Sunday, March 22, 2009

Papaya Pudding/Custard Cake

Ok, I admit it, I don't really know the difference. Custard, pudding- its all the same at this point and its just too hot to google the difference. Indian Summers! The heat waves have started to hit and I'm quaking in my shoes imagining April and May. I googled for solutions this morning and one interesting technique I found was to cover windows with sheer white fabric that's been liberally moistened with water- wet, but not dripping. I think I'll try that one.

Anyways, I wandered into the kitchen thinking vaguely 'I want to make something different', but just like in the nursery rhyme the cupboards were all bare and so was the refrigerator.....except for this sorry looking papaya.

I took a dislike to papayas when I was a child- I hated the way the seeds looked in it, so much so that I refused to even look at them. I'd just leave the room if anyone started cutting up the fruit. I don't mind so much now, especially since I discovered how wonderful papaya is for the skin- I regularly make a puree and refrigerate it. Its part of my daily regime to dab some onto my face, mixed with honey or lemon juice. Really helps keep pimples away.

So anyway, I decided to make a dessert with it and an old recipe I'd never tried came to mind.

Papaya Pudding

4 Tbsp (heaping) self-raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup papaya puree
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
Orange/Red food coloring (optional)

Beat the sugar and egg yolks till light. Separately beat the egg whites till stiff and add to the yolk mixture. Add the papaya puree and the milk and mix well. Next, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into a large greased baking tin or several small ones. Bake for 30 to 35 mins at 180 C.

The verdict- It rose beautifully, even though I made the classic rookie mistake of filling the bowl almost to the top. (Blame the heat, not me!) I couldn't really taste the papaya. Maybe chunks of papaya instead of puree would lend itself better. Or maybe this would go better with a stronger flavor like orange or lemon. (Yum) The taste was delicious, especially when I had it piping hot from the oven. I love that light brown cooked layer on top. I'll be trying this again with a different flavor.

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