Foodiva's Kitchen: #BakeTogether: Summer All-Year Round Papaya and Longan Cake with Lime Syrup

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#BakeTogether: Summer All-Year Round Papaya and Longan Cake with Lime Syrup


Have you noticed that I seem to be a part of some online cooking group or another lately? I honestly can't help it... I enjoy being in the company of people who love food, who cook/bake together either weekly or monthly (or both) from the same recipe or out of the same theme. The variations to one recipe are often mind-boggling, and the warm camaraderie within each group is something I wouldn't trade for the world. 

There is also the matter of discipline. Being in a group forces me to work within timelines and strange as it seems for someone who lives a leisurely-paced life on a tropical island, I sure do like a follow a pretty tight schedule when it comes to this blog. Maybe I'm borderline OCD, who knows :-).


So, to cut a long story short, I came across this #baketogether group quite by chance on Twitter. #Baketogether is initiated by the lovely cookbook author and baking expert, Abby Dodge, and the members of this ultra-casual group would put their own spin on Abby's monthly-themed recipes. Well, I asked if I could join and Abby kindly answered, 'Yes', so this month we are baking Summer Fruit Cake using the season's freshest bounty.


As you know, here it's summer all year round. Yes, I'm sorry to rub it in like that, but it really is. I'm so lucky except that it gets too hot sometimes, although never hot enough to put me off from switching my oven on! Anyway for this cake, I decided to use the fruits available to me and when I saw some juicy longans at the market, I immediately knew they were going into this cake. Papaya is an all-season fruit here, so I used that too.


We happened to have a bowl of the most vibrant looking limes sitting on the kitchen counter, and I decided to switch up the orange zest in the original recipe to lime zest. If you haven't tried it, fresh sweet papaya tastes wonderful eaten with a spritz of sour lime so this was a perfect combination. And as if this cake wasn't tropical enough, I substituted coconut milk for the sour cream and made a thick lime syrup which I drizzled all over the cake as soon as it came out of the oven.

Since I used a shallow tart pan to bake this cake, I halved Abby's recipe and the batter fitted the pan perfectly. Besides, if you bake as much as I do, it's always a good idea to make the portions smaller, you know what I'm saying? My hips always do a good job of reminding me of this every time they refuse to fit into my favorite pair of pants. Should you want to go the whole way though, you can view the original recipe here.  


So there you have it, enjoy my tropical Papaya, Longan and Lime Cake. Abby, it's been a pleasure to bake this and thanks for allowing me to participate!



Papaya and Longan Cake with Lime Syrup
Makes: One 8 x 1-inch round cake
Ingredients:
Cake
3/4 cups (85g/3oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons (40g) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar - lessened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut milk

Fruit Topping
3 round slices papaya, 1/2cm-thick and cut into large chunks
1/3 cup fresh longans, peeled and pitted
1 tablespoon sugar

Lime Syrup
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 8x1-inch round tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter, and sugar with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating on medium speed until just blended. Add the lime zest and vanilla.
3. Using a wide rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients and the coconut milk into the butter mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange or scatter fruits on top of batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
4. To make the lime syrup, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Boil on medium heat for about 5 minutes without stirring. Reduce heat, add the lime juice and simmer for another 5 minutes. Cool completely before using.
5. Once cake is cooked, poke it all over with a toothpick and drizzle the lime syrup all over the hot cake. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool 15 minutes.
6. Carefully turn out the cake by lifting the base out of the pan, then run a wide spatula under the cake to release it from the base. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storage: Cover the baked and cooled cake in plastic wrap and stow at room temperature for up to 5 days.

67 comments:

Tina said...

Nothing like a light cake filled with tropical fruit. I would love to have a piece right now, I have never tasted a longan! Thanks for sharing your contribution to that baking club.

yummychunklet said...

Never heard of longans, so this cake looks delicious and interesting!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious lovely tropical fruits Maya that papaya looks yummy

something_good said...

