Humming bird cake with mascarpone icing

Created by Sian Redgrave

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g tin crushed pineapple, in natural juice
  • 2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 200 grams mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 200 grams cream cheese, softened
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ cups sifted icing sugar
  • Optional walnuts or pecans, fresh berries or flowers to decorate 

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line one 8 inch round tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the chopped pecans and stir through, set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer or with hand held beaters, bear the castor sugar, brown sugar and eggs until smooth and glossy. Add the pineapple and its juice, banana, olive oil and vanilla, beat again until combined. Fold though the dry flour mix until lovely and smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. I occasionally rotate the tin to make sure cooking is event. Cake is ready when the top is springy when pressed with your finger. Allow to cool completely.
  5. For the icing, using a paddle attachment in an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the icing sugar and lemon zest and beat until smooth and creamy. Chill for 30 minutes before using.
  6. To assemble, place the cake on your favourite stand or platter. Using a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle, pip the icing into smooth peaks, otherwise just spread generously with a flat bladed knife. Scatter with nuts, berries and flowers.