This post for me, is a work of art … ask me why …. ? I usually use imported fruits for my desserts, that are flown in to Ghana from Europe, … strawberries, blueberries, plums, peaches, pears … and even pay a bomb for them, buying them from these high end supermarkets, and not always sure if I’ll get some. So this time around i refused to wait and go for something from my local African market. I mean, anyone can do a lovely dessert from strawberries … but this time i wanted to go for something of the land. There wasn’t a great variety to choose from, but there was one particular fruit which caught my attention … the “Papaya”or better known here as ” Paw paw “. Not a fancy fruit, a rather common fruit actually, the kind that never really finds its way in beautiful desserts, besides ofcourse a fruit salad. So i took up the challenge of glorifying this fruit and bringing to it, its much deserved share of limelight. I thought of a couple of combinations, but settled for a moist fresh coconut tropical cake, with a papaya cheesecake frosting and topped with caramelized papayas. I promise you there is no cake like this out there !Its my own creation and I’m feeling very satisfied with the results, quite proud of it actually ! Have made 2 variations to share with you .
215 gms flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
115 gms softened butter
225 gms caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp rum
100 gms yogurt
200 gms fresh coconut
Sift all the dry ingredients and together and keep aside.
Cream the butter and sugar and the eggs one by one , mixing continuously. Add in the wet ingredients, rum, vanilla and yogurt. Mix in the flour, beating it with an electric beater. For the fresh coconut , make sure you remove the brown skin and chop the flesh into small pieces and grind them in a dry grinder. You want to leave it slightly coarse, so it adds a bit of a texture to the cake. Mix it well into the cake bater and pour it into desired tins – cupcake cases. Bake at 180 C for 20 -35 mins depending on your tins … or until it gets a golden brown colour and knife comes out clean.
For The Papaya Cheesecake Frosting
250 gms whipping cream
150 gms cream cheese
1 tablespoon gelatin
4 tablespoon grated soft sweet papaya
few drops of lime juice
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
Soften the cream cheese and add sugar. In another bowl whip up the cream till soft peak stage. Soften the gelatin with 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water and add it to the cream cheese , and mix in the cream. At last add the papaya and lime, mix well, and leave in the fridge to set a bit. Then put in a piping bag and decorate your cake. U could stop at just this point and serve the cake. It already looks gorgeous, but if you want to take to a step further, slice the papaya and caramelize it with some granulated sugar and a blow torch. Further garnish it with fresh coconut shavings.
The verdict … The cake is very moist and has a subtle coconut flavour, as compared to dry dessicated coconut. The fresh coconut really gives a great texture to the cake and adds crunch too. The small cupcakes look cute, and have more of coconut with just the papaya cream cheese frosting below the coconut shavings.
Whereas this cake is the one that gives the papaya its superstar status. Each bite is a pure pleasure, a beautiful coconut n rum sponge with papaya cream cheese, topped with sweet caramelized papayas. A perfect tropical cake to welcome the summer.