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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

FEIJOA CAKES




Hello again - long time no write! Well, I have been super busy, and I do have a few goodies to post, so I am back at the keyboard again.

Okay, first off, my North American family & friends are going to be looking at this sideways asking, "what in tarnation is a feijoa?"...my Kiwi mates will be asking, "what is tarnation?" Hehe - anyway, here is the low down on the feijoa. They are everywhere right now and yet the groceries want nearly ten bucks a kilo for them right now - luckily, we knew someone with a fertile tree willing to share their spoils (no, not their spoiled!). The feijoa is also known at a Pineapple Guava or a Guavasteen (soft inside like mangosteens) and originated in South America (Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, etc.). The fruit pulp is a little gritty (a bit like guavas or like some pears can be) and they are sweet and tangy with an almost floral aroma of ester (methyl benzoate). Very tropical tasting in my humble opinion. The skin isn't really edible...or if you do eat it I suspect it wouldn't be very pleasant. Normally, people here cut them in half and eat the flesh inside with a spoon. However, the feijoa is also popularly sold and consumed in smoothies, baked goods and in chutneys (chutneys are like heavily spiced sort of chunky fruit and onion salsas or jams).

That's about it for the educational portion of this post. Now on to the really cool stuff - baking feijoa cakes. If you are able to buy guavas in your local markets, then there is a distinct possibility that you could also find feijoas there too. They are cultivated in California and Louisiana among other areas of North America and, of course, they are everywhere right now in Australia and New Zealand.

Now...into the kitchen, yes?...

INGREDIENTS:

½ Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1 ¼ Cups White Sugar
1 ½ Cups Feijoas, peeled & mashed
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
75 Gms (~5 Tbsp) Butter, softened
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Cinnamon


DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the Milk, Eggs, Sugar, Feijoas, Vanilla and butter, then blend together with an immersion/stick blender (alternatively, use a food processor) until you have a smooth mixture.

Set aside the fruit mixture, and in a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Now fold the dry ingredients into the fruit mixture about a cup at a time until all of it is well incorporated. You will have a thick and smooth batter.

Scoop/pour the batter into a lined muffin tin or a greased/paper-lined 20cm cake tin. For muffins/cupcakes bake at 180°C for about 17 minutes or for a full-sized cake about 40 minutes.

These cakes need no toppings, as the feijoa essence is very delicate, but a light and creamy, slightly flavoured vanilla and lemon icing is nice. It’s also good with plain unflavoured yogurt or a cream cheese frosting. I made a basic butter cream frosting with a few drops of vanilla essence and a few drops of lemon essence and it was yummy, but the feijoa can get lost with too much...you can still taste feijoa, but it’s no longer the “star of the show”.



Choose your own preference and enjoy!





COMING SOON...

My apologies for the lack of new posts of late, as I have been very busy (yes, even in the kitchen). I promise you I do have some yummy new treats to share and here are a few of them (photos coming soon):

Homemade Tomato, Basil & Bacon Soup
Basil Tuna Potato Bake
Feijoa Cakes
Crock-pot Pork Chops

and, much more...

Stay tuned!

TAPIOCA PUDDING
Dad’s Double Batch


Well, it’s Queen’s Birthday weekend and it appears the only folks working today are in retail. That’s right...one more Kiwi holiday to add to the (seemingly never-ending) list. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have one more day with my family at home, and a short week at that, so I am not really complaining.

This recipe is a family favourite as far back as I can remember. My Dad always made double batches because it never lasted more than 24 hours (if even that long). Mom sometimes made peach cobbler to eat with it and we almost never waited until it was properly chilled before devouring it. I must admit though, I did have to ask Mom & Dad to send me some of the Minute Tapioca (made by Kraft), as the tapioca “down under” appears to be very large pearls akin to Sago (assuming there is truly a difference between sago and tapioca). The pearls here resemble the “bubbles” in Thai desserts and “bubble teas”.

In any case, this is a luxurious treat that certainly reminds me of home. I hope you enjoy it as well.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Eggs, separated
12 Tbsp Sugar (or half sugar, half Equal/Splenda)
6 Rounded Tbsp Minute Tapioca (small pearls)
4 Cups Milk
2 Tsp Vanilla


DIRECTIONS:

First, mix the t
apioca, ½ of the sugar, milk, and egg yolks in a saucepan (do not use aluminum unless it is non-stick, make sure it is large enough as the mixture will increase in volume at the boil).

Next allow this mixture stand for 5-6 minutes and, whist waiting, beat the egg whites until stiff – slowly adding the remaining sugar.

Now place the tapioca mix over medium heat and stir constantly (trying to prevent sticking). Don't allow it to burn, but if it should burn a little be sure not to scrape it when you pour it out.

As it comes to a full boil it should start to thicken and rise. This thickening should take less than a minute after it boils.

Remove it from the heat and and pour just a little into the egg whites and stir in to temper them. Not too much or they will cook.

Whilst stirring, slowly fold the remaining mixture into the egg whites then, when fully incorporated, add the vanilla.

At this stage you can serve, cover and chill in individual servings if you have nice dishes to serve it in, otherwise, try to chill it in a large wide bowl for quicker temperature change.

I love this with peaches or strawberries, but just about any fruit with tapioca is a real treat!

Enjoy!