recipe as you can find it here

So here are the ingredients, nice and simple. I happened to have the Red Velvet cake mix in the cupboard. Don't ask me why I just did ok? The pudding mix was a Christmas gift from my mother in law who lives in Germany.
Mixing the cake with some electric help. Not even my 4 year old would go near poke cake.
The batter happily sitting in its little dish.
When it comes out of the oven you poke holes in it and let it cool a little.
Meanwhile you make the custard.
Pour it on top of the poke cake and let it sit in fridge to firm up
Then top it with frosting. Now I was good and made my own from scratch. What you should really do is use Cool Whip or other frozen cream frosting which sadly is unobtainabe easily in the UK.

There the finished article!

Verdict: Do not be tempted to make this. I am the sweet tooth queen and I couldn't eat it. My husband, perversely, did like it, and my 4 year old wouldn't touch it.

Nothing beats home made cake, but poke cake isn't even the work of the devil, it's worse than that.

It's the work of multnationals who try to convince us that cake making is hard, that we need help. It isn't and we don't.

The Tattooed One has a linky. Find a recipe, make it, blog it and link it!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

I Should Be so Lucky

I was in Starbucks today. Tired and a bit grumpy, its the end of my working week and I decided I deserved a coffee. They have a policy of taking names. I really should just lie and call myself Anna or something, or Eric. No too late. "Kylie" I said.

The young, hip dude started to giggle "Really? Oh I love her so much, she's awesome". I smile thinking "look here smartarse just give me my coffee and no one gets hurt", waiting for the next line. Yep not to disappoint laughing boy says "oh do you wear the gold hot pants too?", giggling at the absurdity.

Yes, clearly, mate. My size 20-22 rear end just looks fantastic in hotpants not to mention my thighs that can be seen from the International Space Station and mistaken for the surface of the moon.

All I share with Ms Minogue is a name and an Aussie accent. We don't share a wardrobe. Sadly we don't share men either.

Growing up noone was called Kylie. There were no famous ones. Then in my teen years "she" appeared. Now what you have to remember is that when Kylie first appeared she wasn't the cool gay icon hanging off Michael Hutchence's arm or singing duets with Nick Cave. She was a dag. The singing budgie.  With impossibly curly hair and dodgy choices in boyfriends (Jason anyone) and hair dos.When I first started working at a call centre everyone thought it was just hilarious my first manager was, of course, called Jason. It could only happen to me! He was also disappointed that I didn't look amazing in hotpants (no I didn't try)

I'm not overly bothered about my size. I have had lovely boyfriends and husbands (yep I'm on Mr Kykaree number 2). I've been pretty lucky to have been blessed with curves. I've fought my size, I've dieted, I've exercised, I've loathed my body, some days I still do. But other people seem to like it, and I'm just me. I wouldn't be me if I wasn't the shape I am.

However I am not defined by my size and I refuse to be made to feel inferior or ashamed, or be the butt (pun unintended) of gold hot pants jokes. I may look like a jolly fat person, but I have feelings too.

Yes my name is Kylie but it just could have easily been Nicole......Kidman anyone?