Unusual suspects – The Guava.


Winter is finally upon us, and with that comes the kind of comfort food that requires stretchy clothing to consume copious amounts of the heart warming genre of food. For me, the arrival of seasonal Fruit such as the Guava, signifies the start of winter.

Being a single mom of three daughters, my mom never really had the time to stand over a hot stove for hours in a kitchen, but when she did, my mom made the most delicious yet inexpensive chocolate cakes and Swiss rolls with that yummy tinned caramel spread sandwiched in between. Watching her create such homemade masterpieces, I was in awe, I think this is where my love affair with food ignited . I recall we had a incredibly tall guava tree(which I used to climb all the way to the top) and whenever they were in season, we had an amazing bounty of Guavas that we gave away to neighbours/family or my all time favourite dessert would become of it, my mom stewed the tropical fruit in a syrup of water, sugar and spices, served with a generous dollop of box custard. To this day I am guilty of the ultimate sin, I love box custard, there I said it! Inspired by this memory, unusual suspects is all about Guavas this week.

 Instead of stewing or poaching the guavas, I roasted them with a 100g of sugar, juice of one fresh lime, a vanilla pod and star anise. Roasted until tender. I left the skins on the guavas as I find they are packed with flavour too. To accompany the roasted guavas I made a syrup cake, made with 85g of flour, 1 egg, 100g butter and 110g of castor sugar, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy, add the egg and mix till fully incorporated, sift in flour and fold till just combined. Caveat: don’t over fold, you’ll end up with a stodgy crumb, to achieve a light and airy crumb, gently fold. Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) in a lightly greased muffin tin for 15-20 minutes. Pierce several times and pour syrup of roasted guavas over the cake. Allow to cool and soak up. 

The photos were taken between 14:00 and 17:00 yesterday on my balcony, whilst the stormy clouds were rolling in. 

Cooking is about emotion, it’s about culture, it’s about love and memory” – Massimo Bottura. 

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