Friday, March 7, 2008

I Don't Think...

...this is against the rules. I'm going to talk about something other than Liberia. That's ok, right?

So, my family has been in Italy for the past 8 days, and they're coming home tomorrow night. I've been Susie-Homemaker all week, and as a result, I was watching Oprah [which I never do] the other day, and this cake recipe sounded super good! For those of you who don't know, one thing on my dream list is to own a bakery. I bake often, and I've done one wedding cake...and 2 years later I'm still recovering, haha. I know what you're thinking--alittle opposite of roughing it in Liberia, eh?

I admit, tonight I've only eaten the crumbs smothered in the leftover icing [am I the only one who does that?] but that alone was awesome! Anyway, I wanted to share the recipe with those of you who bake...or are thinking about baking...or need to bake something for Easter dinner...or just have a sweet tooth [which I have!].

Art Smith's Hummingbird Cake
(This cake is one of the most requested desserts at Art Smith's Chicago restaurant, Table Fifty-Two)
Serves 12

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped ripe bananas
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups sifted)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

- To make the cake, position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly butter two 9" round cake pans, sprinkle evenly with flour and tap out the excess. (If you wish, butter the pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, then flour the pans and tap out the excess.)
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, stir or whisk the bananas, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Do not use an electric mixer. Pour into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula just until smooth. Do not beat. Fold in the pecans. Spread evenly into the pans.
- Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cakes to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks (remove the parchment paper now if using). Turn right side up and cool completely.
- To make the icing: Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, then the vanilla, to make a smooth icing.
- Place 1 cake layer, upside down on a serving platter. Spread with about 2/3 cup of the icing. Top with the second layer, right side up. Spread the reaming icing over the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored, uncovered in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

The crumbs and icing were rich (cream cheese frosting), but I like it sweet! I'll post a picture tomorrow after my camera returns from Italy....unless my family devours the cake before I can get a pic. I'll bid you goodnight with a picture of my all-time favorite cake that I've made....for John Ryan's 1st Birthday!

1 comment:

Justus said...

I like the new look of the blog, I hope everything is coming together for your trip!