Kauai Inn Papaya Cake for The Victory Garden

Rhys Bowen has outdone herself again with The Victory Garden!  I just love her Royal Spyness and the Molly Murphy Series, as well
as her terrific stand alone novels, as is this one.  What a great writer!  Bowen has the ability to draw in and engage readers with her created world.

From the Publishers:
"From the bestselling author of The Tuscan Child comes a beautiful and heart-rending novel of a woman’s love and sacrifice during the First World War.

As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong twenty-one-year-old Emily Bryce is determined to contribute to the war effort. She is convinced by a cheeky and handsome Australian pilot that she can do more, and it is not long before she falls in love with him and accepts his proposal of marriage.

When he is sent back to the front, Emily volunteers as a “land girl,” tending to the neglected grounds of a large Devonshire estate. It’s here that Emily discovers the long-forgotten journals of a medicine woman who devoted her life to her herbal garden. The journals inspire Emily, and in the wake of devastating news, they are her saving grace. Emily’s lover has not only died a hero but has left her terrified—and with child. Since no one knows that Emily was never married, she adopts the charade of a war widow.

As Emily learns more about the volatile power of healing with herbs, the found journals will bring her to the brink of disaster, but may open a path to her destiny."

That pretty much sums things up.  My review being - great book - read it!  

My own garden is chock full of herbs and fruit trees.  So, from the garden, which the other day confronted me with an abundance of papaya, comes this old recipe from my card file - The Kauai Inn Papaya Cake, embellished with a passion fruit glaze.   The problem with my papaya trees has been that they grow ever upward, making it nearly impossible eventually to get them even from a ladder, with a pole picker.  Just recently I found a "low-bearing" papaya starter at the market, and am hoping that will make things easier.

When the passion fruit (locally known as lilikoi) are dropping everywhere, I make syrup, which goes on waffles, pancakes, etc. as well as glazing such things a roast duck and cakes. 

Just to give you an idea of how long I've had this recipe.  But, no worries, I'll translate it for you from the card.

                              The Kauai Inn Papaya Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teas. ground ginger
1/2 teas. nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups diced papaya
1 cup raisins (for this one I used about 1/4 cup re-hydrated barberries for part of the cup)
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Butter a Bundt pan or a 9x12x2" pan

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then
add the eggs. one at a time, beating well after each.
Add the sifted dry ingredients, water, lemon juice and fruit.  Mix well and scoop into pan.

Bake about 45-50 minutes, or about 55 minutes in a Bundt pan. Test with a knife to see if it comes out clean.

While hot, prick all over and glaze with lilikoi syrup or the following Orange Glaze:
1/2 cup orange juice, boiled with 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind for 10 minutes. Unmold when cool.and serve with whipped cream, ice cream or sour cream if you like.

Delicious if I do say so, and according to my taste testers. Bob's birthday cake, and as you can see, some people got into celebrating early. I'm sharing this recipe and review over at Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, at Novel Foods Summer edition, hosted by Simona of Briciole, and with Heather at the June edition of her Foodies Read Challenge.


Mae Travels said...

Those recipes sound great! I'd love to know more about the Kauai Inn. I think I was nearby there on our last trip to Kauai.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Deb in Hawaii said...

I need to read one of her books. Your cake looks delicious and I remain jealous of all those lilikoi dropping about! ;-)

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

I'm definitely looking up this author.

Carole said...

Interesting. Thanks. Cheers

Claudia said...

Mae, when I was writing this, I wasn't sure if the Kauai Inn was still in existence, but happy to find out that it is, and included their link.

Beth F said...

I love the look of that recipe card. Proof that it really is a tried and true recipe. :) I remember that papaya can grow really tall; be safe when harvesting! I just started her Royal Spyness series on audio (I think I've listened to two), but I really should give her standalones a try. I agree that I really like her writing.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Recipe cards like that should be cherished (and obviously are).

Simona Carini said...

You had me laughing out loud when you describe your problem with papayas getting out of reach for picking: it is hard not to wish to share that problem ;) I know what you mean, though, having seen how tall the trees get. I hope the new strategy works. As usual, I like how you make use of the bounty of your garden. Thank you for the book review and for contributing to Novel Food.

Mrbrown said...

Very inspiring. I really like this. You tried something new and it is fantastic too!! I will add this recipe for my local baker customers. thanks for sharing such a nice post.