“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” -Bertolt Brecht
There’s nothing quite like baking on a rainy Sunday evening. Often I will sit around and wonder what I could do to pass the time, usually my mind flicks to cooking immediately, whereupon I fly to the cupboards in search of interesting ingredients to create with. However, more often that not I will just end up staring at a cupboard and resort to the common comfort of the Internet and retrieve an idea from there, usually searching up a list of ingredients and clicking the search button with anticipation, like the lottery I wait to see what my result will be and what goodies I can salvage from it.
Usually I bake so that I can make something and then pass it off to my Stepdad and Mum to eat as I’m not a huge fan of cake and usually I’ll have eaten part of the cake in the process of creating it anyway for cake/cookie mixture is my guilty pleasure and who can resist it! It astounds me that all of those chefs on television make all of this delicious food and must refrain from eating half of the food in the process, I myself would make a terrible television chef, I am neither patient nor organised enough in the kitchen to have anyone else around me whilst I cook as my family would know all too well!
So, with all of that in mind, I searched about for potential ingredients to use and noticed a large bowl of Feijoas on the counter. Now, my Mum and I are not big fans of Feijoas as they are slightly sour in their sweetness and have a sandy texture that I believe is not something to be desired however, my stepdad Blair loves them! Perfect, I thought! I would make a Feijoa Cake to use up Feijoas and because the Banana, Walnut and Chocolate Chip Bread I has made last week had been finished at a startling rate so there was all the more reason to cook up something new! Interestingly, Feijoas retain many health benefits that I was not aware of until today. They are loaded with antioxidants that supposedly reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure! On top of this, the little pods are a good source of vitamin-C which helps to boost the immune system, all of this and only 55 calories per 100g grams! Looks like it’s not just oranges that you should eat when you’re sick! Still, I’m not sold on the taste or texture enough to gorge myself on the fruit for the benefit of a decent intake of vitamin-C. Nevertheless, Jamie Oliver claimed that he wished for plentiful access to Feijoas in England, clearly they have made a good impression elsewhere!
I’d never cooked with Feijoas before and had no idea of what the bread would taste like. I swiftly Googled a recipe for Feijoa Loaf and found the recipe for Feijoa and Macadamia Nut Loaf which was ideal as we had a packet of Macadamias in the cupboard (less of which I originally thought we had which later affected the recipe!) I gathered all of the ingredients and had to replace the remaining amount of what was meant to be macadamias with walnuts, a decision I would later not regret at all! All I can say is that when I cut a slice for my Stepdad today, he gobbled it up at a speedy rate, praising it many times and I’d say that is a respectable achievement as some of my past creations have been a little questionable in flavour or too dense! There is a rewarding feeling that seeing people enjoy something that you have created given to you as they praise your work that had you up the night before at 10:30 waiting for it to cook! The result was worth it I think!Does the look of this take your fancy? Here’s the recipe adapted from the TV3 website‘s:
Feijoa and Nut Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups feijoas, coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
100g butter, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 desiccated coconut (if you don’t like coconut you can just eliminate this from the recipe)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup macadamia nuts (and/or walnuts if preferred), coarsely chopped
Extra granulated sugar for topping
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a standard loaf tin with oil or butter. Place chopped feijoas, water, sugar, honey and butter in a large saucepan. (Don’t make the mistake I made and put it in a small saucepan or it will boil over!)
2. Bring mixture to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature (bear in mind this take quite a long time!)
3. Place cooled feijoa mixture in another bowl and add egg, coconut and dry ingredients. Stir in 3/4 of the nuts then pour mixture into prepared tin and sprinkle surface with the remaining nuts (you may want to chop these up a little more for the topping) and extra sugar.
4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean.