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The Hummingbird Bakery – Home Sweet Home: 100 new recipes for baking brilliance

Every week I walk past the Hummingbird Bakery in Kensington, on my way to the V&A museum. Every week I think, “Hmm, perhaps I’ll grab a little morsel of deliciousness to enjoy before going to see an exhibition”. But then, every week I eye the crowds spilling onto the pavement of the tiny café, queuing, rain or shine, for exactly the same thing, and I think, well, maybe next time.

Begun in Notting Hill in 2004 by Tarek Malouf, because he considered there to be nowhere in London to enjoy true American style baking, the brand now has five jewel like branches, all in the capital, and seems to be expanding fast.This is their third cookbook – the first two have sold over a million copies between them, and readers seem hungry (ahem) for more.

Display of Hummingbird bakery cakesThe bakery say the book has been put together to “offer some of the bakers’ all-time favourite home baking recipes and brand new, inspirational ideas”.

It looks wonderful, like the others – styled in the distinctive Hummingbird Bakery pink and brown, and with lots of mouth wateringly glossy photos, including a large image of each treat and step by step instructions, which, we are assured, have been triple tested and are therefore fool proof, whether you have just picked up your first mixing bowl or are a dab hand at turning out treats. The book assists you in this with a special section of baking tips.

There are different sections: Cookies, cupcakes, pie, and lots of different kind of cakes; you just have to decide whether you prefer Pecan and Toffee Thumbprint Cookies, Custard Cream Cupcakes, and Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes for afternoon tea; Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Blackbottom Pie, Raspberry and Jelly Roll and for dessert; Blueberry Buns, S’more Brownies or Pinwheels for a delicious pick-me-up; Red Velvet Roulade, Maple and Walnut Streusel Cake, and Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Meringue for something a bit special.

Cakes at The Hummingbird BakeryIf you’ve finished drooling over the pages, and are ready to start actually baking, there are a few things to note. Firstly, it really is an American style book, so it uses cup measures. You can buy these in Sainsbury’s or quite easily on the high street, so don’t be tempted to improvise using teacups and guess at just where a half teacup might be – believe me, this is the voice of experience. In fact, although the methods and quantities given here seem unusual – rather high in fat and sugar and using more bowls than you might be used to – for example – instructions state to first combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and milk in one bowl; and then eggs, milk and vanilla extract in another, where I would normally throw everything in together- don’t be try to save on calories / washing up as it doesn’t tend to work. If you follow the instructions to the letter you will come out with triumphant goodies, to which the words “moist”, “light”, “airy” and most importantly “delicious” can aptly be applied.

100 new recipes for baking brilliance will be released on 14th Feb 2013

About Genevieve