Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hummingbird Bakery Coffee Cake

I have never made such a big cake before - 8 eggs ! this makes a really big cake - great for a special occasion. I made this cake for a work colleague's birthday morning tea and all who had a piece said it was delicious ( those who were dieting that week don't know what they missed!) I have also made a half recipe and still got a really good sized cake for my family cake tin.

Notes - thoughts:

  • If you are going to make this cake regularly make up a big quantity of the coffee essence and store it - it will speed things up at the beginning of the recipe
  • Chocolate covered coffee beans make a nice decoration too.

Hummingbird Bakery

Coffee Cake
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
450 g unsalted butter
450 g caster sugar
8 eggs
450 g plain flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cocoa powder – plus extra to decorate
1 quantity Hummingbird Vanilla Frosting
60 g dark chocolate – grated into shavings to decorate
Coffee beans to decorate (optional)
A 25 -26cm ring mould – greased and dusted with flour

  • Firstly make coffee essence by putting coffee granules and 170mls water in a small saucepan, bring to boil over medium heat. Boil until reduced by half and remove from heat and leave to cool completely. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the essence to use in the frosting.
  • Preheat the oven to 170º (325ºF) Gas 3.
  • In a freestanding mixer using a paddle attachment beat butter, sugar and coffee essence until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition.
  • Beat in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Pour into ring mould and smooth surface.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until sponge feels firm to touch. (Do not open the oven up until the 40 mins or the cake will sink).
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Make the Hummingbird Vanilla frosting (recipe below) incorporating the reserved tablespoon of coffee essence at end of step 1.
  • When the cake is cold put on a serving plate, cover the top with frosting, dust lightly with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and decorate with the chocolate shavings and coffee beans, if using.
Hummingbird Vanilla Frosting
250 g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter
25 ml whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract

  • Beat icing sugar and butter together in freestanding mixer on medium slow speed until the mixture comes together.
  • Turn the mixer down to slow speed and add the milk (and vanilla essence previously mixed) gradually.
  • Once all the milk has been incorporated turn the mixture up to high speed.
  • Beat for at least 5 minutes until fluffy and light.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies.

More from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. These have become a real favourite at our place. I get 32 good sized cookies from this mixture - original recipe says 24.


225g unsalted butter (but salted works well)
200g caster sugar
200g light soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g cruncy peanut butter
340g plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
75g dark chocolate chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas 3. Grease and line a few baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) until light and fluffy.
3.Add the eggs one at a time, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Turn the mixer down to low, and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract.
4. Then add the dry ingredients, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix until the dough is smooth. Stir in the chocolate until it’s evenly mixed.
5. Arrange 6-8 equal amounts on each baking tray, leaving spaces between them, as these cookies spread out.
6.Bake for 10 -12 minutes, or just until they start to turn golden at the edges and cracked in the middle. If they feel soft in the middle, still take them out, as they continue cooking after being taken out of the oven and this makes them perfect and chewy after they’ve cooled.
7.Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I recently purchased the hummingbird bakery cookbook- Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers and am having fun trying out the recipes. Here's my version of double chocolate cookies. My tasters tell me they are great - chocolatey, chewy and delicious!
Below is the original recipe, but I used half dark chocolate and half white chocolate - used the white chocolate to stir in at the end. Also I got 24 good sized cookies from the recipe - guess 12 would be really big ones!
Double Chocolate Cookies
Makes 12

50g unsalted butter
450g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 eggs
170g soft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
85g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3.
Put the butter and half the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well mixed. Pour in the chocolate mixture, beating on slow speed until well combined.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl, then stir into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Finally, stir in the remaining chocolate until evenly dispersed.
Arrange 6 equal amounts of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. Make sure that the cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, checking regularly after 10 minutes. They are ready when the tops start to crack and look glossy. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On holiday, a bit of time on my hands, time on the net, stumbled upon The Daring Kitchen and want to join. Seems like I will need a blog.
I have baked since I was 10, started my first recipe book then too. In my childhood I was surrounded by people who baked, made puddings and desserts - it was just a part of our lives growing up in the 60s, my Mum baked, my aunties baked and the women in our street baked. It was a necessity.I spent hours watching my mother cook and bake - I didn't always participate, ingredients were precious - disasters weren't an option. But I watched and watched and watched, absorbed techniques I didn't know were sinking in.
Fast forward to adult me, it took a while to realise that although I loved to cook the sweet delights were my passion to produce, baking cakes, biscuits(cookies), muffins, scones, loaves, desserts and sweet treats. I have bought way too many cooking books in my time - my habit is to always go to the back half of the book and see what is in the dessert and baking sections and then decide if i'll purchase or not.
When I travel I always linger outside cake shops and peruse the local fare, find the cook/ chef supply shops and I'm happy ! Also love the history of baking.
Baking is my hobby - problem being that there's little left to show for it after the latest offering has been consumed and enjoyed. Artists, sewers, quilters and gardeners have proof of time spent - so thanks to the digital camera and the net here's my record of time well spent.