Not everyone truly appreciates my ambitious baking ventures, which is why I get really excited when my good friend Lauren's birthday rolls around. She gets it. This year I was elated to adapt this colorful Joy the Baker recipe for her birthday festivities.
Last year I went the super everything-free route with some iced pastel gluten-free mini cakes. They turned out pretty good, but I understand not everyone has a palette for 100% unrefined desserts. This time I wanted to make a cake that was likely to please the majority of the partaking tastebuds while still using unconventional, high quality ingredients. With several reports of the cake's remains being consumed the next day for breakfast, I think I may have succeeded.
With the guide of this genius recipe (and a couple reasonable tweaks), I was able to spend less time wondering how/if the cake would turn out and more time perfecting the flavor accents -- in this case, the rose-infused coconut whipped topping with pistachios.
About the cake: the fatty avocado lends a nutritious hand to the small amount of butter the recipe calls for, making it moist and flavorful. The cornmeal gives the cake an earthy quality and the beautiful green color is unusually appetizing.
Avocado Pound Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups evaporated cane juice/sugar
1 cup coconut sugar
4 large eggs
2 vanilla beans, scraped (or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
3/4 cup buttermilk (or scant 3/4 regular milk combine with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon)
flesh of 1 1/2 ripe avocados, just over a cup to a cup and a half of avocado, mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9" round cake pans and set aside.
If you don't have buttermilk (I didn't), combine milk and vinegar or lemon juice and set aside while you start the batter.
In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Set the four eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature while you beat the butter and sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until softened and pliable. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after the addition of each egg. Beat in vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture. Beat just until combined.
Divide the dough between the two loaf pans and place in the oven. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Rose-Infused Whipped Coconut Topping
3 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled over night
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 rose tea bag
Invert cans of chilled coconut milk and open. Strain out liquid and dump hardened cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Cut open rose tea bag and dump half of the contents into the whipped coconut cream mixture. Fold in until just blended. Add more to taste.
Pile half of the topping into the center of the cake before adding the second layer. Let it goop out of the cracks. Add remaining whipped cream to the top of the cake.
Optional: add crumbled pistachios to the center and top of the cake.