I’ve been using ripe avocados more and more in my baking lately – as a matter of necessity as they go ripe in my fruit bowl before I have a chance to use them. Mashed overripe avocado blends well into all kinds of baked goods – think of it like adding a mashed banana – lending healthy fats and other nutrients as well as moisture to the finished product. Here’s a recipe for a dense, moist pound cake that actually calls for avocado – paired with mellow ricotta cheese, the result is a pretty, pale pistachio green loaf that’s perfect for the holidays.
To get the flesh out of an avocado half, score it, then scoop it out with a spoon.
Avocado Ricotta Pound Cake
3/4 cup mashed pulp of a ripe avocado from Mexico
1/2 cup ricotta or requesón cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Confectioners’ sugar, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper cut to size. In a mixer at medium speed, beat the avocado until smooth and buttery. Add ricotta and butter; mix until fluffy. Add the sugar; beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition; add lime juice and mix well.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; add 1/2-cup at a time, to the avocado mixture, stirring just to mix after each addition. Stir in lime zest. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top; sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar to serve.
YIELD: 1 loaf; 10 slices
*Courtesy of Chef Pati Jinich of Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS