Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I made this cake back at the end of September for my mum to take to her school reunion buffet.  The cake itself is very simple, the frosting is easy to make but I found it an absolute nightmare to get onto the cake in an orderly fashion.  Also, I underestimated the difficulty in using writing icing and writing on a cake – this is an art in itself!  At the end of the day, I’m not a professional and am just having a go.  The Hummingbird Bakery make it look so easy…it is not this easy!

What you need:

For the sponge
110g unsalted butter, softenedimg_2430
380g caster sugar
320g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
320ml buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons
3 large eggs
80g raspberry jam

For the frosting
900g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
150g unsalted butter, softened
375g full-fat cream cheese

Decoration, if required
Grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
A few raspberries (optional)

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 170°c. Grease and line your tins with greaseproof paper.

In a freestanding electric mixer mix the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder together until it forms a sandy consistency.

In a large jug/bowl, mix together the buttermilk, lemon zest and eggs.

With the mixer on a medium speed, gradually pour half of the liquid into the crumb mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Mix thoroughly until the batter is thick and smooth, without lumps. Once all lumps are all gone, add the rest of the liquid and mix until combined.

Divide the mixture evenly amongst the three prepared tins. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Remove from the tins and allow to cool completely before frosting.

lemon-cake-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting

Using the freestanding electric mixer gradually mix the icing sugar, lemon zest and butter together on a low speed until combined and there are no large lumps of butter. Add a little of the cream cheese to loosen and beat until smooth, then add the rest of the cream cheese and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.

lemon-cake-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting

Once the sponge layers feel cool to the touch, you can assemble the cake. Place the first layer on a plate or cake stand and spread on a layer of raspberry jam.

lemon-cake-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting

Top with 3-4 tablespoons of frosting. Smooth the frosting on using a palette knife (or spatula as I was using) adding a little more if needed. Sandwich the next layer on top.

lemon-cake-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting

If you’re doing a three-layer cake then repeat the jam and frosting steps and then put the final layer on top covering it completely so that no sponge is showing.

Decorate as you wish – I chose to use pre-packed writing icing for an easy life!

lemon-cake-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting

Until next...Happy Baking!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

hummingbird bakery

Here’s another tried and tested recipe from the Hummingbird Home Sweet Home book.  It’s a very simple all in one recipe that gave delicious results; crusty on the outside, melt in your mouth soft and gooey on the inside.

 

What you need:

170g / 6oz plain flourIMG_2243
40g / 1.5oz cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
115g / 4oz unsalted butter, softened
120g / 4oz peanut butter
120g / 4oz caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
90g / 3oz soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 170°c and line 2-3 baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and salt (into a bowl which is not the one you use for your freestanding mixer)
  • Using a freestanding or electric mixer cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until light and fluffy
  • Add the egg and vanilla and mix well

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

  • On a slow speed slowly add the dry ingredients
  • Put the extra caster sugar into a small bowl
  • Roll the dough out into 1 inch balls and roll in the sugar
  • Place on the baking tray approx 1 1/2 inches apart
  • Bake for approx 12-15 minutes until have a crusty surface and have cracked

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

  • Cool before serving

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

Until next time….Happy Baking!

Soured Cream Pie

hummingbird bakery

This is a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home book; I love the photos in this book!

“We love baking with soured cream as it gives moisture and tang to so many desserts, balancing out the sweeteness.”

 

What you need:

1 x 23cm / 9″ pie dish

For the crustIMG_2219
110g / 4oz cold unsalted butter, diced
225g / 8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
80g / 3oz caster sugar
1 large egg

For the filling
4 large eggs
300g / 10.5oz caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
300g / 10.5oz soured cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  • Make the pastry crust by mixing the flour and butter together in a freestanding mixer until a fine crumb consistency
  • Add the caster sugar and mix
  • Add the egg until a dough is formed

Soured Cream Pie

  • Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface, form a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for 30-40 minutes
  • Once rested, roll out to approx 5mm thick, and line the pastry dish

Tip: Don’t trim the excess pastry too short as it shrinks away when baked (like mine)

  • Bake blind – preheat oven to 170°c, line the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans.  Bake for 10 minutes with beans and then for a futher 15-20 minutes without paper and beans.  Allow to cool.

