crab avocado and sriracha mayo sandwich on whole wheat bread

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avocado marble cake

avocado marble cake

Avocado Marble Cake (adapted from Cake Whiz)
There is very little fat in this cake. I think the avocado must replace most of the fats. It has a light, chocolate-y flavor with a moist tender crumb and a crisp baked exterior. The cake is merely pale green after it is baked.

Ingredients
For the avocado cake batter, have at room temperature:
1 ripe avocado (processed into a smooth paste so there are no lumps)
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup whipping cream (or evaporated milk)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the chocolate batter to create the “marbling” effect:
1 1/2 cup avocado cake batter (same as above)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4-5 tablespoons whipping cream (more or less may be needed to make batter smooth)
5 tablespoons sugar (omitted)

Preparation
Preheat the oven 350˚F. Spray cooking spray inside two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. Into the workbowl of a food processor, scrape the avocado and puree it into a smooth paste so there are no lumps. Scrape the pureed avocado into a deep mixing bowl. Then add the sugar and blend.

Add eggs, one at a time, to the avocado and blend until smooth. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes until the batter becomes green and creamy. Depending on the ripeness of the avocado, and how fast it oxidizes at room temperature, the mixture may turn from light green to the color of your grandmother’s 70s style avocado-green refrigerator.

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix milk, whipping cream, and vanilla. Now add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.

On low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture to the avocado-egg mixture until just incorporated. Add half of the milk mixture and mix until just blended. Add half the remaining flour until just blended. Add the remaining milk until just blended. Add the rest of the flour, mixing until just blended. Scrape down the bowl for the last time.

Now, scoop out 1 1/2 cups of this avocado cake batter and put it in a separate bowl. Add cocoa powder, sugar (omitted) and cream. Mix with a wire whisk until the batter is smooth.

Pour avocado cake batter into prepared loaf pans. Fill them a little less than half-way each.

Now, add random spoonfuls of chocolate batter on top of the avocado cake batter.

Run a small spatula in a figure eight through the batter to create a “marbling” effect. Tap pans lightly on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Cake Baker’s Note: If you’re using a pan with a dark nonstick finish, reduce heat 25˚ and test the cake after 35 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Insert a thin blade around the edges to release the cake from the sides of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely right side up on the cooling rack.

Cake Baker’s Note: If you are not going to eat the cake right away, wrap cooled cake airtight in plastic wrap and store covered on the counter top 2 days.

shrimp lettuce wraps with pineapple salsa

When I started to make the salsa there was something familiar about it. I had made it before for the September 16th post! I must be losing my mind… Actually, the two recipes in the Light and Healthy cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen (2011) both use a pineapple salsa. Except this one adds jicama to it. I could not find jicama so I chopped up half a green apple and threw it in. If I was in my kitchen in Bangkok, I would have cut up a farang or guava instead. Originally called Shrimp Tacos, this is the low-cal version of a seafood taco: instead of refried beans, this “taco” is accompanied by mashed avocado. America’s Test Kitchen cooks advise you not to let the shrimp marinate for longer than 15 minutes or the acid marinade will begin to “cook” the shrimp and turn them rubbery. To lower the calories of this dish, I substituted iceberg lettuce for the corn tortillas. I liked the taste and the textures of this dish, a symphony of crisp crunchy lettuce, spicy grilled shrimp, and tangy-sweet salsa with avocado in the high notes.

Accompaniment
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Salt

Using a potato masher, mash the avocado with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice until some chunks remain. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pineapple-Green Apple Salsa
1/2 green apple, cored and stemmed, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (10 oz jicama in original recipe)
10 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh pineapple cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1-2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed and minced (remove seeds if you want less heat)
Salt

Combine apple, pineapple, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Shrimp
I was supposed to heat the spices but since I did not have ground coriander, I made a paste out of chopped fresh cilantro and the remaining spices. I left out the sugar as the purpose of adding it was to caramelize the shrimp, an unnecessary step to me.

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (1 teaspoon ground coriander in original recipe)
3-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I omit this)
1 1/2 pounds extra large frozen shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Iceberg lettuce (12 x 6-inch corn tortillas in original recipe)

In the workbowl of a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and set aside. Scrape the cilantro mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Butterfly the shrimp. First, remove the shells over the tail, then split the curved back of the shrimp until you can open out both halves but not separate them. Butterflying helps the shrimp to cook faster and more evenly. Put the shrimp in the bowl with the cilantro mixture and toss to coat evenly. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and grill (2-4 minutes) or broil (10 minutes) until the shrimp turns opaque and just pink.

Note:
Serve at once with accompaniment and salsa. I served it with Asian Avocado Salad and in this way used up the large avocado I had bought and the other half of the green apple.

Per serving: Cal 410; Fat 14g; Sat fat 1.5g; Chol 170mg; Carb 45g; Protein 27g; Fiber 8g; Sodium 450mg (will vary because of the substitutions)