A cake that hums and a Soprano bakes …


I had the pleasure to meet and interview world acclaimed soprano Celine Byrne when she visited the island to sing on St Patrick’s Day. She has performed for President Obama and she is already booked to sing at the White House next year.


Celine is delightful, warm, fun and we had a few laughs as she has a great sense of humor. She has performed with Spanish tenor Jose Carrerras and she was Mimi to Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja’s Rodolfo. Celine told me about her busy work schedule and how she juggles travel and family life with three children aged 17, 12 and 8. I have since listened to a few of her recordings and what an amazing voice she has. She told me she loves to bake New York Cheesecake and Carrot Cake using her favorite recipes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook .

And as I am featuring Celine in this week’s Irish and Italian issue, I return to Seashells Resort where Celine stayed during her brief visit and I bake a hummingbird cake with David from her favorite recipe book. Celine is planning a vacation at Seashells with her family very soon and David will certainly be baking the hummingbird to welcome her back ! There seems no better match than a hummingbird for a soprano !


And for the hummingbird cake you will need:

1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Q teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup safflower, corn or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 can or 227 grams crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mashed ripe bananas


For the Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup u salted butter
2 cups cream cheese
3 2/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Pecan Halves to decorate

For the cake preheat the oven to 180C and place the rack in the center of the oven,
Butter or spray two 9 inch cake pans and line the bottom with a circle of baking paper
place the pecans on a baking sheet and brown in the oven (about 5 minute)
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, slat and ground cinnamon.
In another large bowl mix together the eggs, oil. Vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas and fine,y chopped pecans.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mix and stir until combined.
Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or u til a toothpick inserted in the center if the cake comes out clean,

Remove from the oven and ,et cool on a wore rack. After 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the land and larch,net later and cool completely before frosting,

for the frosting, use and electric or hand mixer to best the butter and cream cheese on low speed until very smooth with no lumps. gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated and smooth, Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the finely chopped pecans,

To assemble place one cake top side down into your serving platter. Spread about a third of the fretting, gently place the othe cake layer to of the cake facing up on top of the frosting and spread the rest of the frosting over the too and sides of the cake. Garnish with pecan halves. Refrigerate the cake for about one hour so that the frosting had time to set.


This is so very delicious and completely yumm… I still have not met anyone who does not love The Hummimgbird.

Celine is scheduled to perform next at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on 30 May.


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