I love longan!!! It's the king of fruits! (I am aware that there are many voting for durian :))).
Excellent & Exotic!

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...

This is like a cake has gone on holiday to some beautifully exotic location and come back in vacation-mode! Brilliant!

Foodiva said...

Tina and yummychunklet, well guess what? Longans now come in cans too, although there's nothing better than the fresh version, of course!

Foodiva said...

Akeela, thanks. Yes that papaya was one very sweet mama! I was lucky it ripened perfectly the day I made this.

Foodiva said...

Something_good, if durian's the king of fruits, perhaps longans can be the queen? Or can there be two kings? Hey, it's a free world. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Kate, this cake WAS made at some beautifully exotic location (Brunei) and it IS on permanent vacation! Or maybe I'm just talking about me... LOL.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi, your this cake is one of the most beautiful and well presented cakes I've seen a long time.
Love your presentation, as well your well taken pics, like 3D!

Can see you have a Black Belt in baking, cooking too.
There is nothing more spectacular on this Earth than that of a beautiful wife, mother or lady in the act of cooking for her loved ones.

Would you mind if I copy your beautiful 1st pic....for when I naik angin and post about beautiful women with black belts in baking, will display your this lovely cake. Its really very original too.
I will credit you.

In anticipation.....
You have a nice day, and keep a song in your heart.
Best regards.
Lee.

Lilly said...

I love papayas and if I had a ripe one I don’t think I can save it long enough for this cake. Same goes for the longans. I would probably gobble on them on the way home.

Of topic: did you ever had papaya salad, made with unripe papayas?

Foodiva said...

Hahaha, thanks Uncle Lee. I'm flattered you think the cake is nice but since your blog is nothingto do with food, I'd rather my pictures remain on this blog. I hope you understand :-).

Foodiva said...

Lilly, the same with me! The only thing is, we have an overload of papayas and longans right now that we can't possibly gobble everything up fresh...so some had to go into this cake. As for the young papaya salad, yes, I've had them before, especially when I've been on holiday in Thailand. It's delicious, now you've reminded me I must make some soon!

knitstamatic said...

So glad you joined the#baketogether party, it's a great challenge. I love the idea of using tropical fruits and the way you placed them on/in the cake, beautiful. I'm not familiar with longans they look to me like lychee once peeled. I'll have to do some research on that one. :-)

Lisa~~ said...

Your cake looks delicious and how I wish that I could have a slice. I've never had longans but I adore papaya so I bet this would be fabulous.


Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

Manu said...

Another great recipe Maya (btw... Maya is actually my youngest daughter second name)!

I LOVE limes and papaya... on my first visit to India I had 1 full papaya all by myself... not a smart idea, but LOVED it! hehehe

Erin said...

What an interesting cake! It looks gorgeous, and the lime syrup sounds perfect with it!

Magic of Spice said...

I am not sure I could do summer all year long...I love the fall too much. This is such a delightful cake and love the sound of this syrup, yummy!

Gina said...

Are Longans similar to lychees in taste? i know i can find those, I have yet to bake something tropical, and it's about darn time, huh. It's great you are on a schedule. Hope you have a great week.
-Gina-

Foodiva said...

@Knitstamatic, I'm glad I joined the group too. Yes, longans do look a bit like lychee once peeled but they're smaller, sweeter and not tart at all like lychee. Their taste is quite distinct, in fact.

Foodiva said...

Lisa, roasted papaya tastes wonderful but let me tell you something, roasted longans taste a bit like caramel! Yumm...

Foodiva said...

Thanks Manu, your daughter and I know a good name when we see it ;-)!

Okay, so you ate a WHOLE papaya....on holiday... Did you know it has a very strong laxative effect if you have too much of it? 'Explosive' comes to mind. LOL.

Foodiva said...

Erin, thanks, all the tropical flavors in here do go together very well!

Foodiva said...

