Mary Ann's Blog

Celebrity Food

Fame is fleeting...we all get that. And so it is with food as well. Say goodbye  to kale, which had a good, long run and is still kicking it up a bit with the juicing crowd, and say hello to avocados. They are in the spotlight now as a super healthy pick as a heart healthy addition to your diet. Low in sodium, an average avocado has about 225 calories, 9 grams fiber, 21 grams of fat, the good kind, and just 12 grams of carbs. California produces most of the avocado crop with the Hass variety being the most popular. When purchasing them, look for overall deep green skin with no black spots; they should not be soft. Allow them ripen on your counter. They are ready to eat when you can make a slight indentation into them  with your finger. Keeping the green color once the flesh is exposed to air is the challenge. Rubbing them with cut lemons or limes helps but they should be used as soon as possible. Of course they are delicious on their own with just a squirt of lime or lemon juice, or in guacamole and Cobb salads or tucked into your BLT and you can bake with them too like this delicious no guilt (almost) moist chocolate cake made with avocado! So eat away because food fame is fleeting.

This super moist chocolate cake happened by accident one day when I needed to use up a half left over avocado.  Along with olive oil in the batter, it provided just the right amount of fat needed. Intense and dense, this cake is so moist that it keeps well for a week in the refrigerator, but I can say with certainty that it will never last that long; as an alternative the batter can be poured into cupcake pans for smaller versions. This cake freezes well too.

Chocolate Olive Oil and Avocado Cake

Serves 8

Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons baking cocoa
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup mashed avocado
2T white vinegar
2 cups cold water

Frosting
Two 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Lite Cream Cheese, at room temperature
31/2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil or 1 tablespoon almond extract
Crystalized white sugar for sprinkling on top

Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. With a hand mixer on low speed beat in the olive oil, avacado ,vinegar, vanilla, and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Do not over bake the cake. It should be firm to the touch, and a cake skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Put the cake pans on cooling racks, and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely. Frost when cool with frosting below

Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth; gradually add in enough of the sugar to make a smooth frosting that is not runny. Stir in the cinnamon oil, or the almond extract.

Frost the cake layers and sprinkle the crystal sugar over the top. Or if you are making the cupcakes, frost  them and sprinkle the tops with the sugar.

Cut the cake into wedges to serve.

 

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