Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hummingbird Cake for a New Year

Triple-layer, 8" round Hummingbird Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Filling and Frosting with chopped Pecans and Caramel Drizzle

Finally!  Back in action after taking a lovely hiatus over the holidays [read: family holiday to Rome with adult kids flying in, missed connections, and lost luggage].  It was wonderful to spend time together...some days were relaxed while other days were filled with amazing art and inspiring architecture.  Read more about it here on our oldest daughter's blog.

I had no purpose for this particular cake other than to get back into cake baking.  Many batches of cupcakes were produced for different parties over the past couple weeks, but no cakes.  Hmmm..

The flavor profile of the Hummingbird Cake is a fan favorite: banana, pineapple, and cinnamon (I usually add chopped pecans too; I can't help myself).  The Vanilla Buttercream frosting is an ideal pairing...the caramel is the sparkle that makes this triple-layer delight 'caketastic.'

I've blogged about some of the different designs I've produced using a Hummingbird Cake here and here and here.  A similar design of an Apple Cake is here.  Either way, it's with this wonderfully simple, traditional cake that I launched into January.  Wheeee.....

Before preparing one bit of buttercream, I had to make the caramel sauce so there would be enough time for it to cool down.  Hot caramel on cool frosting is a sticky melt-down of the buttercream variety.  No thanks. #tiredofcleaning

After the caramel and baking were done...and smoothing out some of the bumpier bumps, it was time for the crumb coat (the first layer of icing, not a coat of crumbs - gentle reminder).  I love this stage of the process.  It's a great way for me to practice mixing the ingredients to just the right consistency for maximum smoothness.  I haven't transitioned to the 'rustic frosting' phase of cake design.  You'll be the first to know when I let go of my attraction to clean, smooth lines.

The cake went together very well.  I had run out of my favorite Wilton, 10" round cake board and substituted it with a similar product.  Errrr.... it was terrible.  The Wilton board is coated with a finish that allows me to wipe away excess frosting; the replacement board left all kinds of messy trails.  This is a snapshot of stopping in the middle of the process and switching platforms.  I wouldn't recommend it, but better to use the cake lifter at the crumb-coat phase than later on.  And there goes my learning curve related to cake stuff.

I love the reflection from the window bouncing off the caramel.

I am happy with the results of this cake.  This design is classic and understated but not too simple.

As it turns out, a few friends and their little anklebiters will be stopping by the house tomorrow morning for a coffee-klatch get together.  I've just the cake for such a daytime party.

People come to my house to visit.  It's a miracle.  And I'm grateful.

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