I’m so sorry to those of you who aren’t feijoa fans, but the lovely neighbour keeps giving them to me and we have a few on our wee tree too, so what’s a baker to do?!
I have a slight ‘crush’ on feijoas paired with ginger and have been making this gingerbread loaf for a few years now so when deciding to add a feijoa loaf to my website I immediately wanted to throw some feijoas into its gingerbready goodness, and of course I had to fling in some toasted walnuts for a little bit of crispy, nuttiness…as you do. 🙂
I also whipped up some simple, zesty, lemon butter to go with it, but if you can’t be bothered, no worries, just enjoy it as is…A gorgeous loaf to share with a friend or two or four, over a cuppa. 🙂
200 g butter
1 cup / 150 g soft brown sugar (loosely packed)
3 tablespoons / 60 g golden syrup
½ cup / 50 g walnut pieces (or halves)
1 cup chopped up feijoas (approx. 5 large)
2/3 cup / 170 ml milk
2 medium-sized eggs (I used size 6’s)
2 cups / 300 g standard flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
Lemon Butter (Optional)
100 g butter (at room temperature)
1 small lemon
1 tablespoon / 10 g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- I’ve always thought so and today confirmed it with my friend Sarah from ‘What Sarah Bakes’ (who’s an expert on feijoas!) that when adding feijoas to loaves, cakes or muffins they are best used when they are just ripe, straight from the tree or recently picked. As they ripen they seem to lose a bit of their sharpness and their flavour can get a little lost in the baking process.
- I like toasting nuts before adding them to my baking as it brings out their nutty flavour and crisps them up nicely so their ‘crunch’ isn’t lost when they are mixed with wet ingredients and baked, but if you are pressed for time don’t worry about toasting the walnuts, it’ll still be tasty!
STEP BY STEP
First things first, place the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a medium-sized saucepan.
Over a low heat, stirring often, melt it all together, being careful not to bring it to a boil as it will get too thick.
Whilst you are waiting for it to melt, give a standard-sized, 21 cm / 8 ¾” L x 11 cm / 4 ½” W x 6 cm / 2 ½” D loaf tin a light spray with non-stick cooking spray and then line it with either baking paper or aluminium foil.
Once melted, if it hasn’t combined nicely, give the caramel a good whisking until it is and leave it aside to cool down.
If you are toasting the walnuts, preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F fan-bake oven or 180°C / 350°F conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated in the centre of the oven.
Place the walnuts in an ovenproof dish (if you have walnut halves, roughly chop them up into pieces first).
Toast them in the oven for 5 minutes. Toss them well and then return them for another 3 – 5 minutes or until they are 2 or 3 shades darker (just not burnt, like I have done too many times to count, lol). 🙂
Then leave them aside to cool down.
After the walnuts are toasted (or if you aren’t using them) turn the oven to 150°C / 300°F fan-bake oven or 170°C / 325°F conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated just below the centre.
Next, peel the feijoas (or cut them in half and scoop out the insides with a teaspoon) and then…
…roughly chop them into little pieces.
Next, place the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt in a large bowl.
Mix it all together and then set it aside.
Then place the milk and eggs in a small bowl and…
…whisk them together until they’re nicely combined.
Now, whilst quickly whisking, pour the egg and milk mixture into the ‘caramel’ and keep whisking until it’s blended together nicely.
Now make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour all of the milky, ‘caramel’ mix in.
Stir it in the centre, very quickly, turning the bowl at the same time.
The dry ingredients will gradually fall in from the sides and when it stops falling in by itself, scrape the remainder in with your spoon and then continue stirring until it’s all just combined.
- This is how I mix my ‘wetter’ batters like crepes, pikelets and pancakes to help avoid lumps.
Lastly, add the walnuts and the chopped feijoas and gently fold them in.
Give the lined tin a light spray with the cooking spray and then pour in the loaf batter.
Pop it in the oven and bake it for 1 hour or until golden brown all over and/or a skewer or small, sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Once done, leave it in the tin for at least 10 minutes before…
…gently pulling it out of the tin (paper or foil as well) and placing it on a cooling rack.
- Pull the paper or foil down away from the sides to help it cool a little quicker.
If the butter isn’t soft enough, pop in the microwave for 20 seconds on half power. If it’s still not soft enough heat for 10 second intervals until it is (you don’t want any to actually melt though). OR you can cut it into cubes, place it on a small plate and then fill a cup with boiling water, empty the water out and then place the upturned cup over the butter, leaving it there until it’s soft, which works fab!
Place the butter in a small bowl and…
…then zest the lemon and add it, as well as 1 tablespoon of the juice to the softened butter.
Add the sugar too, then using an electric beater, beat it all together until it’s smooth and fluffy.
Once the loaf has cooled down, slice it as you need it or into 8, 9 or 10 slices (I like 8, nice ‘n’ thick!) and generously butter each slice!!
Keepin’ it fresh – Once the loaf has thoroughly cooled down, keep it in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 4 days. Keep the lemon butter in the fridge, but bring it out 30 minutes or more before you need it so it can soften to a spreadable consistency.