Soured CreamPie

  • Make the filling by mixing together the eggs and sugar
  • Add the flour, lemon zest,  soured cream and vanilla.  Mix well until smooth.
  • Pour filling into prepared pie crust and bake for 35-40 minutes on 160°c or until filling set.  The filling should wobble slightly but not be watery.

Soured Cream Pie

  • Allow to cool and refrigerate until completely set.

I served my Soured Cream Pie with some fresh raspberries as the flavours complement each other.  I struggled to get the pie out of the loose based tin and when I did pastry bits shot everywhere; hence the brownish bits on top of the pie that I couldn’t shake off 😉

Soured Cream Pie

Until next time…Happy Baking!

Blueberry Loaf

Here’s a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Home Sweet Home’ book which I made at my Mum’s request.  It has a Chelsea Bun / Bread & Butter Pudding feel to it

What you need:

One 900g / 2lb loaf tinIMG_2083

For the dough

300ml lukewarm whole milk
25g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried active yeast
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling

60g unsalted butter, softened
100g soft light brown sugar
200g blueberries
1 large egg, beaten

What you do:

  • Grease the loaf tin and dust with flour
  • In a jug, mix the milk, caster sugar and yeast.  Stir well and set aside until it becomes frothy – mine didn’t froth 😦
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Rub in the butter into the dry ingredients to form a crumb like consistency
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture.  Use a spoon to mix to form a dough
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well.  Place back in bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for approx. 45 minutes or until doubled – mine didn’t double, in fact it didn’t look any different in any way!
  • Once proved, knock back, and roll out to approx. 30 x 38cm then cut lengthways into 4 equal strips – the equal strips bit is quite important because you need to stack them
  • Spread butter over the strips, sprinkle 50g of the brown sugar over, then scatter the blueberries on too, gently pressing into the dough

Blueberry loaf

  • Stack the strips neatly on top of one another
  • Cut into 6 equal stacks, then put them into the loaf tin, cut side facing up.  Place each stack next to each other to fill the tin
  • Use up any extra blueberries or gather up the ones that have fallen out, press into the dough
  • Wrap the tin in cling film and allow to rise again – approx. 30-40 minutesLift the strips and stack them neatly on top of each other

Blueberry loaf

  • Preheat oven to 170°c
  • Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the remaining sugar
  • Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes – mine actually took closer to 45 minutes

Blueberry loaf

  • Allow to cool but this is nicer served warm with a splash of cream

Blueberry Loaf

Until next time…Happy Baking!

 

Coconut Macaroons

I was looking for something super easy and super quick for this week’s bake as my ankle is still not 100% so I had a flick through my Hummingbird Bakery book and came across Coconut  Macaroons; not to be confused with the French macaron, a macaroon is a small light biscuit which has a crunchy outside and a soft inner.

What you need: IMG_1921

12 1/2 fl oz sweetened condensed milk
12 1/2 oz desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
Melted chocolate (optional)

Makes approx 24 macaroons

 

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 160°c and line 2 -3  baking trays with greaseproof paper.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the condensed milk, coconut, and vanilla extract. I did this by hand, and it does take some mixing with all that coconut. I probably only needed to use half the ingredients as this amount makes so many.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Coconut Macaroons

Then carefully fold into the coconut mixture. Spoon the mixture onto  the prepared baking trays – roughly 1 tablespoon per macaroon, spacing about 3 – 4 cm apart.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Coconut Macaroons

Allow to cool and drizzle over melted chocolate and drizzle over the top as desired.
Coconut Macaroons

These turned out really well, having very moist soft centres. But you’ve got to be a coconut lover as they do take some chewing!

Until next time, Happy Baking!