Tuesday, 30 August 2011

It's not Wimbledon, but...

It's coming to the end of the summer season, so I'm making the most of all the beautiful strawberries around at the moment. And what better way than to cheesecake some up!

The Hummingbird's Strawberries and Cream cheesecake will not disappoint. Firstly, the fact that I didn't manage to get a photo of the cheesecake before everyone tucked in should tell you everything you need to know!

And secondly, my brother didn't believe that it was homemade - speaks volumes!

The filling is just your typical Hummingbird cheesecake with the addition of some stewed strawberries. I love the way they colour the cheese... swirly and pink, brilliantly girly!

The mascarpone and cream topping, with a touch of icing sugar, was beautiful - I could have eaten that dolloped on strawberries all day! I did do a pretty decoration of chopped strawberries, but then the cheesecake was cut into pre-photography so you don't get to see that, I'm afraid.

Everyone had a spoon of extra strawberries on the side - to make it half-healthy, you see - and the noises coming from those who were tucking in. Well, if you couldn't see what was going on in that room you might've wondered what you were about to walk into...!

Monday, 8 August 2011

All a-struesel

I'm still undecided if not having a lot to say about a cake is a good thing or a bad thing. I think, though, on this occasion it's a good thing - the Apple Struesel cake was unbelievably easy!! I had a little helper in the form of my 12-year-old niece and she did practically the whole thing, that's how simple it was.

But the taste... oh my, I went back for seconds! I'm not usually a fan of fruit on sponge as it can make the sponge soggy, but no worries with that here. Mainly because I doubt the cake will last that long!

Simple and tasty - no complaints about that!

I wonder what this one would taste like with rhubarb instead of the apple... might have to give it a try!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Use your loaf

I think I have a problem. A loaf of a problem. I can't stop making the Hummingbird loaves! It's no bad thing... they're utterly delectable, but I keep meaning to try my hand at some more cupcakes but getting side-tracked by a loaf of two!

Tonight's loaf was a bit leftover-friendly. After making the blueberry crumble loaf at the weekend, I had a pot full of blueberries left over... not being a fan of the blue berry, I needed something else from the pink bible to chuck them into. Enter stage left - the Blueberry and Soured Cream Loaf.

A very quick and very easy recipe... I think even my boy could manage this one! Just your typical "mix the wet ingredients, sift in the dry, gently stir in the berries. Et voila! Into the oven for an hour...

I've just sliced the loaf and it feels so moist under the knife. I think I was rather generous when I added the soured cream to the mix... but, the more the better in my book! Makes me wish I liked blueberries so I could have a taste though. I'll have to await my workmates' feedback tomorrow.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Do not disturb - busy baking

Wow - what a weekend! It was my dear old nan's 80th birthday celebrations this weekend and the whole of my dad's side of the family got together for a bit of a shindig. I, of course, was tasked with feeding the 500 with desserts and cake!

First of all, I knocked-up a pretty little (read: big) birthday cake for nan. It's not a Hummingbird recipe (blasphemy!!), but it was pretty so here are a couple of pics...

This was the first time I have made such dainty little flowers... they didn't turn out how they looked in my head, but, still, I was more than happy with the end result.

Anyway, on to more important matters - the desserts! I wanted to do a cheesecake - my first Hummingbird cheesecake! - so opted for the Lime and Chocolate one. I figured the ladies of the family would be happy with the chocolate, and the lime meant we could pretend it was one of our five a day.

I'd read on the Hummingbird's Facebook page that some people had had some issues while baking the cheesecake. You wrap the cake tin in tin foil and place that into a large baking tray, then add water. Bearing the Facebook warnings in mind, I made sure the tin foil was double-strength and there were no gaps! Plus, I didn't add quite as much water as was recommended, just to be on the safe side.

I think it turned out ok! I split the cheesecake a little when transferring it from tin to pretty plate, but it was nothing a bit of grated chocolate didn't mask (baker's secret!).

Next up, I wanted another fruity recipe so went for the blueberry crumble loaf. I was a bit worried about this one - I'm not a fan of blueberries so wasn't sure how many of my family would be. I worried needlessly - this one was a massive hit!

I loved how the blueberries gave the loaf mix a pretty tinge of purple as I gently stirred them through.

I couldn't bring myself to brave the berries and try to loaf, but I did steal some of the crumble topping... I'm now a convert - all future crumbles by moi will feature chopped pecans!

What a lovely weekend, and a great excuse to try out some new Hummingbird recipes :)