Alisha, believe me, when I lived in a 4-season zone, I preferred fall too. It's cooler, the surroundings are more beautiful and the bounty is more hearty. But summer all year long is not too bad, either. We get to wear less clothes and there's no winter blues to deal with (just normal life blues!).

Foodiva said...

Queen Gina, no longans taste distinctly different from lychees. They are very sweet, almost caramel-y and not tart at all. Nowadays, you can find longans in cans at the Asian supermarkets and you can actually make this cake all year long!

Yes, you already know about my silly schedule, and one day I'll probably fall off it but it doesn't really matter. You have a wonderful week too!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Maya, I always love your selections of ingredients and I actually get excited what I would see before I click your link. =) You and your blog are full of surprises! While I'm writing this....the pretzel recipe below this window is tempting me... I gotta check that post next! This cake is lovely!

purabi naha said...

Foodiva, I love longan! I had them the first time I came here in HK!
This cake sounds wonderful to me and the texture is great!! Must give it a try!!

Parsley Sage said...

Spectacular light cake :) Your papaya is gorgeous too, we have them year round as well. Maybe I'll give this a try!

Foodiva said...

Nami, that's the same feeling I get when I click on your posts! :-)

Foodiva said...

Purabi, finally someone commenting here who actually has access to fresh longans! Yes, they're abound in HK so I hope you'll get to try this recipe out.

Foodiva said...

P.S. Thanks! Since you also live on a tropical heaven but on the other side of the world, we have the same fruits available to us. Now that I think about it, you can probably cook a lot of my recipes - and vice versa ;-).

Becky said...

Maya,
Your summer fruit cake is gorgeous. I have made a mango cake, but never baked with papaya or seen a longan. I'll have t take a trip to an asian market. Thank for sharing.

Peggy said...

You definitely know how to rub in your beautiful tropical setting, don't you? =)

I wish I had these beautiful fruits available to me all year long - this cake looks fantastic!

PFx said...

I was walking to Wulai mountain district yesterday. I came across longan trees for the first time whilst walking alone in a hot hot day with a mango popsicle at hand. I threw out the popsicle and stole the national tresure of Taiwan. Hahaha.

I love how you put the great keep-it-local touch to your bakings. I don't like papaya, but I do eat them with lime! Yay!

Lizzy said...

LOL, you can rub your weather in during our summer, but we might not be so nice in the winter :) What a fabulous cake...I'm pretending I didn't hear about this bake along group. I'm a sucker for them, too~

Jenny VintageSugarcube) said...

Those pics with the vibrant colors are stunning (well almost as stunning as you). You have been baking up a STORM! I love it. What I wouldn't do for a piece of that yummy, yummy cake right now. XO

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

hi Maya!! I have missed checking out your lovely blog!! this cake sounds so good. I actually love the lime and papaya combo. However I never tried it in a cake before. Thank you for sharing this and have a great day!!

Victoria said...

I'm not the biggest papaya fan, but I think this cake is just beautiful! Well done! Hope you're having a nice week :)

Foodiva said...

Becky, whenever you want to feel like you're on vacation to a tropical island somewhere, bake a cake like this and you're set! Hope you'll find your exotic ingredients at the Asian market.

Foodiva said...

Pierre, aren't fresh longans just the best? And I didn't know they are Taiwan's national treasure (are you being serious?). Btw, while you're in Taiwan, don't forget your quest for Joanna Wang! Tell us all about it ;-).

Foodiva said...

Lizzy, you're so funny but honestly I'd feel the same way about someone else's good weather! As or our baking group, why don't you hop on and join us? That's something else we can share stories on :-).

Foodiva said...

Jenny, THANK YOU! Yes, my husband says there's been too much baking going on in this house lately. I either open up a bakery or my baking days have to be rationed!

Foodiva said...

Sarina@BBK, welcome back! Thanks for still remembering me and dropping by ;-).

Victoria, thanks very much!

kankana said...

