This past week was a wonderful week for us, one of relaxation and family time as we holidayed together. It was a week of fresh Autumn weather: never too cold, nor too hot. Layers of clothing were stripped off beneath the peaceful daytime sunshine, to be adorned once more as the sun retreated and the temperature dropped. We were active during the day as we made the most of clear skies and beautiful outdoors, but hot showers and a mug of cocoa were necessary at twilight as the evening began. By the dancing light of wood fire we were warmed by roast dinners, slow-cooked soups, and caramelised tagines. Wonderfully nourishing stuff.
Autumn brings with it a change in light; it becomes more clear, ethereal, and magical. I love that dappled light effect.
Where in Summer the proud, tall sun dispels these dappled-light effects, a low-lying Autumn sun creates long shadows around us: on footprints in the sand, ripples in the water, on withering tree leaves and delicate strands of grass. Even at mid-afternoon. It lends the world an aching beauty.
Unfortunately much of our holiday was spent recovering from seasonal colds, but even our fuzzy heads and sneezes didn't dull the shimmer of our Autumn beach holiday.
If you are following me on Instagram, you would have read about our chance happening upon a lush feijoa tree one morning. The tree was quite simply groaning under the weight of its plump, green fruit. Feijoa the size of avocados covered the ground beneath - I couldn't just walk on and leave those jewels to turn brown and feed the earth. So with arms full to overflowing, we gingerly navigated our way back to our beachside bach.
Fast forward several hours and an Upside Down Feijoa Cake and four jars of Spiced Feijoa Chutney graced the kitchen bench. I felt proud of my resourcefulness. It feels so wholesome to take part in the natural and timeworn habits of seasonal cooking and harvest preservation.
A few notes about this cake recipe. It is grain and nut free, so it is ideal for school/kindy lunches. It is also high in resistant starch which is excellent for taking care of your gut health. (I recently wrote an article on resistant starch - if you're interested, you can read more about it here.) It is low in sweetener, high in fibre, and rich in nutrients. It is also beautiful with it's top adorned with syrupy fruit; not to mention delicious with its tangy, sweet feijoa flavour.
Perfect family seasonal fodder. I do hope you enjoy making and eating it.
Feijoa Upside Down Cake
NF, GF, RSF + DF option
Please note: to make this cake dairy free, swap butter for coconut oil.
- 40g butter
- 50g honey
- 300g / 1 1/4C feijoa flesh, cut into slices
- 240g / 1C feijoa flesh, roughly chopped
- 110g / 1/2C butter melted
- 180g / 1/2C honey softened
- 2t vanilla extract
- 90g / 3/4C tapioca flour
- 90g / 3/4C coconut flour
- 7g / 1t baking soda
- 1t cinnamon
- 6 free range eggs
Preheat oven to 170 fanbake. Grease and line 20cm springform cake tin.
Melt the first measure of butter over a gentle heat. Add the honey and whisk until combined. Pour into lined cake tin.
Scoop out enough feijoa flesh so that you have 540g. If you have slightly more or less it doesn't matter - 240g (1C) of roughly chopped flesh is to go into the cake mixture - this cannot change, so chop it and set it aside for later. But the remaining ~300g (1+1/4C) feijoa flesh is to be sliced prettily and placed at the bottom of the cake tin. If there is slightly more or less here, it does not matter.
So - slice about 300g feijoa flesh into pretty rounds. Place this feijoa on top of the butter/honey syrup in the cake tin. Arrange by layering the pieces in concentric circles to create an appealing pattern.
Melt the second measure of butter over a gentle heat. Add the honey and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside.
Sift tapioca, coconut, baking soda and cinnamon together and set aside.
Beat the eggs until fluffy - about 3-5 minutes. Continuing to beat, pour in the butter/honey/vanilla mixture slowly. Fold in the flours and the 240g (1C) of roughly chopped feijoa flesh. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to touch.
- Check the cake at around 25/30 minutes; if the cake is browning too quickly, loosely cover with tinfoil to deflect the heat.
- You may wish to place a tray on the level below the cake to catch any overspill from the syrup bubbling up.
Serve on its own, at any time of day; or slightly warm with a dollop of vanilla cream for dessert.