If you’re whipping up treats this Mother’s Day, look no further than the latest batch of mouth-watering Hummingbird Bakery recipes.
If Mary Berry is the reigning queen of baking, then founder of Humingbird bakers Tarek Malouf is surely next in line to the throne.
The founder of the exceedingly good Hummingbird Bakery brought cupcakes back into fashion, when he opened the first of his six bakeries back in 2004, and is just about to publish his fourth – and very eagerly-awaited – cookbook, Life Is Sweet.
“The rise is home baking is really nice to see” he said, adding: “People are rediscovering the fun you can have making things yourself, and you get more adulation from friends and family when you bring in cookies or a big cake, rather than savoury food. There’s more of a wow factor, and people are always excited.”
Here are 3 of Tarek’s new recipes for inspiration for Mother’s Day
1. HONEY CORNBREAD CUPCAKES
Using cornmeal to make cornbread was something the early European settlers in America learned from the Native Americans they encountered. These cupcakes are sweet, denser than our normal sponges, and have a tangy cream cheese frosting flavoured with honey.
For the cupcakes:
170g yellow cornmeal (polenta)
135g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
235ml whole milk
115g unsalted butter, melted
60g runny honey
For the frosting:
340g unsalted butter, softened
75g runny honey
285g icing sugar
150g full-fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia, cold
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 175C/Gas 4, and line a 12-hole deep muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt together thoroughly.
Using a freestanding electric mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the eggs, milk, melted butter and honey together on a medium speed until very well combined. Add the dry ingredients on a low speed in one slow but steady addition. Mix thoroughly but don’t overbeat
Carefully scoop the mixture into the paper cases until three-quarters full. Using a 50ml ice-cream scoop can make this process easier and will result in even cupcakes.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter for a minute to loosen it up, then add the honey and beat for a minute. Slowly add the icing sugar on a low speed until incorporated and beat for two to three minutes until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix briefly until incorporated – don’t overbeat or it will split and become runny.
Pipe or spoon generous amounts of the frosting onto each cupcake, gently smoothing over with a palette knife or spoon and making a nice swirl of frosting on each one.
2. EARL GREY TEA PIE
(Makes a 23cm pie)
Tea in the South is drunk often, but almost always iced and sweet. We have used Earl Grey tea to give added flavour to this recipe, but any black tea of your choice can be used. If you’re not using Earl Grey, which is flavoured with bergamot, you can omit the grated fruit zest.
500g block shortcrust pastry, or 375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
225g unsalted butter, softened
430g caster sugar
8 large egg yolks
175ml strong Earl Grey tea, lukewarm
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
1tsp grated mandarin zest (or clementine, tangerine or orange zest)
2tbsp plain flour
11/2tsp yellow cornmeal (polenta)
Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas 4.
If using shop-bought pastry, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 5mm thick and line a 23cm pie dish. Crimp the edges to suit your decorative style and chill in the fridge for one hour.
Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together for around five minutes on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, on a lower speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Carefully add the tea, lemon juice and mandarin zest to the mixture and mix in well. On a low speed, add the flour, cornmeal and salt – don’t overbeat at this stage.
Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for about 45 minutes. The pie should be quite firm, but still have a little wobble when you move the dish. Cool completely before serving – it will set as it cools down.
3. BROWNIE PUDDING
(Makes a 23 x 32cm tin, to scoop or serve as desired)
This baked pudding ends up with a soft brownie-like texture and is incredibly easy to make, as it doesn’t really require much in terms of assembly and mixing. Once it’s ready, the top will be firm to the touch, but the middle will still be soft and gooey, so the skewer test shouldn’t be used here.
For the pudding:
245g plain flour
31/2tsp baking powder
295g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
250ml evaporated milk (unsweetened)
2tsp vanilla extract
50g butter, melted
200g chopped pecans
For the topping:
275g soft light brown sugar
60g cocoa powder
750ml hot water (boil then let cool slightly)
Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas 4. Grease a 23 x 32cm tin with butter.
To make the pudding, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the evaporated milk, vanilla and melted butter into the dry ingredients until smooth.
Fold in the pecans by hand and spread the mixture evenly in the tin.
To make the topping, mix the brown sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle over the mixture in the tin. Pour the hot water over the entire pudding.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is firm to touch. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving.