Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paw Paw Cake

The yellow pear shaped fruit in the picture above are paw paws for those who may not be familiar with them. You may have tasted them in a tropical fruit salad platter and I have to say they were not my favourite fruit - I would struggle to eat one on its own but I have discovered they make an excellent substitute for bananas in cakes! This cake is made in the same way as a banana cake but it actually turned out better than my usual banana cake! All the paw paws we have harvested so far have been used for cakes. I might use the next ones that ripen in a batch of muffins. We harvested ours before they fully ripened on the tree as we suspected they might attract the bats. They ripened quickly when brought inside.

We planted a couple of young paw paw trees in our orchard and they grew quickly appreciating the warm, dry conditions and shelter from the wind that our forested property offers. All of our fruit trees were mulched to retain moisture, very important over summer. Paw paws grow readily from seed too. My reference book to food bearing plants tells me that the sap from the green fruit is the source for papain, a commercial protein-dissolving enzyme. This enzyme is even present in the vapours from the leaves and if you hang out meat under the leaves at night it will tenderise- no, I am not about to try this! The seeds of the fruit are also said to be a cure for intestinal worms if chewed and taste like hot mustard cress which my book describes as a pleasant taste but this does not appeal to me! My preferred option would be the second suggestion, which is to have a piece of ripe fruit after a meal as an aid to digestion.

This is my recipe for Paw Paw cake and I used freshly milled wholewheat flour and rapadura. I ran out of wheat on the weekend and I had to buy a bag of conventional flour to make a cake on Sunday - my husband said it was not as good as the previous cakes made with the fresh flour which were moister. You may have a favourite banana cake recipe so simply substitute mashed paw paw for the banana. I used 2 paw paws in each cake.

250 g soft butter
3/4 cup rapadura (or brown or raw sugar)
2 free range eggs
2 ripe paw paws
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk

1. In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and eggs
2. Slice paw paws in half, remove seeds and scoop out flesh, if it is very ripe you can mash it straight into the bowl or you may wish to puree the flesh.
3. Stir paw paw through wet mixture.
4. Sieve together dry ingredients and add to bowl alternately with milk.
5. Pour batter into prepared cake tin
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 c for approx 20 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
7. Leave to cool before turning out and ice with your favourite icing - I made plain icing with a squeeze of fresh orange juice and grated over chocolate from a bar of Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate - the one that is infused with orange oil ( I love Green & Blacks chocolate!)
8. Decorate with slices of fresh paw paw and enjoy with coffee - we enjoyed our cake with our favourite chocolate macadamia coffee - so smooth, the perfect accompaniment for this cake!

With love and joy,


A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

How I wish I lived closer....
That sounds Divine.
Paw paw cake and Chocolate Macadamia Coffee.

Renata said...

I love pawpaw. We used to grow them when we lived in Brisbane & the children & I would sit down & eat one in a single sitting...sadly we don't have any down here in the cold south...of course I wonder if they would grow in a greenhouse - I should investigate!!
Your recipe sounds delicious!

Fruitful Harvest said...

I have never had a paw paw....but it does sound yummy~


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Just found you at my friend Ang's (Maple Valley) - looks like too read Wise Woman Builds her Home too!
This recipe looks good - can't wait to check out more of your blog.

Chookie said...

I have heard of using a tiny amount of pawpaw to tenderise meat. And also have heard that pawpaw does wonders for constipation, especially green pawpaw!


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