Thanks for dropping by :) and yes you can totally make it at home or get in any Indian chat house!

This cake has an interesting flavor and love the presentation !!

Sandra said...

I am losing my words lately:)) especially on your blog, why you might ask?:)) Because your recipes and how you present them are just amazing..This is so unique and beautiful, not your everyday summer cake! Awesome job..you are true inspiration!

Shu Han said...

hehe the summer all year round is something i only realised i was so lucky to have had, after i moved to london ): that's such an interesting cake! yum.

Ann said...

This is really stunning....I LOVE the addition of limes. One of my favorite flavors and I bet it was just terrific with the papaya!

Elle Audrey Marie said...

One thing that I've noticed is the foodies have a tremendous amount of support for each other, unlike some of my other groups ie: fashion, make-up.. blah..

Foodiva said...

Kankana, thanks and I will definitely try your recipe when I get round to making it!

Venie said...

wow! This look like a very nice combination:

Papaya and Longan Cake with Lime Syrup.

I wish I can taste it one day :) The cake look so delicious that I almost can smell the aroma of it!!! I hope I got the mood to do this cake one day :)

Wok with Ray said...

I was staring at your beautiful photos with amazement and my eyes kept going back to the second one. I said, something is different with this. Oh my, you used the lime where you got the zest from as a sliced garnish on the cake, didn't you? You are very creative and I wouldn't have thought of that idea. See I learned something from you. You really rock, Maya!! :)

The Baking Gypsy said...

Oh how pretty!!! Foodie blog groups are the best. Granted I participate in only a few once and a while, though I should start getting more involved. It's a fantastic way to meet new bloggers!

A beautiful entry for #baketogether. Brava!

xoxo,
Tammy♥

Trix said...

Ooh, so pretty how you put those papaya slices down!!! This would make a yummy breakfast. You know, like Spicie Foodie I couldn't do summer all year round ... I would miss chilly rainy nights. And also it doesn't take much heat for me to not want to turn my oven on, lol. I am a wuss.

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya I love how discipline you are with your blog and cooking groups. Would love to be that way but let's face it I'm just not, hehe:) I also want to be a great baker like you some day. This cake looks so summery and refreshing. I happen to have a papaya on my counter:) Your photos are also so pretty.

Oh and to your year round summer weather I say :P and I'm jealous :)

5 Star Foodie said...

What a unique cake, so pretty and very interesting flavors!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I totally relate to the OCD comment lol. i will have to check out this groups...you are already responsible for getting my into SRC. I ADORE your exotic fruit cake and the presentation is stunning.

Foodiva said...

Sandra, I can be turned speechless too when I visit our blog. In fact, we can be speechless together! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Elle Marie, you're absolutely right. I noticed that too. Maybe people who cook or love food are just more gracious and giving in general, that's probably why. We often cook from the heart, and that's saying a lot.

Foodiva said...

Ray, you've got such a great eye for details! I've got to be more careful with you around ;-).

Foodiva said...

Ray, you've got such a great eye for details! I've got to be more careful with you around ;-).

Foodiva said...

Tammy, we'd love to have you bake with us, so hop on abroad!

Foodiva said...

Trix, I don't consider you a total wuss because you do (wo)man up and eat CAKE for breakfast!

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Nancy! For saying nice things about my photos, I'm flattered esp coming from YOU, the food styling pro and photographer extraordinaire! I think that once you get the baking bug, you'd be amazing at it, and we'd all better watch out... ;-p.

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, I won't take any responsibility for any of your actions. You were in cooking groups way longer before I joined them, LOL. I'm only OCD with regard to m blog, unfortunately. In other areas of my life, there are big chunks of mess everywhere!

penny aka jeroxie said...

papaya in cakes? this must be the first!

Foodiva said...

Heya, Penny! There's a first time for everything...although, I don't think this IS the first time for papayas in cakes. LOL.

myfudo said...

I bet that would make a perfect blend of flavors. It's simply amazing and wonderful.

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