Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Avocado cake

When I mention avocado, would you think of it as sweet or savoury?  Would you crave for a dessert or a salad?

My fondest memories of avocado was that of my mother mashing them and mixing them with milk and sugar. She would freeze the mixture and on Sundays, that was our special after lunch dessert - homemade avocado ice cream.  That was the one and only way I knew how to eat that fruit as a child.  

Avocado in cake?  Quite unique, isn't it?  I think that's exactly the reason why this cake became a hit in Manila - it's because it's a flavour you wouldn't really imagine would work. 



The hero of this cake is actually the buttercream.  All the avocado goodness is in it.  I would have wanted to put avocado in the cake itself, but being a delicate chiffon, I observed that mixing in the fruit puree dramatically changes the cake's texture.  I tried many, many times, believe me!  Adding in a puree essentially introduces another liquid to the batter and being a fruit, it also adds acidity.  Mixing in only a small amount of avocado so as not to affect the cake balance does not actually do anything to add flavour.  On the other hand, mixing in a considerable amount to add flavour greatly affects the texture. This, despite adjusting the amounts of the other liquid ingredients.  So in saying that, I decided to put all the avocado in the buttercream.  Trust me, you will taste avocado with your first bite.

A cake of this size currently costs nearly P700 pesos in Manila so I would say, it's really worth making it yourself.  Here in Australia, avocado prices fluctuate by the week.  One week it's affordable, the next week, the price doubles.  Pistachios are quite expensive too.  Overall, this cake is not cheap to buy or make! Having said that though, I would choose homemade anytime.


AVOCADO CAKE 

For the chiffon:

{A}
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons white sugar

{B}
¼ cup corn/canola oil
4 egg yolks, from extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup water
about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp liquid green food colouring (add only enough to make the mixture greenish) *

*If using gel paste, you probably need only a drop.

{C}
4 eggwhites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

{D}
6 tablespoons white sugar

Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, combine {A} well. Add in {B}. Beat with electric mixer or by hand until smooth and well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, beat {C} on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in the sugar {D} and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Pour batter into an ungreased 8” round, 3” high pan.
4. Bake for about 50 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan into wire rack immediately and cool completely.
5. To release cake from pan, carefully run a thin knife around sides of pan and invert.  Wrap well with cling film and refrigerate or freeze until ready to assemble.

For the avocado Swiss meringue buttercream:

4 eggwhites
1 cup granulated white sugar
300 g unsalted butter, very soft
a pinch of salt
puree of 1 ripe avocado mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice (about 120 grams)

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the eggwhites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. 

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggwhite mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter has been added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the avocado puree gradually and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

To assemble cake:

**You will also need about 70 grams coarsely chopped shelled pistachios for topping.

Cut your cake horizontally in half. Invert top layer onto your cake board. Spread a layer of buttercream over your cake half, then top with other cake layer, cut side down. Cover the whole cake with more buttercream. If desired, use a cake comb on the cake sides.  Pipe out a reverse 'S' border around the cake top and a shell border on the bottom.  Top with pistachios.


My cake is more yellowish than light green as I only put a few drops of green liquid food colouring.

Enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. I've been waiting for this since you mentioned it on your last post. Avocado Cake sounds delicious, I've never had one but I like avocado and no doubt I'll enjoy this too. I just made homemade ice cream with avocado.

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  2. It sounds and looks very delicious!

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  3. looks yummy..i will try this soon..thanks

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  4. Corinne, may I know if the frosting didn't get brown after a couple of days due to the addition of avocado? Thanks.

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    1. If you look at the recipe for the buttercream, a little lemon juice is mixed with the avocado puree. This prevents browning.

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  5. hi! is there no need to add vanilla in the cake?

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    1. I didn't add vanilla as I did not want any other flavour to compete with the avocado.

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  6. This looks so amazing! All your cakes look amazing. I don't think I could ever do this!

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  7. Is it okay to double the entire frosting recipe? Will doing that have any effect on its consistency or its ability to hold the butter and avocado together?

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  8. Corinne, do you think avocado can be added into your regular whipped cream-cream cheese frosting recipe? My grandmother doesn't like buttercream.

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    1. I think fruits generally go well with whipped cream. However, I don't know how it will change the consistency of the frosting itself.

      I am not very much into buttercream myself and only make the swiss meringue type. But you know what? I love this avocado version. Maybe your grandma will like it too if she tried it.

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    2. Okay. I'll take your word for it. Often, she pushes any form of frosting to the side of her plate. Nasasayangan ako.

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    3. She has to eat the icing or else she won't taste the avocado! :)

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  9. corinne, first off, i''d like to tell you that i'm happy that you haven't completely abandoned this blog of yours. i understand that keeping this up is a lot of work, so yeah, for your own good, i recommend posting minimally, in your own pace.
    so anyhoo, i made your avocadoe cake last weekend, and you were right--my grandma liked it! everybody liked it! nagkahiyaan pa sila sa huling slice. lol. i didn't have the exact proportion of butter that your buttercream recipe called for. i had around 340 grams (1 1/2 cups), and so to compensate for that, i added an extra egg white and an extra quarter cup of sugar. i also added a little more avocado puree.
    it was my second attempt at buttercream-frosting an entire cake and it took me more than an hour to finish up. my biggest problem was that i couldn't keep the entire surface looking clean. i had to re-apply and re-smoosh and re-dab here and there. i gave up because i figured that all that work wouldn't be appreciated much once everyone ate. may i ask how you keep the surfaces of your frosted cakes clean? :D

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    1. I'm glad your family enjoyed the avocado cake!

      Do you have a bench scraper and a turntable? The technique to getting a smooth finish on your cake is to spread a considerable amount of frosting at first. Then using a bench scraper while turning the turntable at the same time, remove the excess thus makiing the sides straight and smooth.

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    2. i see. so you just cover the entire surface, doesn't matter how uneven or crooked it looks, and then smooth it off with bench scraper? could the same technique be used for the top of the cake, or the sides only? yes, i have a turntable, but a bench scraper, no. i only used an offset spatula. but yeah, i'll make a quickie drop by at the bakers' supplies store...
      btw, i substituted the lime juice with cream of tartar with a 1:1 ratio. the leftover frosting is still a nice green. [-:

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    3. I use the bench scraper for the sides only. For the top, I smooth out the frosting with an angled spatula.

      Thanks for the tip on using cream of tartar!

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  10. Hi Corinne,
    Can I use a 6" x 2" pan for this recipe?
    Thanks

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  11. Hi Corine, how big is the avocado that you used? Our avocado here is a bit small than the usual avocado the the philippines. I'd say half of the regulat avocado in PH.

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    1. The reason I included the puree weight in grams is precisely because avocado sizes differ. If your avocado is quite small, you might need 2 to 3 pieces to get 120 grams of puree.

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