Fresh Guava Cake

I received a bag of fresh guavas from a friend who had a guava tree.  I had never made anything with guava before so I was quite excited.  I, of course, wanted to bake something using this fresh guava.  (Although I highly considered making a cocktail out of it).  I googled guava recipes and even searched on pinterest and sadly did not find anything that used the actual guava fruit.  Most recipes called for guava paste or guava juice out of a can (like kerns).  There was one fresh guava recipe on allrecipes, but it incorporated cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg which is not the flavor profile I was going for.  I wanted a fruity & tropical-y flavor.  

So after much research and dismay, I decided to substitute a fresh strawberry cake recipe I found (which is not easy either because most of them call for strawberry-flavored instant gelatin).  This blogger who posted the strawberry cake recipe apparently had a hard time as well.

Anyhow.. long story short.  My guava cake came out great.  But I didn’t have the time to frost it neatly and nicely (long story…).  Picture is not great either because the cake was for my sister’s birthday and had to be done in a hurry.  You know how some people get annoyed that you always want to take pictures of your food and they just want to eat it?  Anyway… the hint of coconut really brought out the tropical flavors of the guava and the light whipped guava frosting made this a delicious one of a kind cake!

Here is my revised recipe:

Ingredients for Cake

  • 3/4 cup puree of fresh guava (seed strained out)
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 4 whole large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)
  • red food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Puree guava and remove seeds by using a strainer.  (Not an easy process!)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8- or 9-inch pans: spray inside with baking spray with flour (or use some sort of grease/flour combination).  I prefer to spray and then line with cut out parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
  3. In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, both extracts and mix with fork or whisk until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
  4. Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds. I added 3 drops of red food coloring to make the batter slightly pink, this is totally optional.  Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 cup puree of fresh guava (seed strained out)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (make sure it’s cold!)
  • red food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Puree guava and remove seeds by using a strainer.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat guava puree with sugar.  Stir and heat until sugar is completely melted and mixture starts to bubble.
  3. Cool sweetened guava puree completely.
  4. Whisk cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks start to form.  Add the cooled guava puree and fold in.
  5. Decorate cake to your liking & enjoy!

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Cupcake Wars

Just thought this was cute…

From http://sarcasmfairy.blogspot.com/2009/09/cupcake-wars.html

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Small hidden gem in Irvine

I’m still not sure what I’m going to be blogging about exactly, but most likely it will be about food places I’d like to share with you or about recipes.  Who knows…
But until I get the groove of things and figure things out, here’s where I went a few days ago.

August 13 — My friend Jane and I were heading over to taste some food trucks that were supposed to be out in front of BlackMarket Bakery in Irvine.  When we showed up, however, there was no sign of them and we found out that the property kicked them out right before we got there. 😦

Well, due to this mishap it gave us an opportunity to eat at this sandwich place I’ve been meaning to try: Harry’s Deli.  I had briefly met the owner Harry couple months back on a previous visit to BlackMarket Bakery so I’ve been meaning to check it out.  I love trying new places to eat, especially if they are small mom&pop’s (which are super rare in Irvine!)

The place was packed and busy.  It’s a small inconspicuously located deli within the compounds of office buildings.  The menu board and the ambiance was so not-Irvine it was refreshing!  It had that nothing fancy, cafeteria-ish vibe.

Jane and I ordered the Chicken Di Giorgio and the Pulled Pork sandwiches and split them.

The Chicken Di Giorgio is made of crusted escalope of chicken, then topped with a fresh tomato / garlic / basil sautee, and finallly some mozarella all on a ciabatta bread.
For those of you who don’t know what escalope means (I didn’t):
Escalopes (also spelt as escallopes) are pieces of boneless meat which have been thinned out using a mallet, rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife. By thinning out the meat, it cooks more quickly, which is helpful when preparing fast meals.

We loved the garlicyness of this sandwich (yet not too overpowering) and the chicken was moist and tender.  This is probably their most popular sandwich.

The Pulled Pork sandwich had a really amazing flavor to it with a zesty kick. Can’t tell you what’s in it exactly (besides pork), but it was pretty darn good. You can order with slaw or without.  Definitely with!  It was juicy and just saucy enough.

We had both looked at the sandwiches initially thinking.. dude, this is too much food, we’re not going to finish this.  Well.. once you start eating it’s not much of a challenge at all.

Next time I’m going to have to try the Rib-eye everyone keeps talking about.

Click here for the Yelp review:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/harrys-deli-irvine-2

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So what now?

Everyone is asking what I’m going to do next, now that Cupcake Camp OC is over.  Well… for the time being I have joined as the Event Coordinator for OC Foodie Fest!

This is going to be a HUGE event.  It will be Orange County’s first gourmet food truck event (there will be 50 of them!) taking place Saturday, August 28th at the Honda Center in Anaheim.  If you are a foodie, you will not want to miss out!

