I was first introduced to the Hummingbird Bakery when I stumbled across their cook book 'Cake Days' in my local book shop. It may have only been in my life for a few years, but that book quickly became my go-to baking book. Needed a stand-out recipe for a friends birthday?- it was there, in-laws making a surprise visit for tea? it was there. The recipes were easy to follow and were distinctly no-fuss. My copy of 'Cake Days' is one extremely well-used and well-shared cook book, so when I heard that they had a new cook book out called 'Life is Sweet' I knew I had to get my hands on it.
The Hummingbird Bakery was first opened by Tarek Malouf in London in 2004. American-style baking is their main focus and this is reflected in 'Life is Sweet' which is full of tantalizing recipes that range from 'easy first time baker', to the more technical show stoppers. It took a lot of deliberation as to which recipe I should try first, but I eventually settled on the 'Ozark Pudding Cake'. The recipe hails from the Missouri region of America and the original recipe was supposedly a favourite of President Harry S Truman who was from the area- well if it's good enough for a President then it's good enough for me!
The recipe includes apples, almonds and ginger which is probably my favourite combination of ingredients, and I found the recipe really easy to follow. This cake is definitely one to whip out when friends turn up unexpectedly for a cup tea and you need something yummy fast. I think it's best served hot with a drizzle of cream..... if you want to be a little naughty.
I've already decided which recipes I'll try next from the book (hello 'Lady Baltimore Cake') and after my boyfriend flicked through the book, I've got a request list from him that is going to keep me baking for a while yet. There's a wide variety of yummy options in the book including Peanut Butter & Marshmallow cookies, Red Velvet Brownies and Lemon drops, as well as some interesting options such as Grape Jelly cupcakes, Blue Hawaiian cupcakes and Grasshopper pie ice cream. No matter your taste buds or baking skill level, I'm sure you'll find a recipe in here that will make you a star baker.
You can buy a copy of The Hummingbird Bakery cook book via Amazon.