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Archive for May 30, 2014

RECIPE: Hummingbird Coffee Cake

The recipe for Hummingbird Cake, a southern tradition like Red Velvet Cake, was first submitted by a reader to Southern Living magazine and published in the February 1978 issue.

There was no explanation of the name, but Food Timeline cites a 1985 article in the Arkansas Gazette that says the cake also was called Cake That Doesn’t Last, Cake That Won’t Last, Granny’s Best Cake and Never Ending Cake. (We’re down with Hummingbird Cake.)

Originally made as a layer cake (but also made into cupcakes), the batter includes bananas, crushed pineapple and pecans or walnuts, and the cake is filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting and typically topped with more chopped nuts. Think banana nut cake with pineapple and cinnamon.

It’s popular for Mother’s Day, but why not make one for Dad?

This recipe is by Annie for GoBoldWithButter.com. She adapted the layer cake into a brunch coffee cake.

 

hummingbird-coffee-cake-goboldwithbutter-230

Hummingbird Cake, a traditional southern layer cake, reinterpreted as a coffee cake. Photo courtesy Go Bold With Butter.

 

Annie writes: “This year I decided to put a brunch-worthy spin on this classic Mother’s Day cake. The banana, pineapple and yogurt all ensure that this cake stays moist and tender. This cake is very simple to put together and is a lovely contribution for any brunch, Mother’s Day or otherwise.”

She incorporated better-for-you ingredients, including whole wheat flour and lowfat yogurt. (It’s not a healthy recipe, but every little bit helps!)

RECIPE: HUMMINGBIRD COFFEE CAKE

Ingredients For 1 Cake/16 Servings

For The Cake

  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 mashed bananas (about a scant 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pineapple
  •  

    hummingbird-cake-wholesomesweeteners-230

    The classic Hummingbird Cake was a layer
    cake. Photo courtesy Wholesome
    Sweeteners.

     

    For The Glaze

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
  •  
    Garnish

  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, macadamia nuts, or pecans
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    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly butter a bundt pan. Coat the inside with flour, tapping out the excess.

    2. COMBINE 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk to blend; set aside.

     

    3. COMBINE butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and coconut extracts. Beat in the yogurt until well incorporated.

    4. TURN the mixer to low speed and beat in half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas and then the remaining dry ingredients, again mixing just until incorporated. With a silicone spatula, gently fold in the coconut and chopped pineapple.

    5. TRANSFER the batter to the prepared bundt pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool 20-30 minutes in the pan placed on a wire rack. Gently loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a knife, and carefully turn out onto the cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

    6. MAKE the glaze: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. If the glaze is too thin, whisk in more confectioners’ sugar. If the glaze is too thick, whisk in additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and chopped nuts for garnish. Let glaze set before slicing and serving.

      

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    FOOD 101: What Is Comfort Food

    Banana Pudding

    Banana pudding is one of America’s favorite comfort foods. Here’s the recipe for this version. Photo by M. Sheldrake | IST.

     

    A tweet from FoodTimeline.org sent us to the site to drill down on the origins of comfort food.

    According to the site, the first record in print is in the magazine section of the Washington Post of December 25, 1977: “Along with grits, one of the comfort foods of the South is black-eyed peas.”

    Judith Olney’s book Comforting Food, published in 1979, began the discussion.

    There is no single definition or list of “comfort food.” Food psychologists note that provide solace and food feelings, and are typically items our loved ones cooked for us when we were children. Thus, favorite comfort foods are based on where you grew up and your heritage; for example, hush puppies or grits for Mississippians and bagels and lox or cheesecake for New Yorkers.

    Typically, comfort foods are:

  • Smooth & creamy (easy to chew and digest)
  • Carb intensive (give us energy)
  • Fondly remembered from childhood (good food memories)
  •  

    Here’s what comes up on the list of all-American comfort foods on About.com:

  • Apple pie
  • Baked beans
  • Banana pudding
  • Beef stew
  • Brisket pot roast
  • Chicken and dmplings
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Chicken soup
  • Chili
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Corn on the cob
  •  

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  • Fried chicken
  • Gelatin (Jell-O)
  • Green bean casserole
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Meatloaf
  • Potato salad
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato soup
  • Tuna casserole
  •  
    Hey, what happened to grilled cheese and rice pudding?

     

    Mackenzie-mac-cheese-230r

    Another all-American comfort food: macaroni and cheese. Photo courtesy Mackenzie Ltd.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Save Those Orange Peels

    orange-peel-lolalovesgreen-230r

    Don’t toss the peel! Photo courtesy
    IdaLovesGreen.com.

     

    Some people prefer a banana, others an apple. Our go-to hand fruit is a bright, juicy orange. We eat enough of them to engender the question of how to repurpose the peel.

    Beyond zesting and making candied orange peel, we published a piece on what to do with leftover orange peels around the house.

    But with the arrival of warmer weather this spring, another use emerged. We found ourselves brewing lots of iced tea. One day, we were drinking a glass while peeling an orange.

    And then, like the apocryphal story of the boy with the chocolate running into the boy with peanut butter (voilà: peanut butter cups), we put the two together.

  • Brewing iced tea? Add the peels to steep with the hot water and tea. Result: a subtle orange flavor and aroma.
  • Drinking ready-made iced tea? Twist a piece of peel to release the oils and drop it into the glass. You can do the same with plain or sparkling water or a soft drink.
  • Not drinking anything at the moment? Freeze the peels until you need them.
  •  

    And of course, you can do the same with a cup of hot tea.

    Banana fans: Here’s what you can do with leftover banana peels.

     
      

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