Avocado Takedown

November 17, 2012 5:32:17 AM PST
Avocados are a staple in Mexican cuisine, and generally, they're served in pieces or as guacamole. But a contest on Saturday, November 17, 2012, is pushing the boundaries on recipes.

The Avocado Takedown (www.kitchit.com/tickets/FoodFilmFest/Takedown) takes place at Kendall College in conjunction with the Chicago Film Festival. Matt Timms, creator of the Avocado Takedown, and contestants Jesse and Erika Valenciana, Megan O'Connor and Tricia Keels, joined us in our ABC7 studio to show us a few creative recipes. The contestants will compete for People's Choice winner, who will receive a $500 grand prize, as well top honors from a panel of local food experts.

Avocado Takedown at Chicago Food Film Festival
Saturday, November 17
1-3 pm
Kendall College
Hosted by Matt Timms
Sponsored by Avocados from Mexico (www.avocadosfrommexico.com)


Avocado-chocolate cupcakes topped with avocado buttercream frosting (a vegan recipe)

1. Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¾ agave
¾ cup plain soymilk
? cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, agave, soymilk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.

2. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.

Avocado buttercream frosting
8 ounces avocado meat, approximately 2 small to medium
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Peel and pit the avocado.
Place the avocado into the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, along with the lemon juice.
Beat until lightened in color, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, and beat until smooth.
Add the lemon, and mix to combine.
If not using right away, store in the refrigerator.

3. Avocado Ice Cream
12 oz avocado meat (3 medium)
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

1. Peel and pit the avocados. Add the avocado, lemon juice, milk and sugar into blender and puree.
2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the heavy cream and whisk to combine.
3. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and chill until it reaches 40 degrees or less, approximately 4-6 hours - or cheat like I did and put into the freezer for about an hour and a half.
4. Process the mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. This ice cream will set very quickly. Less than 20 minutes.

4. Spicy Drunken Avocado Cake
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
4 oz bourbon
3 avocados, pitted and peeled
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
14 oz sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks
13.5 oz all purpose flour, sifted
8 oz buttermilk
1.5 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice

1. The night before, combine the bourbon and vanilla bean together. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and let steep over night.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Combine butter, avocados and sugar and vanilla bean seeds in a standing mixer. Mix for 10 minutes on medium speed - stop the mixer a couple of times to scrape down the sides.
4. Turn mixer to medium low and while mixing add eggs and yolks one at a time, combining each egg completely before adding the next.
5. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
6. Turn mixer to lowest speed and add flour mixture one cup at a time.
7. Immediately add the bourbon (remove the vanilla bean) and slowly pour in buttermilk.
8. Once you've finished adding the buttermilk, stop mixer and continue mixing in buttermilk with a spatula.
9. Fold in Chinese Five Spice and Chili Powder.
10. Pour batter into a non stick, large sheet cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. It will be slightly brown on top and a knife inserted in center should come out clean.