Friday 21 March 2014

Papaya and Jaggery Cake// Baking in the Philips Airfryer

Ever heard of a papaya cake? I agree that it is an unusual combination but if you can have an apple cake, a banana cake,  pumpkin cake,  pineapple cake, then why not a cake made with papayas? Isn't the papaya fruit supposed to be packed with nutrition and has numerous health benefits?
I too decided to go ahead and try out a papaya cake. Truthfully, It was only because I had a big bowl of over-ripe papaya lying around which no one wanted to touch. I did not feel like throwing away the over-ripe fruit, so I decided to puree it and keep it to use for one of my beauty treatments. Seriously, papaya apart from being nutritious and having excellent health benefits, is also great to use as a hair mask and a wonderful  toner for your skin. If you don't believe me, try it out yourself and watch how your skin glows and hair shines.
To pamper yourself with any kind of beauty treatments, you also need to have some solid 'me' time and with the kids hanging around the house nowadays, that is almost impossible to achieve thanks to their incessant demands. I actually don't mind. They are not all that bad, sweet devils that they are, I too feel good making them feel special, knowing they will be back to gruelling school hours in a couple more days.
So, I decided to experiment with the neglected papaya puree and decided to use it in my cake. Baking cakes with fruit purees is a wonderful way to substitute fat in your cake. Did you know you can replace about half the amount of fat called for with fruit puree. So, if a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, you can very easily substitute with 1/2 cup of fruit puree of any kind. You can see my recipe for Mango cake here made with mango puree. So, next time you bake a cake, try out this healthier option.
Another idea that I have been toying for a long time is to bake a cake with Jaggery. On a recent visit to Nangal (Punjab), we had this wonderful opportunity to see fresh jaggery being made. The kids were thrilled to see the whole process where sugarcanes were picked straight from the fields, fresh juice extracted with motorized crushers right there on the field, then collected in big vessels and  boiled and then allowed to set (which hardly takes a few minutes) right there in front of their eyes. It was a huge learning process for all of us and believe me there is nothing more delicious than having freshly made gud -my twosome also agreed even though they have on all other occasion refused to even put it in their mouths. So, I am happy we all got back something from the experience - kids witnessed how jaggery was made and I came back with tons of fresh gud (some for myself and rest for gifting).
The cake though an experiment, surprising was delicious. Even though it had an extremely moist texture, the cake held its shape and tasted fantastic, with the jaggery lending it a very earthy taste. Infact the flavors reminded me quite of the Sticky DateToffee Cake I had tried some while ago which again was delicious. The kiddos too enjoyed the cake and couldn't guess what the ingredients of the cake were. Only when it was disclosed to them that the cake had jaggery, did they twist up their little noses. Inspite of that,  it was finished within no time.
So next time you too have some over-ripe papaya lying around your house which no one wants to eat, you know what exactly to do with it, don't you?
3 eggs
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
150 gms Maida
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
100 gms jaggery soaked in 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamom powder
3 tsp lemon juice
1 cup papaya puree
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Beat the eggs with the sugar for 5-6 minutes till nice and fluffy. 
Sieve the flour with the cinnamon powder, baking powder and baking soda.
Mix the flour, oil, lemon juice, papaya puree and jaggery water with the egg and whisk gently till all the ingredients are mixed well.
Pour the mixture in a greased pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Let it cool for sometime before serving.

I even made muffins from the same batter in the Airfryer that I have been sent to review. Just 8 minutes baking time and they were done to perfection. I only wish the size of the basket was a bit bigger. But still they tasted awesome.