Ok, so I’ve been having dreams about guava. I mean, literally. I’ve been thinking about ways to use this delectable fruit, to the point of obsession.
Guava is just one of those fruits-sweet, tart, soft, firm…a scent that is undeniable and attributable only to itself. When cooking guava the entire house smells of it. Why isn’t there a guava scented air freshener? Hmm, maybe one needs to be created?
Air fresheners aside, I thought about guava and why I had never tasted a guava cake or any such delight. Sure, in Trinidad we have guava cheese– a sweet, firm treat made from guava syrup infused with various spices- and guava jam/jelly. These are both staples in Trinidad and in other parts of the region, but guava cake and other guava sweets just aren’t the popular. If you know of or have made guava flavored sweets please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about them!
It isn’t guava season here in Trinidad, but my family has a tree and we’re always freezing the ripe fruits in order to make juices, jams and ‘cheese’ so I was in luck when my thoughts happened upon creating a delicious guava cake.
At first I wanted to make cupcakes but the lack of cupcake trays sort of ruined that idea! I searched online for recipes that I could modify to create a guava cake and turned to one of my favorite people- the barefoot contessa-Ina Garten. I always trust her recipes and never second guess them because they always work. I chose her strawberry country cake as the jumping off point for my citrus cake. I swapped the sour cream for Greek yogurt and upped the lemon and added lime instead of orange and never bothered to use vanilla extract. My cake was a lemon/lime blend which I thought would both balance out as well as enhance the guava frosting. It worked!
I used 1 8-inch pan to make one cake and 2 12-cup mini cupcake trays to make 24 cute little mini cupcakes.
For the frosting/filling- really, the star of the cake- I spoke to a couple of professionals to get ideas and ultimately chose to do a sort of mix-up of many different ideas. I considered a mousse or a custard (which I will definitely try in the near future once the guavas reappear) but opted for a smooth butter cream instead. I loosely followed this recipe for a berry butter cream frosting and found it was very successful!
To top it off I decided to do some candied lime rind as my topping as the flavors spoke for themselves and really didn’t need any additions that might compete or subtract from their tart crispness. I didn’t cover my rinds with sugar-a step that is quite popular in many recipes- since I felt that 3/4 of a large bag of sugar was, well, sugar enough.
(Just as an aside-I can totally understand why many pastry chefs are skinny…after you see what goes into these little treats you might never sanely choose to eat them!)
This cake is perfect with tea/ coffee or on it’s own. The guava is bold and assertive, timidly supported by the fresh, clean tartness of lemons and limes. The odd guava seed that has found it’s way into the smooth, buttery frosting is a surprising textural delight.
This cake is a must for anyone who loves the taste and smell of guavas!
It’s been far too long.
Over the past week I’ve been a bit under the weather. I’m sick & voiceless. Losing my voice is better than having to put others through the croaky voice that I had a couple days ago- but it’s also really annoying since I can’t vocalize to my little baby 😦
Anyway, I’ve been busy thinking about, well, really, obsessing about what stuff I’m going to do next on the blog and I’m very excited. Have a few ideas of recipes I’d like to try out and share so be sure to check back in.
I just need to clear this yucky feeling and get myself back up and running and then all will be well 🙂
Wishing you all a wonderful week a head!
Made this baked salmon this week- it was delicious! I used portugal juice to steam the mustard encrusted salmon and complemented it with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. The brightly coloured garlic roasted sweet peppers and capers were both fabulous additions to this simple meal.
Ok so this is the story- in Trinidad and Tobago we speak our own English language and many of our words are derivatives of other words from other country’s languages- French, Spanish, British English, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi languages etc- hence sometimes we really don’t know the true pronunciation of a word. It’s really difficult to explain this to people who aren’t Trini/Caribbean but I’m sure if you’re a Trini and reading this you would understand!
So, today I’m talking about a Trinidadian fruit called kymit (cayemite). I found some information regarding cayemite which is quite popular and widely eaten in Haiti. The fruit is also referred to as the ‘milk fruit’ in Asia and is grown in Cambodia and Vietnam. I don’t know how other Trinis would spell kymit, but I’m spelling it exactly the way we say it down here in Trinidad.
If you read one of my entries entitled ‘baked fish platter‘ I spoke about persimmon fruit and it’s similarity to kymit. For those who have never tasted persimmon fruit (also called Kaki, Sharon fruit or Caqui- native in Japan, China and Burma) I will attempt to describe the taste of kymit without comparing it to persimmon fruit.
The fruit is usually purple or green in its ripened state. They are grown on large trees and found in various areas throughout Trinidad. The edible portion on the inside is usually composed of alternating layers of a clear gelatinous flesh with a milky cream/white flesh(in the green variety) or purple flesh(purple variety). Both types taste exactly the same. The gelatinous portions taste very similar to sweet coconut jelly- the ‘younger’ coconuts. The fleshy opaque portions taste sweet and creamy and the fruit itself contains a sort of ‘milk’ that gets stuck to the sides of your mouth and tongue making it feel a bit tangled! The seeds aren’t edible and are usually found in the fleshy opaque parts of the fruit. When cut in cross section the gelatinous internal aspect of the fruit forms the shape of a 9 pointed star. The fruit is about the size of an average orange and when not fully ripened can be squeezed or rolled on a hard surface to ‘loosen’ the milky juices(similar to how you might roll a lemon on the kitchen counter so that most of it’s juice could be more easily extracted when cut and squeezed).
The best way to eat a kymit is to use a spoon to scoop out the insides since the skin is thick and the areas closer to the skin aren’t particularly tasty or edible. If you do get the ‘milk’ stuck to your mouth a quick rub with baby oil does the trick of removing it. The fruit is best eaten when soft, (easily squeezed) ripe and chilled.
I grew up eating kymit and have it on my list of favorite local fruits. Every time I spot them being sold at the sides of the road or at the market I simply must indulge. If ever you’re in Trinidad and see one do not hesitate to try it- chilling it only improves its sweet, jelly-like texture and taste!