Friday, February 29, 2008

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Had another culinary adventure this morning - off to Norwich this weekend to see my sister (she was going to come to Ipswich but we're taking the opportunity to get out of the house while we still can - I know L's going a bit stir crazy now so a change of environs is called for!) so I thought I'd make some cakes to take with us.

L has a great cupcake book which I has used before successfully (apple and cinnamon swirl cupcakes) even though all the measurements are in US. There is a conversion guide in the book, but fortunately we've also got "cup" sized measuring pot things so could follow the recipe without too much messing about. The Hummingbird cupcakes were fairly straightforward to make (although I'm saying this not having yet tried one!) and there's just the cream cheese frosting to go on. Here's a piccie so far...


Was intrigued by the combination of ingredients - banana, pecans and pineapple are apparently what make up a hummingbird cake. Had a quick trawl through the interwebs...but it appears there is no definitive explanation as to how it got its name, although seems to be incredibly popular. The most suggested explanation appears to be to do with the sweetness of the ingredients and the sweetness of a hummingbird's diet. There is another suggestion that it was because people hummed while they made it... I am more dubious about that one! Southern Living magazine Feb 1978 is credited with its first appearance and there are numerous websites displaying the recipe now - also found a very interesting site called Food Timeline which you can email for free with any questions about food history. Here's the entry for hummingbird cake.

Also cooking related - watched the final of Masterchef last night. Agreed whole-heartedly with the judges' decision to award the prize to James. Started me wondering though how much time the contestants actually have between rounds of the competition and final and whether, for example, they have a few days to perfect the recipes they produce themselves in the kitchens. Found this blog from Ben, the cheese shop guy who got to the final last year (you have to scroll about half way down to get to the Masterchef stuff). Quite an interesting read, and although there is some time for them to prepare, it does also sound as though the tests come fairly quickly on top of each other.

And just in case you're wondering about the other 2 finalists, I've also located the blogs of Hannah and Steven.

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