Friday, August 3, 2012

Hummingbird Cake (Gluten Free!!)

Something I have learnt about Melbourne winters is that you must not let yourself get too cold. The moment the cold creeps into your bones, you instantly become insanely miserable. There are several ways to counteract all these awfully freezing days. I've been trying to come up as many ways to shake the winter blues. Here is my list of tips:

  1. Rug much as freaking possible. I'm talking about hat, globes, scarf, boots, and thermals. You may feel a bit stupid at times.....but you will be happy. Happy and stupid looking
  2. Cook soup......soup makes everything a little better.
  3. Braise meat dishes....there is something sooooo very soothing about a big pot of something delightful simmering away on your stovetop. 
  4. Eat cake..........just do it.
  5. Go for a long run, it warms you up and counteracts all the cake eating.
  6. Chocolate and raspberry sandwiches for breakfast...... don't judge it until you have tried it. 
  7. Take a lover......... one of my friends and I spent a night recently talking about how awful the term 'lover' is. Its just soooooo yicky. I think curling up with a special person by a fire with some soup is wonderful and romantic.........unfortunately I'm lacking a fire place, and a lover this winter. No big deal, there's always next winter.
  8. Dance........You don't even have to go out. At least once a week I put on some music, climb up onto a chair (it makes me feel taller) and dance in front of my housemate as she watches slightly bewildered and confused. 
  9. Get stuck into tea, coffee, hot chocolates and chia. 
  10. Afternoon naps. 
  11. Bake something......just being near the oven helps so very much. 
  12. Get inspired. This really helps to shake the blues.......find something you love doing, and do it. 
  13. Wear your ex boyfriends jumper. It will look awful but it will feel so good (don't act like you don't have one.....we all secretly do.)
  14. Go to bed early. 
  15. Make a Hummingbird cake. It sounds sunny. It tastes sunny, and it will make you FEEL sunny.

Hummingbird Cake

1 1/4 cup of self raising gluten free flour
1 cup of hazelnut meal
1/4 cup of shredded coconut
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of mixed spice
1/4 cup of rice bran oil
1 cup of mashed banana
450g of crushed pineapple in its juice
2 eggs
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of caster sugar

What to do:

  • Mix together flour, hazelnut meal, coconut, sugar and spices.
  • In a separate bowl mix together pineapple, oil, the yolks of both eggs and the mashed banana.
  • Combine the two mixes.
  • With an electric beater, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. 
  • Rain in the 1 tsp of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a spatular gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites. 
  • Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • Pour the cake into a cake tin that has been oiled and lined with baking paper. 
  • Place in the oven (preheat the oven first!!! I always forget to mention this!) at 170 and bake for 45 to 50 minutes
40g of soft butter
125 g of soft cream cheese
1 cup of icing sugar 
A squeeze of lemon juice

  • Beat together butter and cream cheese until incorporated
  • Add icing sugar.
  • Add lemon juice.
  • Taste like the spoon a lot because its going to taste great! But also check to see if it needs more lemon or sugar. It really all depends on how sweet you like it.
Cake topping
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/4 cup of dried cranberries (or craisins.... they are sometimes called that too....and I think it sounds very strange.)
1/4 or a lemon rind finely grated. 

  • In a fry pan place the walnuts on medium heat stirring continually. 
  • When the nuts begin to look a little toasty add the coconut.....this shouldn't need too long. Stir constantly because the coconut burns really fast. 
  • Remove from heat when the coconut is slightly brown and the walnuts toasted.
  • Let the mix cool and add the cranberries and lemon rind.
  • Ice the cake with the cream cheese frosting and then sprinkle with the nut mix.