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?...
½ Cup Milk
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
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!