A Piece of Cake: April 2011
A Word from Anne
The first time I heard of Hummingbird Cake I was a young food writer working for the Atlanta Journal. A reader called the newspaper office and asked for a recipe for Hummingbird Cake. Naturally, I thought this was some sort of crank call along the lines of Prince Albert in the can and all those other corny phone jokes people used to play on each other back when phones were used for conversation. Until an older, wiser colleague raised in Texas and south Georgia tipped me off that the Hummingbird was indeed a real cake, made from ripe bananas and crushed pineapple and topped with cream cheese frosting. My curiosity was intrigued and my stomach was rumbling. I had to find out more about this cake. So I opened every Southern cookbook on the shelf and found a few recipes but no origin. Often the cake was topped with pecans, sometimes walnuts. In no way did it involve a hummingbird, as in the bird, to my relief! Through the years I have baked many a Hummingbird Cake, from-scratch, with a cake mix, and now with my own yellow cake mix. This is the recipe I share today. I hope you have sampled my new cake mixes – they contain from-scratch ingredients and nothing artificial. In recipes such as this Hummingbird Cake, you dump them into the bowl with all the add-ins, and they are cake-mix easy. Bake this for Easter brunch, for Mother’s Day, for spring bridal showers and potluck suppers. Bake it all summer long and you’ll be humming away the warm weather. To set the frosting before toting this cake, let it chill 20 minutes in the fridge so the frosting firms up, then return it to room temperature for slicing. Hmmm, it’s so good it makes me want to hum. That’s probably how it got its name.
Come See Me…
I may be in a city near you this spring. And I always have samples:
Austin, TX – Monday April 25. Book People, 603 North Lamar Blvd. 7 p.m.
Dallas, TX – Tuesday April 26. A Real Bookstore, 113 Prairie Road, Fairview. 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C. – Thursday April 28. Borders, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago, IL – Saturday April 30. Gluten and Allergen Free Expo, The Wyndham Hotel, 3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL, 10:45 a.m.
Chapel Hill, NC – Saturday May 7. A Southern Season, 201 S. Estes Drive. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tasting of my new cake mixes and cookbook signing.
Cake Mix for Mom
In honor of all the moms, I am offering a discount on my cake mixes through May. You don’t have to be a mom to receive the discount. You do need to type in the MOM20 into the discount field on the shopping cart when ordering my mixes online. Enjoy!
Let’s Face It: Cake Mix Doctor expands her Facebook offerings
Two of my babies – The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free and The Cake Mix Doctor’s Mixes have taken on a life of their own. So it’s time to let them spring the coop and move to their own new Facebook pages.
For the gluten-free bakers, Cake Mix Doctor Gluten Free is your page where you can exchange tips and ideas for baking gluten-free as well as ask me questions about specific gluten-free cakes. And this is where you will hear news this summer of a new gluten-free cookbook I am working on….Plus, I will be giving away copies of my gf book to the first five people to post their favorite gluten-free baking tip on the page!
With my cake mix moving into distribution and stores nationally, this new Cake Mix Doctor’s Mix Facebook page will help you locate it in your areas, ask me questions about the mix, watch me prepare it on videos, and also be the lucky recipient of cake mix giveaways very soon.
And on the original Cake Mix Doctor Facebook page, things won’t change a bit. You may hear what I’m cooking for dinner, my thoughts on the cake of the moment, or get quick answers to your baking questions.
Gluten-Free on the Road
My tour is winding down, but it is far from over! I will be traveling to Austin, Dallas, DC, and Chicago for media and book signings. And this fall, I will be making appearances at gluten-free fairs in Dallas and Rye, NY. More details to come.
Thanks to all of you who have passed along recipe ideas, product suggestions, and encouragement. A special thanks to Shelley at Moondance gluten-free desserts in Cincinnati, for the most amazing of Mexican Wedding and Chocolate Crinkle cookies I have ever tasted. You can find them at Whole Foods if you live in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, and southern New Jersey.
Help Icing Smiles
After Tracy Quisenberry gave birth to two premature babies and helped her children grow through their health issues, her world was changed forever. Her job at Marriott didn’t seem as satisfying, and she searched for a way to combine her love of baking with helping critically ill children. So she founded the non-profit Icing Smiles from her Maryland home, so that seriously ill children or their siblings may have the cake of their dreams. Tracy relies on local bakers who get in touch with the family of the child to find out what cake would really make that child smile. Tracy supplies the ingredients through donations, but the local bakers provide the labor and talent, and often deliver the cake to the child. Which they say is all the compensation needed.
Cake has a way of creating smiles and memories,” Tracy said. Check out the gorgeous cake photos and touching personal stories on www.IcingSmiles.org and on Icing Smile’s Facebook page. And if you have cake decorating talents and want to bring joy to others, let them know.
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