This Hummingbird sponge is not trying to replace your favourite banana bread recipe, but what it will do is give you a new tropical fruit cake to put on your table this summer. Inspired by a recipe from Sydney’s The Cook and Baker, this banana and pineapple sponge uses ripe bananas, crushed fresh pineapple slices and its juice to yield a moist crumb. I would say ditch the icing altogether if you’re pressed for time, but if you want to go the extra mile, a cream cheese frosting with a spritz of lemon juice and some zest works wonders. I topped the cake with slices of ripe (and hence limp) alphonso, which I admit isn’t the prettiest touch, but it tastes so effing good. You can also make this recipe in a medium sized loaf tin.
All-purpose flour 225g
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Eggs 2, small, at room temperature
Caster sugar 200g
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil 150ml
Pineapple slices 125g, fresh, crushed with juice reserved
Bananas 2, ripe, mashed
Cream Cheese Icing
Icing sugar 400g
Cream Cheese 200g or 1 tub
Lemon 1, juiced and zested
Alphonso Mango 1, ripe
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line two yesteryear 7-inch round aluminium cake tins. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, bicarb and salt and keep aside.
Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract till pale and creamy. Slowly start to drizzle in the oil and beat till everything till well combined. Now mix in the pineapple crush and the ripe banana and beat once till smooth.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet batter and fold lightly. Pour this into the ready tins and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool in their tins for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
For the cream cheese icing, beat together the icing sugar and butter till pale. Now stir in the cream cheese and use a wire whisk to beat it just till it is well incorporated. Careful not to overmix cream cheese. Fold in a dash of lemon juice and the zest with a light hand and leave it in the refrigerator till the cakes cool down completely, then pipe the icing as desired. Slice the mangoes thinly and fan them out on top of the cake.