The Sensitive Kitchen

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Guava Nut Tea Cake

My fist job out of college was in marketing for a now-defunct specialty produce company. The one good thing about that job was that I had ready access to all manner of exotic fruits and vegetables in crazy quantity, and cooked accordingly. As I no longer keep such pricey foodstuffs at my fingertips, I haven't made this cake in many years. Today the director of my child's elementary school gave me a small bag of ripe guavas from her backyard tree. I immediately thought of this cake, and was lucky to find the recipe. Thank goodness for internet archives.

5 ripe guavas, about 3 ounces each
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rum (divided)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 c almond meal
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp water mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Peel 3 guavas and halve lengthwise. With a spoon or a melon-ball cutter, scoop out the central seedy area, leaving a shell about 1/2" thick, and place seedy pulp in the work bowl of a food processor.

Steam guava shells until tender, from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on guava variety. Remove to a plate, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar, and turn to coat. Set aside to cool.

While shells steam, cut up 2 remaining guavas; combine in processor with reserved pulp and 2 tablespoons rum. Purée, then press through a fine nonreactive sieve or the fine disk of a stainless steel food mill. Stir in rum; set mixture aside.

Butter a 9" round pan, fit a round of waxed paper in the bottom, and butter that. Lightly flour pan.

In a small mixer bowl, cream butter until light; gradually add in remaining sugar. Add egg; beat on high speed until fluffy. Add guava purée. Add flour, baking powder and salt on lowest speed, then add nut meal.

Spread batter evenly in pan. Arrange a pattern of guava crescents on top, pressing gently so fruit is flush with batter. Bake in the lower half of a preheated 375° oven until cake separates from sides of pan and tests done in the middle, about 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then carefully invert cake onto your hand and set right side up on a rack.

Stir together remaining tablespoon rum and sugar-water mixture in a tiny pan. Heat to boiling, then stir just until sugar dissolves. Paint mixture over warm cake surface to coat thoroughly, then let cake cool. Serves 8.


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