When I taught public speaking, one of the sample speech videos I often showed my students before we began work on demonstration speeches was of a young man showing how to make an avocado salsa.
I watched that video more times than I can count, and while I’ve never made his recipe, I did learn from that sample speech how to choose a ripe avocado at the store.
If you don’t know, all you have to do is just give it a very light squeeze, and if the avocado yields just a bit, it’s ready. If it yields a lot, it’s overripe, and if it doesn’t yield at all, it needs more time.
Joey and I use avocado fairly regularly. It’s one of those foods that’s delicious and super good for you. That’s why this week’s recipe was especially interesting to me, because it uses avocados in a cake.
Before you scrunch up your nose, remember that, technically, avocados are a fruit, so using it in a sweet dish isn’t all that crazy.
This cake comes out more like a pumpkin or banana bread in consistency and shape, so that also made me feel brave enough to give it a shot. Also, the avocado takes the place of oil or butter, which lets you replace some bad fats with a good one.
The other thing I’ll mention is that the original author includes spreading a lemon glaze over the top of the loaf. It wasn’t bad, but if I make this cake again, I’m going to leave that glaze out of the picture. The flavor is just so strong that it takes over the nice flavors of the cake. It would be better with a subtle vanilla or almond glaze instead. (I’m thinking about a teaspoon of extract, the same amount of powdered sugar and adding milk until the consistency is right.) I’m also definitely adding walnuts to the dough next time. That would have been awesome.
I found this recipe on the blog “Naïve Cook Cooks.” You can find it at http://www.naivecookcooks.com/avocado-lemon-cake/. As you can see by the ingredient list, there wasn’t much for me to mess with on this recipe, so I just followed the author’s instructions.
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Avocado Lemon Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup ripe avocado (I used about 2-1/2 avocados)
2 cups flour
1-1/2 baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.
Beat the sugar and eggs on high for several minutes until the mixture is nice and fluffy.
Mash the avocado with a fork until it’s smooth (I still had a few chunks in mine. It baked fine.), and hand stir the avocado into the sugar and eggs.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix by hand until everything is just combined.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan and then remove it.
Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until it’s smooth but not runny. You want to be able to spread it. If it’s too runny, add some more powdered sugar; if it’s too thick, add some more lemon juice.
Spread the glaze over the top of the cake, slice and serve. Store in an airtight container.
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I liked the flavor of this cake a lot, and I’ll definitely try it again with some of the changes I mentioned earlier.
As we start moving toward the holidays and all the sweets that come with it, this might be a nice recipe to remember so you can convince yourself you’re doing something healthy. At least that’s what I’ll be telling myself after I get that second loaf out of the oven.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at email@example.com.