Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tropical loaf cake and amping up chickpea burgers...

I baked two separate items for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day tomorrow - the second one is currently cooling, so that one will have to wait until tomorrow (assuming it passes quality control!). I prepared the other recipe, Coconut-Pineapple Loaf Cake, earlier in the day so it had plenty of time to cool down before we sliced into it.

I could have just made a double batch of the first cake, but in the interest of options, we thought we should prepare a different one too in case some don't like coconut or pineapple! Before we began this recipe, I opened and poured the pineapple chunks into a strainer so any excess liquid had plenty of time to drain away. While the pineapple will of course keep the cake moist, you don't want the pieces to have too much liquid or you will end up with a soggy loaf.

While the pineapple was dripping away, we tossed some shredded sweetened coconut onto a large baking sheet and stashed it in the oven as it was preheating. Keep an eye on the white shreds and toss them every two minutes or so... they can go from lightly toasted to burnt quickly! The batter for this cake was quite plain, so we did splash in a little vanilla to add some interest in the background. The well-drained pineapple and crisp coconut are gently folded into the thick, pale batter and once spooned into the loaf pan, additional toasted coconut is scattered on top. Because that coconut is toasted, you will want to carefully tent the loaf with foil about half-way through to prevent those shreds from burning.

Thanks to the mound of sour cream, the baked loaf was tender and moist - the chunky pieces of pineapple melded into the cake well and didn't come out as being obtrusive as I thought they might. I would suggest that you halve any extra large pieces of the pineapple so they are evenly distributed inside - however, I don't think I would go down and use the tidbit variety as I think they would just get lost.

We've done a couple variations of Chickpea Burgers like the ones I prepared for dinner tonight, but this recipe used a few ingredients that we thought made these stand out.

Buzzed up in a food processor is a combination of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mild scallions, a couple slices of sandwich bread, almonds, fresh ginger, garlic and smoky cumin. When roughly chopped, you remove half of this mixture to a bowl and add an egg to the food processor. The remaining half is processed with the egg until it smooths out and is fairly creamy. Why do this? Well, this gives you the moisture needed to hold the burgers together, but removing half of it will give the assembled burgers integrity, texture and a hearty mouth-feel. The mixture was just a little tacky, but easy to work with and formed into patties well.

While they are fairly sturdy patties, brushing them with olive oil will not only add flavor, but helps prevent them from sticking once they hit the grill. To serve, we set them on toasted English muffins and a bit of baby spinach (lettuce would work just as well) and dolloped a tangy sauce composed of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard on top. I loved the flavor from the crunchy bits of almonds and will have to remember that for other veggie burgers! Peanuts would also be a good choice for these if you don't already have almonds in the pantry. We did enjoy the lightness of English muffins, but I think we'll have the leftovers on our favorite homemade burger buns just because. I think a little bite to these would be appropriate (at least for our tastes), so I will probably toss in a little prepared horseradish into the sauce when we have the rest.


  1. Everytime I click on your site there is a dish that I could imagine eating in my kitchen. :-) These are fabulous!

  2. I'm baking for a bake sale this weekend and stumbled upon your recipes for dog treats. Which of them would you say your dogs liked best? I'd love to make a few treats for dogs. :-)

  3. Those burgers are beautiful! I have never had my homemade bean/veggie burgers turn out looking so perfect. Very impressive!


  4. Jeena - I'm glad you like what we make!

    Kelly - That would be a hard choice as they didn't turn their nose up at any that we've made! Honestly though, I think you would be good with any of the recipes!

    Courtney - the texture was quite nice and they held together much better than other recipes we've done in the past!

  5. I too enjoy chickpea burgers! So good! Yours look great Joe!

  6. I made the loaf cake yesterday, had a piece last night. It was SO GOOD. I will be surprised if I don't end up making it again this weekend, since my husband is out of town right now and I mentioned I was making it and he wanted to have some but I don't think it's going to last until he gets home tonight, between me and the kids. Good thing I used baking Splenda, ha!

  7. Alice - Fantastic! Thanks for the feedback!