Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Because Some Occasions Just Call For Fancy...

Like today. An exceptional icky and unpleasant day - cold and very, very wet. Days like today - you just need a little pick-me-up.

Like this:
Hummingbird Cake Cupcake



Isn't it lovely?

And before you get all impressed, I didn't make it, I bought it*. It is a Hummingbird Cake cupcake - and if I've not impressed you before now with the delight that is Southern Cooking - the Hummingbird Cake might just be the thing to make a convert out of you.
And quite frankly, if you can't be won over by a Hummingbird Cake, then there's just no hope for you... I'm sure we can still be friends, but I ain't never inviting you over for a meal...

Simply put, Hummingbird Cake is a very rich cake, which is enhanced with bananas, pineapple and a generous amount of pecans in the batter. Once cooked and cooled, it is topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting and (if done right) topped with more pecans** and a sprinkle of coconut...

The origins of the Hummingbird Cake are somewhat shrouded in mystery - it first appeared in an issue of Southern Living magazine in the late 70's. Due to its insane popularity it has been repeated in those pages many times over the years - and was rewarded with the title of "Most Favorite Recipe" in the 1990s. It deserves the title, it's just that good.

The name of the cake is somewhat a mystery too - some insist that the cake is so good that it'll make you hum. I don't know that I quite buy that - if we're going for truth in labeling this should be called "I'd Slap My Momma For the Last Piece of This Cake"...
Others say that the name is supposed to reflect the exoticness of the ingredients. Not sure that I buy that explanation, either... Oh well, some things may just have to remain a mystery...

Anyhow - you can find the original Southern Living recipe here. And an interesting variation with "pineapple flowers" here. (Isn't that gorgeous?)

It's really a quite simple recipe - so don't be put off by the long-seeming list of ingredients. You pretty much just throw it all together in a single bowl, and stir it all up with a good sturdy wooden spoon!

If you're lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods Market - you don't even need to fool with recipes, they make a fantastic one (it's what Bubba usually gets me for a birthday cake, so I don't have to bake my own!)

So, go ahead, rain! Do your stuff, cold! See if I care - my little cupcake friend and I will just stay indoors today! It even though its icky out there, we're feeling mighty fancy here inside....



*And this is actually a fun part of the story as well. I bought it at the takeout portion of The Flying Biscuit Cafe - which has a rabidly loyal following for their wonderful breakfasts (served all day), as well as their fabulous comfort foods (think best turkey meatloaf ever!) and daily specials.

Anyhow - this darling gem of a cupcake was sold to me by none other than Dewberry - of "Hell's Kitchen - Season One" fame. (Those of you out there who are as shamelessly devoted to reality television as I am will surely understand what a little thrill this was for me!) I gotta tell you, I was rooting for Dewberry back in the day, and now that I've met him, I am even more smitten. Such a sweetie - he must have called me "Sweet Pea" no fewer than 5 times in the span of about 3 and half minutes. I wouldn't tolerate that from most people, but Dewberry can carry it off....

**Astute viewers will notice that the cupcake pictured above seems to be topped with walnuts. I'm thinking they really should be pecans, but Dewberry - my new best friend - wouldn't steer me wrong, would he???

10 comments:

angela said...

I remember Dewberry! Neato mosquito!
That looks really yummy! We had us some cupcakes too. Now, I want some more. I'm going to check into that recipe missy. ;-)

autum said...

It looks yummy, but could I get mine without the coconut on top?

Anonymous said...

That china is really cute! And of course the cupcake...but I'm with autum. Can I get mine without coconut too? One other thing -- those sure look like walnuts to me, but what do I know?

beki said...

I can't believe that I've never heard of a Hummingbird cake. It sure looks and sounds yummy. Hmmm, I may have to swing by Whole Foods at lunch.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! I was already hungry & then I saw that yumminess! How can you torture me so?

leroport said...

Um, YUM!

It reminds me a bit of my Aunt Sherry's coconut cake - which you used any type of cake - the trick was in the frosting. You ice the cake and leave it in the fridge for three days before you eat it - all the frosting flavor migrates into the cake. Heaven on a plate - if you can wait the three days. Oh, and Aunt Sherry is originally from Memphis.

Katkat said...

That is so neat I watched season one and he was my fave!

bekka said...

yummy! on another blog long ago i saw hummingbird cake, i think, and the blogger told me that it was an australian thing, her being from there and all. maybe i'm confused. bet if i had a bite of that cupcake all confusion would fall away.... sort of like biting into a york pettermint patty.

capello said...

walnuts are the third cousin bastard child of the pecan (pee-can) family.

and?

i love me some humming bird cake. that's actually one of the recipes i'll be working on soon.

Emily said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't read anything past Hummingbird cupcake..... the cakes are banned in my house. I swear, aren't they the best thing EVER???? I love them! My boys all just got back from "hunt camp" which is really my MIL's house. Apparently there was one there. So glad I didn't make that trip!!!! I love them! Cupcakes..... I might could have one of those.......