Recently a few bloggers and I organised a get-together for a Sunday afternoon. We were to catch up at the Radisson Blu Hotel in O’Connell Street, Sydney for a high tea. During the organisational process that incredibly involved 94 group emails, it occurred to us that on the day we were to get together, it would be Rebecca’s birthday.
Well, as food bloggers we’re not known for letting a celebration slip by unnoticed and so it was decided we needed a cake. And there was a unanimous decision that I should make the cake. Thanks girls!
Now Rebecca has named her blog, The Intolerant Chef because she has intolerances to gluten and lactose. So of course I wanted to make a cake she would be able to eat so I adapted a hummingbird cake recipe, making it gluten and lactose free while also covering it in a meringue frosting instead of cream cheese icing.
Lorraine, Brydie, Rebecca, Tania and I hadn’t been in the same room together for nearly a year. (And Celia of course who was there in spirit but couldn’t be there on the day). It was fantastic to be sitting around on comfy sofas sipping champagne discussing not only what was great about being together but also what was the main reason for our grouping – and I’ll tell you all about it in my next post. Okay, okay, I’ll give you a little hint – we were there to support Lorraine in the launch of her book, Not Quite Nigella, and by support, we were banding together to help organise the catering for the event. What could be better for a food blogger when launching a book with the caption, ‘My Path to Happiness Through Baking and Blogging’, than to have your blogging buddies cater your book launch (hence the 94 group emails).
But let’s not forget Rebecca. Just because Rebecca is gluten and lactose intolerant, doesn’t mean she doesn’t like birthday cake. This cake isn’t large. I deliberately sized it for a small group because I knew there would only be five women enjoying it. If making this for larger numbers, it is possible to double the quantities and use a larger cake tin and just leave in the oven for longer.
Happy birthday, Rebecca! Thanks for coming up from Canberra and so lovely to share your day with you.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Hummingbird Cake
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This cake uses readily sourced ingredients so is inexpensive to make. The cake is traditionally covered in a cream cheese frosting however, to make dairy-free I’ve used a meringue frosting instead.
- 450g can crushed pineapple
- 1 cup gluten-free plain flour
- 1/2 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup mashed over ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 185C (375F).
Grease and line a 21cm (8.5 inch) cake tin.
Drain the pineapple in a sieve, press out as much syrup as possible and reserve 2 tbspns of the syrup.
In a large bowl, sift the flours, bicarb of soda and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar and coconut.
In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the bananas and mash with a fork. Mix in the oil, pineapple, reserved syrup and walnuts.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold gently until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared tin.
Cook cake for about 40-45 minutes or until the cake bounces back when touched.
Remove from oven when cooked and allow to stand for 15 minutes until the tin has cooled, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before icing.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded coconut
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Boil, uncovered, until sugar is dissolved. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thick but not coloured. If using a candy thermometer, the syrup should reach 114C (240F) when it is ready to use.
While syrup is boiling, whisk egg whites in a small bowl until stiff. Keep beating.
When syrup has reached desired temperature remove from heat and let bubbles subside.
When syrup is ready, pour into egg whites in a very thin stream (if you add too quickly, the icing will be runny and won’t thicken). After syrup has been added, continue to beat until thick and glossy and temperature has dropped to warm. Add vanilla extract.
Use a metal spatula to cover over cake.
Place coconut in a small frying pan over medium heat. Gently toast coconut until golden. When cool, sprinkle over cake. To cover the sides, take small amounts of coconut in your hand and throw onto sides of cake – it works for me!
Serve with berries or whipped cream.