Friday, March 25, 2011
Banana Pistachio Cakes with Guava-Pear Compote.
A few weeks ago, a lovely person from Oh! Nuts contacted me and asked if they could send me some of their products for me to use in a recipe. No one has ever asked me to do something like that before, I was thrilled! After much debate, I asked them to send me shelled roasted unsalted pistachios, dried pears, and dried guava squares, all of which arrived very quickly!
Due to mid-March madness at my house I had to delay the creation process of the recipe but I had this idea in my head ever since I was first contacted and I'm very proud to say the flavors go together amazingly well! I've always had banana bread with walnuts or pecans but pistachios are a great change of pace and add adorable flecks of green. I've seen dried pears called for in recipes before but never worked with them - they have a similar texture to dried apricots and are absolutely delicious for eating out-of-hand as well as cooking! I wanted to try something completely different with the guava squares and I'm so glad I did. I had no idea how they'd cook up but they were a perfect match with the pears in the compote and paired with the banana bread amazingly, making the combination taste tropical and sunny :)
I made 5 mini heart-shaped cakes and 2 miniature loaf pan-sized breads out of this recipe, but the batter is originally meant for one 9x5 loaf pan, so please feel free to use that instead!
Banana Pistachio Cakes:
1 cup mashed, very ripe banana
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or buttermilk or sour cream)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup olive oil (or canola or vegetable)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and spray the cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the banana, yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract until well mixed.
In a larger bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together, then pour the wet ingredients on top, stirring until almost completely mixed, then add in the pistachios. Divide the batter evenly among the baking pans and bake until golden brown on the outside and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. (55 minutes to an hour if you're using a large loaf pan.)
Let cool completely on a rack before slicing and store airtight for up to 5 days.
2 cups dried guava squares
2 cups chopped dried pears
2 cups water (or enough to cover the fruit)
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons brown sugar
In a small saucepan, combine the guava and dried pears, adding enough water to cover the fruit. Cover the pan and bring to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and let sit for about 15-20 minutes, until the fruit softens. Drain the water from the fruit, then add the zest and juice of the orange as well as the sugar. Let cool and serve with the banana bread.
I imagine this also being divine on top of some vanilla bean ice cream with toasted pound cake :)
Thanks to Oh! Nuts for the opportunity to try their products!