Hummingbird Cupcakes

So I've finally attempted to make something from the Lantana cafe. I decided to go for the ever expanding popularity of the Hummingbird cupcakes. And here's how they turned out...

I had a slight tinker with the recipe as I was only able to make 12 rather than 24, but it worked out fine and the cupcakes were soft, golden and moist enough on the inside thanks to the banana and pineapple. The cream cheese topping could have been more stiff, which means I will of course have to make them again to get it right.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups demerera sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
75g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, diced
1/2 can of pineapple chunks, drained
25g pecan halves, chopped

How to make:

Preheat oven to 160. Line 12 muffin wells with paper cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in melted butter, eggs and vanilla until just combined. Gently fold in pineapple, banana and pecans.

Fill the muffin wells about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
Leave the muffins in the pan to cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove them from pan and let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting:
50g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
100g cream cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar

With a wooden spoon (or electric mixer), beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until well combined and paste onto the cupcakes. Finally, decorate with some pecan halves.

NB: you could use walnuts instead of pecans.


So, I turned 25 quite recently and had the abundant task of choosing somewhere to eat out with my family. Now there are a few things to consider when picking a restaurant to satisfy my lot:

1) Portions must be filling
2) Atmosphere needs to be lively (but not raucus, let's not be silly now)
3) Menu must be varied

While pondering this I remembered Inamo. You can safely tick off all three requirements, and then scrawl down a few extra. I visited this restaurant months ago and knew I had to go back, if only for the battleships. You heard me, battleships! I'll get onto that in a mo, but let me tell you that relying on a waiter to get your order right need not happen my friend. Nope, you can order your food and drinks all by yourself. Each table has a projector above it which projects the menu onto the white table, and you control it with a small mousepad. It's worth remembering to pace your orders so that you don't get served everything at once! [note: this works successfully unless you are my father who failed to listen to this advice resulting in him receiving three main dishes at the same time, includine this pork dish]

And it doesn't stop there. You can play around with the table by changing the image projected onto it; or how about booking a cab if you've had a few too many beverages, or plan out where to head next with the interactive map? But the best thing has to be the games, which takes us back to battleships. You can play against the person opposite you while you wait for your food, brilliant!

Usually the idea of gimmicks and entertainment at a restaurant puts me off as it means not enough attention is given to making sure the food is a decent standard. But I was really surprised to experience some of the best food I've eaten at a restaurant in a long time. No, really.

Between seven of us we had quite a variety off the Oriental fusion menu, and by no means did any of it disappoint. The prices might seem high, but the food matches those prices. We had the aromatic duck pancakes (which the waiters shred for you once they've served it), the Thai red curry, the baby crispy prawns - with an extremely light batter and the Berkshire pork neck. I shared the duck leg with pancakes with my sister, which was lovely and tender. I also had some grilled black faced lamb chops with moromi miso and kim chi which was cooked to perfection, mostly pink with a bit of bite around the edges.

The desert didn't disappoint either. The black sticky rice with fresh mango was gorgeous, but a good one to share as it's very sweet. I've had a similar dish in Bali which I loved even though I'm not a huge fan of rice pudding. The mini chocolate desserts were delicate and looked so cute.

And what meal isn't complete without coffee and tea afterwards? I went for the chamomile flower tea which came in a gorgeous pot and glass cup.