The Not So Famous Papaya

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 .

The Not So Famous Papaya
Macro Food 2008 620
For The Fresh Coconut Cake

The Not So Famous Papaya

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

The Not So Famous Papaya

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.


Macro Food 2008 604

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.

The Not So Famous Papaya

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.

Macro Food 2008 572


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Comment : (nixtress)

Gorgeous as always!!! I love the look of the cake : ) (glamah16)

I so love Papaya! All of your desserts are sensational!Not much to choose from but Papaya can suffice ! (Kate / Kajal)

Hey Nix … thanks

glamah … thnx … papaya surprisingly tastes really good on top of a cake. (Rasa Malaysia)

Beautiful…I love the baby blue background. Papaya cream cheese…what an interesting idea. πŸ™‚ (Swati: Sugarcraft India)

You have really created a wonderful dessert out of papaya…great work Kajal!! (Rachel)

hah papayas and me are stilll a few feet apart…but those are gorgeous cup cakes.

Hey I saw a writep on ur blog in the indian Hindu newspaper …nice!! (evolvingtastes)

Whenever I come to your blog I know I am going to see something stunning, and this time is no different! (Cinnamonda)

Papaya for me is something quite exotic and not at all common, where as during the summer months strawberries and blueberries seem to be everywhere! :)Your cake is brilliant, and the photo with the cupcake and flowers is a real work of art!

Tiina (Peabody)

Absolutely gorgeous! (jords660)

Tamaro cake bahu saru chey,
pops (Sylvia)

I love papaya , and I miss the flavor. The best papayas that I ate was in Brazil, juicy and so sweet that you didn’t need sprinkle sugar over it,I usually use papaya mied whth vanilla ice cream and a drop of cassis I love your creative dessert (Kate / Kajal)

bee , thnx, its goes well.

Swati … thanks again πŸ™‚

Rachel … worth a try !

evolvingtastes … thats makes me smile πŸ™‚

Tiina, thats nice to know. I’ve always seen so much of papaya in India, africa , hk is too common , and rarely used in desserts.

Peabody ..:D

Baba .. haha i cant believe u came ove n left me a comment. Thank you so much πŸ˜€

Sylvia, i know even this one was so sweet i added only i spoon of sugar to the cream cheese. (I Cook4Fun)

Simply beautiful!!! I never thought of making dessert with papaya. Should give this a try πŸ˜€ (strambinha)

Papayas are an excellent health food, and your desserts are so beautiful! I shall make one of them tomorrow.

In Brazil, the favourite papaya dessert is “mousse de papaya com cassis”.

Blend one papaya with 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, divide in 4 bowls, and put 1 or 2 tablespoons of crème de cassis on top of each portion.

You can clean and chop the papaya beforehand, but you should make the dessert right at the time of eating, so that the mousse gets has the perfect consistency and temperature from the frozen ice cream.

This recipe also works very well with mango instead of papaya, it is hard to choose which one I like best, but I guess the papaya is more popular.

If you don’t have crΓ¨me de cassis, you can use “vinho do porto” (Portuguese licquor wine). (Zen Chef)

When i need a break from the yucky and ugly side of cyber-life i just have to visit your blog to be greeted by the pretty, the fresh… This must be the eternal fountain of youth where weary bloggers come for renewal! πŸ™‚

… and you can eat it too? What else can we ask for? (Brilynn)

Gorgeous! I used papaya in a chicken wrap the other day and loved it, I want to start using it more. (Kate / Kajal)

I Cook 4 Fun… u definitely should.

strambinha , that does sound like a wonderful way to have some papaya. I almost bought a bottle of cassis yesterday , but picked up the amaretto. Next time i’ll surely get some n try this out.

Stephan .. πŸ™‚ u always make me smile.
u know just what to say …always !! thanks.

Brilynn, there is so much u can do with a papaya , even i need to start using it a lot more. (Deborah)

These are so beautiful – I have no words! Gorgeous work! (Shantanu)

Hi Kate/Kajal. While flying out of the Chennai airport today, noticed a review of your blog in The Hindu. If you don’t know about this already and/or want the scanned article, let me know. (Kate / Kajal)

Deborah …. thank u for your kind comment.

Shantanu … no i haven’t seen it …pls can u send it to me.
i’m so excited … even Rachel mentioned it in a comment earlier, but i have no clue abt this article. I’m waiting… !!! (anya)

Kate, you are so talented!! You should be working for a magazine of food and style type! Really!! (Lubna)

Hey Kate/Kajal the cake looks absolutely delicious, coconut is my favorite. I wish you lived near me girl…I would have gobbled it right now ;p

By the way is there any substitute for gelatin?

Lubna. (Jessy and her dog Winnie)

That cake is beautiful! Papaya is commonplace? I have to pay an arm and a leg for one where i live! (Kate / Kajal)

Anya .. haha u are too kind. I ‘m still far away from that. Tat requires much more talent than what i have.

Lubna … yeah i would love to share, i eat all this by myself and gain far too many calories !!!
And i used gelatin as i live in a very warm country, and even whipped cream doesn’t set too well , unless worked with in an air conditioned room. If its cold at ur place , then just whip up the cream and cream cheese together. It should work.

