Thursday, April 8, 2010
My food tastes have definitely been influenced by living in Richmond the last 2 years. I no longer think it's strange to see shrimp and grits or fried green tomatoes listed on every restaurant menu. Sweet potato fries are often served on the side (that one I'm thrilled about!), collard greens are common, and sweet tea is standard. While we're by no means in the deep south down here (although we were the capitol of the Confederacy!), we've definitely left Yankee territory. I'm looking at our four years here as a chance to immerse myself in this new culture and explore Southern cuisine!
Supposedly hummingbird cake is a southern specialty. I happened upon this recipe on another food blog. With all the cream cheese, pineapple, banana, and pecans it sure seems southern to me! Whether or not it's truly traditional, as long as it's delicious I don't really care! We devoured this triple decker after our Easter Sunday dinner. The cake is moist and nutty and the frosting was spectacular! Due to a powdered sugar shortage, I just dumped what we had left into the bowl and hoped for the best (it was definitely less than 2 lbs.)! It turned out perfect- tart and sweet all at once! Too bad I didn't measure. Just keep adding powdered sugar until you reach the taste and consistency you're going for. I like to be able to taste the tangy cream cheese so I opt for less sugar.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped (divided)
2 very ripe bananas, chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1-2 lbs. powdered sugar (to taste- I use less because I want to actually taste the cream cheese!)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir until all the dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in the pineapple, 1 cup of the pecans, and the banana.
3. Distribute batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool several minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To make the frosting, cream together cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar (to the desired sweetness) and beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread frosting between each layer and on the top and sides of the cake. Top with the remaining pecans.
Makes 1 9-inch round 3-layer cake.
(Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)