Oh, hai. I have a blog!
It’s not like I haven’t been cooking lately. I have. But most of it hasn’t worked out perfectly, or has been a repeat of something else I posted some time back, or I just haven’t really had the time to document it. So.
In kid news, Nell decided to build “leprechaun traps” out of crap from our recycling bin. And at first I thought it was all adorable and creative, but then I panicked because I realized that I had no idea what I was supposed to do with these traps. So I turned to the trusty internet and polled my friends to see what information I was missing about the new St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Turns out that I could do anything from dying the toilet water green, to dying the milk green, to leaving candy coins in the traps, to overturning all the chairs and pillows and messing up the books, to leaving green tempra paint footprints all over the house.
Excuse me for a minute while I get all grumpy-old-man-ish about this, but back when I was a kid, I honestly never even knew it was St. Patrick’s day until some other kid on the bus pinched me for not wearing green. THIS is my memory of the day. Not candy, or dye, or mischief, but being pinched by other little kids repeatedly because nobody in my family observed St. Patty’s, and apparently school rules are suspended for one glorious green day per year.
30 years and one internet later, and instead of the day for state-sanctioned physical abuse, St. Patty’s Day has become the time to WHIMSY ALL THE THINGS.
I’m not a mom, I’m a glorified monthly party planner.
OK, on to the food already.
Long-time readers of my blog and immediate family members will recall that I am no stranger to putting vegetables in baked goods. And I had two avocados to rescue from the compost bin, so when this popped up in my reader as the recipe of the day, I decided to make it.
The cake was good. The avocado flavor is so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. Kids like it OK, but it begs the question, “why bother?” Pound cake is not rich enough all by itself? Too lazy to make a decent guac? I think it works well as a rescue strategy if you have avocados that are right on the edge, as I did, and we are enjoying it today at snack time. But if you want to impress guests at an actual desert, you will have to serve it topped with more avocado or some salted caramel sauce or something that offers a bit more depth.
(Can you fry cilantro or is it too tender? If you could fry, it would be kind of genius with this recipe. Or, idk, maybe cilantro/lime ice cream on the side? There are so many things I would experiment with if I had more time…)
Here’s the part where I just totally (probably illegally) copy the recipe from Epicurious:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ripe mashed avocados
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9×5-inch loaf pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add avocado and beat for another 2 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Beat in vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from the stand mixer, and finish incorporating the batter with a spatula.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake on alternating racks for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate racks and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Cake will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days.