Jessy … really ! around here its a poor mans fruit … just like the banana. (Chris)

Holy Moly! This looks flawless, too good to eat! Your presentations are always inspiring. (skrockodile (sabra))

You have really, really hit it on the photos! The colors are gorgeous – those blue and apricot backdrops are inspired! great job (or grrr-8 job as you would say!). (Aran)

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous photos! (Medena)

Inspiring post! I love your photos beyond words! How do you make β€˜em so pretty!? So artistic! (Aaron Kagan)

I love that touch of browning on the sponge. The papaya is perhaps my favorite fruit, and I’m glad to see you do it such an honor.

Of course at the other end of the spectrum, there’s raw, green, shredded papaya salad as featured in Thai cooking.

I like a fresh hunk of papaya with a squeeze of lime and a dusting of ginger powder.

I’m curious about the relationship between the North American Paw-Paw and the tropical papaya. Can anyone speak to it? (Kate / Kajal)

Chris … hehe … thankx !

Sabra … thanks …i’m really trying to get better at this. Half as good as your pics though .. u are too talented…. i’m just following behind πŸ™‚

Aran, thank u

Medena … that is such a nice compliment. Thank u so much πŸ™‚

Aaron , oh theres so much u can do with a papaya. The Thai cuisine does use it a lot, in every form. I remember eating of the streets n Thailand , wonderful grated raw paw paw and green mango salads….to die for ! gr8 stuff.
And as for the tropical papayas i can tell you that when they are ready n ripe they are so soft and sweet that u needn’t add any sugar to it.
The raw ones ofcourse are very heaty and a teaspoon is enough to tenderize read meat. By some women in Africa and India, it is also used as a natural way to do an abortion. This fruit is very easily available round the year and very cheap to, next to bananas , ts the next most affordable fruit. As for the North American variety … i really cant say anything ! (Sophie)

Duh – you know I never realised that papaya and paw paw are referring to the same thing!

Beautiful cakes (Suzana)

Kate, truly awesome cake and cupcakes! I so love papaya – your cake looks yummy. I could have some right away! (Kate / Kajal)

Sophie , trust me i didnt know either until i came to Africa

Suzana , be my guest … have as much as u can :p (Mango Power Girl)

Isn’t it the best when you do it for fun! These are drop dead beautiful – presentation, colors, and flavors! How do you do it?! I love the flowers from your garden. I amazed by the colors of this post and your ability to make coconut look so beautiful. Papaya is not my favorite, but I would definitely try a slice of this! Have fun jet-setting half way around the world πŸ™‚ (Ben)

I love papaya! And I love the way you used it here, I will be making this soon. (I just made a chicken wrap with papaya sauce that was delicious)

Cheers! (maybahay)

gorgeous photos, gorgeous recipe! (Proud Italian Cook)

Kate, I’m always so impressed every time I come for a visit! Your creation leaves me speechless!! (Stardust)

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

I LOVE papaya, sadly, there’s no papaya available here. Papaya cake is surely none that I heard of, you’re a genius! I am sure that this cake tastes awesome! I wish I could just stretch out my hand and grab it. Arghh…

Love your stunning pictures! Great job! Glad that I’m here today.

BTW, I’ve given you a star. πŸ˜‰ (Rosa's Yummy Yums)

What a wonderful cake and pretty cupcakes! I love your magnificent pictures!


Rosa (Dhanggit)

i agree with you my dear,these are definitely a work of art!!! this isn’t fair; your such a good cook and a baker plus a brilliant photographer!!hehehe where do i sign up for a one week seminar under your wings???? love the papaya cream cheese frosting!! (tigerfish)

I love eating papaya as a fruit. Well, maybe that’s just because I have not found new ways of eating them. Ha, now I’ve found one from you! πŸ˜€ This is so beautiful. (Lydia (The Perfect Pantry))

Both the cakes and your photos are works of art! I’ve always loved the look of the papaya, but have never quite taken to the flavor when presented with large slices of it in a fruit plate. I think your cake sounds much more subtle in flavor. I’ll definitely try it. (Kate / Kajal)

Mo .. it truly is. Thanks so much. I’m sure you would start liking papaya after one bite of this.

Ben , oh i’m sure that must’ve tasted nice.

Maybahay … thnx

Proud Italian Cook, that sounds so sweet to my ears. Thanks

Stardust, ho come no papayas there ? where you @ ? And yeah papaya cakes are not common , so i had to attempt it πŸ™‚ Thnx for the star πŸ™‚

Rosa .. thnx , i love your party cake too πŸ™‚

Dhanggit .. haha i ‘ve really evolved with time. if u see my earlier pictures you’ll be laughing.

tigerfish , they taste gr8 like this. I think in thai or hk … these do a sago version. Not sure though.

Lydia, i think this would be just the perfect way to start. Or atleast worth a try. (Gattina)

Kate, you are an artisit!!! Bravo! (Shantanu)

Hey Kate! Have emailed the scanned article to you today. (Kevin)

That papaya cake looks so good! Great photos!! (Kate / Kajal)

Gattina …thank you ( taking a bow )

Shantanu … i cant thank you enough !

Kevin …thank you πŸ™‚ (Anonymous)

congragulations kate.

you would put some of the professional cooks to a shame with your creativity.
you do have a patent in place ? otherwise martha stewart will copy it and announce that she is the author.

liz (Katy)

Absolutely gorgeous! I am sick this week and I think it’s taking a toll on my sanity — for a second I thought the sliced papaya on top of the cake was salmon, and I was very confused! (Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm))

Why would you want to import other fruit with such beauty on your doorstep. I love paw paw and will most definitely try this recipe.

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