Baking with extra virgin olive oil
Here’s the thing about baking with olive oil – not only do we need less (than butter) making things taste lighter but when using a complementary extra virgin olive oil variety, it surfaces new delicious dimensions from the whole ensemble. A general rule of thumb is to substitute three-quarters of the required amount of butter with olive oil. For example, if the recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, use 3 tablespoons of olive oil, instead.
Olive oil matching
Feijoa tastes like a cross between ripe guava and pineapple. It has a slightly grainy texture like a ripe pear with a sweet pulpy center when ripened. We like using a green, fruity extra virgin olive oil of medium intensity with noticeable bitter notes and slight peppery hints, (instead of oils that are too delicate or overly peppery) with feijoa and most fruit-based desserts. In this recipe, we used our fresh Barnea olive oil a day after pressing, but you can use any other fruity medium intensity varieties such as Hojiblanca, Frantoio or even a fresh (check date of harvest) Arbequina or Leccino.
How to make this:
Makes 10-12 slices
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup soft light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup rolled oats, lightly toasted (skip toasting if using instant oats)
- ¼ cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted together with rolled oats
- 1 egg
- 1 cup feijoa flesh (about 9-10 feijoas’ scoop out) – see Tips below for fruit substitutes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup cow's milk or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ cup feijoa flesh, pulped till smooth in blender
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3-4 tablespoons of fresh orange or lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a loaf tin with baking paper. Loaf tin of 11cm x 22cm / 900g is the ideal to get a loaf shape. We used a larger tin size in the photos, hence the “cake” shape.
- Mash feijoa flesh with a fork or masher, keeping some fruit chunks visible
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: Flour, baking powder, sugar, oats, almonds. Use a whisk or fork to combine well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: Egg, milk, olive oil and vanilla.
- Add the mashed feijoa to wet ingredients and combine well with spatula.
- Gently fold feijoa mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Pour into loaf tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until loaf rises a little (it will not rise a lot), crust is golden brown and the skewer comes out clean when pierced. Be sure to check every now and then.
- While the loaf is in the oven, prepare the sauce in a small saucepan – combine water, orange/lemon juice with caster sugar over low heat. Stir mixture until sugar has melted and bubbling gently.
- Add the pulped feijoa and continue stirring until well combined for about 15 minutes. The color of the sauce will turn a light brown and slightly thicker but not sludgy. Set aside when done and warm-up slightly before using, if preferred.
- Remove loaf from oven and set aside to cool for 15 mins, then tip it out onto a cooling rack.
- Substitutes for feijoa can be very ripe guava, ripe pears and ripe fresh figs or any combination of these if you want to approximate the taste.
- Otherwise, you can substitute with red apples or bananas, or a mixture of red apples and ripe pears. If using, apples you would have to peel, core and slice and chop them gently in a food processor.
- This loaf is suppose to be dense and full of texture from the healthy oats and nuts. If you want to skip the oats just double up on the nuts.