The humble feijoa climbed to new heights of culinary fame recently, featuring on MasterChef Australia. The complete dessert masterpiece, Manuka Honey & Feijoa Cake with Yoghurt Panna Cotta, Lemon Verbena Jelly, Jasmine-Honey Pudding, Candied Bread and Honey & Orange Blossom Ice-cream, by Chef Martin Bosley, can be found on the MasterChef Australia website and has a warning ‘Adult supervision required’.
The little cakes created in separate ramekins look heavenly amidst the divine accompaniments, but I am only including the cake recipe here.
Do try to find manuka honey, which is made by bees feeding on the sweet little flowers of New Zealand’s native tea tree or Leptospermum scoparium. While it is famous for its medicinal properties (and you do pay more for the kinds with the medical grade certification), you can also buy manuka honey that is a lesser grade (and cheaper) but which still has that wonderful unique flavour.
MANUKA HONEY & FEIJOA CAKE
- 8-12 teaspoons manuka honey, for the moulds
- 6 medium sized feijoas
- 175g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 20ml rum
- 100g manuka honey
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 3 free-range eggs
- 175g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground almonds
- Pinch of table salt
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
- Liberally butter 4-6 x 6cm individual oven-proof ½ cup ramekins. Line with a small cartouche of baking paper and add 2 teaspoons of honey to each one. Place on a tray and warm in the oven for 3 minutes to loosen the honey.
- Slice the feijoas in half across the equator and using a teaspoon, remove the flesh from the skin in one piece. Place one piece of feijoa into each ramekin onto the honey.
- In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Beat in rum, honey and vanilla seeds, adding eggs one at a time.
- Combine flour, baking powder, ground almonds and salt and fold into butter mixture.
- Drop spoonfuls over the feijoas as carefully as possible, taking care not to dislodge them.
- Smooth tops and bake at 160˚C for 45 minutes until the cakes are golden and cooked, they should still be quite succulent. Start checking after 30 minutes.
- Allow cakes to cool in the ramekins for about 30 minutes and invert to serve. Check that all the fruit has been dislodged and serve warm.