The event will have concerts, dance performance, kids activity area, beer & wine garden, VIP lounge, tequila tastings, and most importantly.. FOOD.
What I love about this food truck event is that the some of the proceeds are going to a good cause!  Even yummier!  Check out: Child S.HA.R.E.Pretend City Childrens Museum.

If you guys do go, please eat from Cart for a Cause!  They will offer a special meal with 100% of the proceeds benefitting St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels.  Isn’t that great?

This hasn’t been released yet, but … OC Foodie Fest has been doing preview weekends. Last weekend was the Pub n Grub at Proof Bar in Santa Ana.  But coming up:

Monday 8/16 – Feed the Hungry Day
(Someone Who Cares Soup Kitchen, Costa Mesa)

Participating Trucks: Dos Chinos, Morsels Baking Co., Taco Dawg, Tropical Shave Ice

I’ll keep you posted on more info!  But back to “work”.

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The real “About” page for Cupcake Camp OC

Hi. I’m Hannah, organizer of Cupcake Camp OC.

So here’s how it really happened…

I had never fasted for lent before, but I decided to try it this year. For 40 days I decided to give up SWEETS! If you know me, you know how much I LOVE sweets. So this was no easy task. And to be quite honest I failed a few times during the 40 days and cheated here and there. But even with sneaking in a bite here and there, I was almost to the point of depression because I craved sweets so much; I swore I would never fast desserts again. You don’t understand..eating is a huge part of my life and I especially LOVE desserts.

I decided I wanted to celebrate lent being over by breaking fast with a couple of my friends who were also fasting sweets and a handful of other friends. I decided to throw a Desserts Galore Party where everyone had to bring a different type of dessert. My plan was to gorge on all types of sweets possible in order to make up for the 40 days. It was to be a sugar feast.

The Evite was sent out and I was starting to get really excited…

During that time, also, one of my good friends Stephen was in the process of raising funds to go down to Mexico City for a year to assist El Pozo (a sex trafficking rehabilitation home). I really wanted to support him, but I’ve been unemployed for quite some time.  I decided to get creative. I started brainstorming of ways to double this dessert party as a fundraiser. The obvious one was a bake sale, but that wasn’t quite it.

That’s when I serendipitously (love that word) stumbled across the Cupcake Camp Seattle page while browsing through a cupcake wrapper website my sister Michelle sent me (since I enjoy baking). I read about the ad-hoc gatherings of cupcake camps all over the world and I immediately thought ‘Oh my gosh.. this is it! I wanna do this!’

I’ve been searching and trying to figure out my direction in life. Like I said, I’m still unemployed. But when I considered putting together a cupcake camp, it got me super excited because it was a combination of my 3 passions: desserts, hosting events, and my desire to do something meaningful (cause-based).

I wanted to fly up to Seattle and witness the event myself to get a better idea. I needed to observe firsthand. But the event was less than 2 weeks of me discovering the website and tickets were freaking expensive. My excitement started to wear off and discouragement and doubt started setting in. ..

‘Who am I to do something like this? Am I kidding myself?’

‘I’m nobody, I don’t own a company, I have no money.. there’s no way I can do this’.

Well.. my supportive bf Steve surprised me by buying tickets for me to fly to Seattle. There’s so much that happened there (that trip was a great time of reflecting and reminiscing –I’m originally from Seattle). But anyhow to make the long story short Cupcake Camp Seattle was a huge success. They had nearly 1000 people show up, 70 bakers, 5000 cupcakes and were able to raise $5,276.50!


Me and My Cousins at Cupcake Camp Seattle

Intimidated but excited, I came back to Orange County and reached out to select friends. (Funny but I didn’t make the connection until now that 2 of my fellow organizers-Esther and Jenn also happen to be the 2 girls that were fasting sweets with me for lent.) We had our first meeting and they met each other.

Somehow, we came to a lofty goal of 500 people and 3000 cupcakes. We have no network or experience in the cupcake industry as the Seattle company who hosted did so, in our minds, this was a God-sized number. There were definitely skeptics and those who didn’t quite understand our vision and we knew we were crazy for thinking that we could accomplish this, but we went full force at it.

So… 2.5 months later… August 1, Sunday. Cupcake Camp OC at the Atrium Hotel in Irvine.

Who would have ever guessed… (besides God since He planned for it all along) that we– Charles, Eunice, Jenn, Esther, and I –5 “random” friends would be able to pull something like this!

We had nearly 1000 people. 90 bakers. over 5000 cupcakes. and we raised $9100!

This About page is a testament of how something so seemingly insignificant, such as fasting sweets for lent, can potentially lead to $9100 to fight human trafficking. How God gives us the privilege of being used and blesses us when we pursue those God-given passions.

And now I’m not embarrassed to admit that desserts/food/eating are and can be a PASSION!

We each have our own stories from this experience, but I’m glad I got to share mine with you.  Thanks for reading!

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