Feijoas are a funny fruit - people either love them or loathe them. I fall into the former camp and find it hard to understand how anyone could dislike them. Apparently it is something to do with their smell. I think the scent of a feijoa is divine, but for some it is simply overpowering. I have a sister-in-law who says that the smell is so strong it makes her feel like she is eating soap. Oh well,
each to their own i guess.
I love eating feijoas raw, scooping out their flesh with a teaspoon as a snack, or adding to my muesli in the morning. However we have twenty or so feijoa bushes, and can't possibly eat them all raw, so i start to look for other ways to make use of them. Scooping out the flesh and freezing it is a good way to preserve for use later in the winter; i often also bottle some, either on their own, or mixed with some apple, and i have a great feijoa chutney recipe, which i will be passing on to you in my next post. However today's recipe is a cake, from the wonderful book 'A Treasury of New Zealand Baking' which i have mentioned in an earlier post. If you like baking, you really need this book. It contains 104 recipes, contributed by a variety of well-known kiwi cooks and bakers. Many of the recipes make use of seasonal fruit, which was the initial attraction of the book for me, but i have slowly been working my way through all 104 recipes (i've made 76 of them so far; only 28 to go!). The Macaroon Dessert Cake is a recipe i have made on several occasions. It is super easy, and makes a great dessert for a group, so long as you don't have any 'feijoa haters' present! If you don't have feijoas the recipe works equally well with chopped rhubarb.
MACAROON DESSERT CAKE
From 'A Treasury of New Zealand Baking'
Makes a 24cm square cake; serves 12-14
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 cups long thread coconut
2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Grease and line a 24 cm cake tin.
Using a food processor or electric beater if you have one, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, then mix in the coconut, flour and milk.
Spread half the mixture into the base of the pan. Halve the feijoas lengthwise, scoop out the flesh and scatter the halves over the base. Cover with the remainder of the mixture.
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing. This cake will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.