I’m sure if someone made a perfume based on the feijoas, it’d sell heaps. Right? But then I’d happily wear perfume that smelled like bread baking, if only such a necessary thing existed. So far the only way I can scope that you could recreate that incredible scent is to tie a fresh-baked loaf to your head (or to any bit of you, really) and that’s not a particularly practical option (no matter which bit of yourself you tie it to).
When Mum came down to Wellington last weekend, she brought with her a large box of feijoas, from my Nana’s tree. (Thanks Nana!) At first it was enough just to let them be. Feijoas, like avocados, are objectionably expensive here in the capital, and so just having the option of grabbing one, slicing its thick green skin open and winkling out the contents with a teaspoon to be swallowed happily, was a pleasingly luxuriant act.
But being myself, I was looking for something to bake them into. Two people I work with helped me out, one by emailing me a recipe she thought I might like (thanks Alex!) and one by supplying a first-come-first-served bag of Granny Smith apples from his tree in Gisborne (cheers Tane!) which the intriguing recipe for cake required. From the East Coast, Waiuku and the desk across the office, many people have made it possible for this cake to exist.
So, it’s a good thing it tastes extremely amazing.
The apples sort of dissolve into the mixture, while small chunks of hot, sugary crystalised ginger and grainy feijoa flesh give it texture and intense fruitiness. The sticky, buttery, chewy coconutty topping works better than any icing could (that said, I’m imagining a cream cheese icing with extra chopped crystallised ginger on top…)
Feijoa, Apple and Ginger Cake
Recipe from this site.
1 cup feijoa pulp
1 cup finely chopped apple (depending on size this may be one or two apples)
1/4 cup chopped crystallised ginger
1 tsp baking soda
125 mls (1/2 cup) boiling water
125g soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
50g melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup thread coconut (or dessicated, if it’s what you’ve got)
Set your oven to 180 C/350 F. Butter and paper a 20-22cm springform caketin.
Combine the feijoa, apple, ginger, baking soda and boiling water in a bowl, and set aside while you make the cake batter.
In a good sized bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy, then beat in the egg, and stir in the flour. The mixture will be quite thick at this point – almost like scone dough. Fear not! Fold in the fruit mixture, stirring well, then tip this now significantly liquid-er mixture into your prepared caketin.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and not wobbling in the centre. Meanwhile, combine your topping ingredients and spread carefully over the cooked cake, returning to the oven for about 8-10 minutes till the coconut is golden.
I suspect it would be very difficult to overcook this cake, which adds to its appeal, and everything going on – the coconut topping, the ginger – are a fitting showcase for this seasonal and gorgeous fruit. However, I reckon you could very easily substitute the same amount of mashed banana when feijoa is out of season or unavailable (like if you live overseas). Or soft, ripe pears…or a drained can of apricots…so much potential for deliciousness.
Thanks for all the kindness on my last post in regards to Rupert the ex-cat. I guess it won’t properly sink in till I next go home.
I’m sure Rupert would be entirely indifferent if he could know that he is remembered extremely solemnly round here…
Me: *wistful face*
Tim: Are you imagining a montage of the good times you and Rupert had together?
Tim: I’m sorry.
Me: (singing quietly) thankyou for the music, the songs we’re singing, thanks for all the joy– (at this point a straight face could no longer be maintained, extreme laughter ensued.)
Title via: the excellent Doll Parts by Hole. I love the contrast between the gentle strumming and pretty harmonies against the sad lyrics.
Happy Birthday, by Altered Images. Maybe it has been done already, but the light, twinkly intro would be really good sampled in something. I think so, anyway.
(Version) For The Love Of It by Salmonella Dub, back in their Tiki-fronted days. A really, really good song. Something about the methodical rhythm and drawn-out chorus…I was happily reminded of it while reading this article from the archives on DubDotDash.
Next time: Don’t know! Should possibly do something veering away from the puddingy side of things, just for a bit of contrast or something…