Happy February! Ben and I are just hanging out watching Superbowl LII (I had to look that up; Ben’s the real football fan. I mainly watch it for the commercials!) and baking and cooking. I’m the baker, Ben’s the cook. Ben is making dinner plus some make-ahead food for the week, and he’s boiling something, I think it’s beans, and so the whole apartment feels all hot and humid! It’s kind of nice! Maybe I should boil water every day just to make believe I’m in a tropical zone. It kind of goes with this month’s recipe!
Being that I’m only going to post something once a month now, February’s post naturally had to be about Valentine’s Day, right? So I decided to tweak the guava muffins I made a few months ago, to turn it into a guava poppy seed heart cake! (Truth be told, I actually had to tweak it a̶ ̶f̶e̶w̶ several times because I wasn’t sure if I wanted a bundt cake, a loaf cake, more muffins or maybe even cake donuts!) Finally settled with a heart pan! Still not truly happy with the color, but I think this is the best it’s gonna be. (You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…) I’ve been taking all the test recipes to work over the last few weeks. My coworkers are probably all guava’d out by now!
And I initially thought I’d keep this a secret from Ben, but we live in a one-bedroom apartment, so trying to keep Ben from finding out was a pretty silly idea. But that’s okay, we both really like guava anything. Although I must admit, I am reaching my guava threshold. Almost. I am looking forward to something different for March, something likely to be green! I’m thinking of pistachio and white chocolate, but don’t quote me on that. Stay tuned…
…And if you don’t want to spring for a heart pan for Valentine’s Day, this recipe also can make one loaf cake using a 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan:
guava poppy seed heart cake
1 and 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
6 ounces (about 1/2 cup) guava paste, cut into chunks
3 Tablespoons agave syrup
1 cup guava pulp, thawed from frozen package or pureed from fresh seeded guavas
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup of frozen guava juice concentrate, thawed + 1/4 cup warm water
1 drop soft pink Americolor(tm) food color gel, or similar product (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons guava juice concentrate
4 teaspoons water
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 pinches of poppy seeds (optional)
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or grease an 8-inch heart pan (2-inch height). (Alternatively, you can also bake this as a loaf cake using an 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.)
Sift the first four ingredients–flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds–into a large bowl and stir with a whisk several times to ensure ingredients are well blended together. Set aside.
Place the chunks of guava paste into a small saucepan, add the agave syrup and heat on a stove top on medium heat. Remove from heat once it starts to bubble and mash the guava paste with a fork until there are no more pieces, and paste/syrup is more like a jam consistency. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Add the guava pulp and oil to the guava paste/agave syrup mixture in the bowl and whisk with a wire whisk until the oil is not separate from the other ingredients. (You can also use an electric hand held beater if you prefer.)
Add a third of the flour mixture to the guava mixture and whisk until flour is all moistened. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again.
Add half of the guava juice concentrate that has been diluted with water and continue to whisk, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.
Add half of the remaining flour mixture and whisk again, and scraping sides and bottom, followed by the last of the guava juice and continue to whisk and scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and finally adding the last of the flour and whisking and scraping again.
Add food coloring (if using) and whisk, using a rubber spatula or spoon to stir batter every now and then to ensure color streaks are no longer there and mixture is one even color.
In a small bowl or cup, add the lemon juice and baking soda together and stir with a clean finger until baking soda is dissolved. Mixture will fizz a little then stop. Pour all of the lemon juice/baking soda mixture to the batter and whisk for about 30 seconds vigorously to ensure baking soda/lemon juice mixture is dispersed throughout the batter.
Scoop batter to prepared pan and smooth out top with the back of a spoon or small offset spatula.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean when stuck in the middle of the cake and pulled out.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack. Whisk glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over cake.