Looking for the perfect treat for your guests next time you invite them over for morning tea? Try serving up a star fruit upside down cake.
At least a couple of times a week, I try to go for a walk in the afternoons. Partly because I need the exercise, and partly because I live near a river and it’s relaxing to walk along the bank and enjoy the view.
I usually take my two English staffies with me (they enjoy getting out of the backyard), and occasionally my teenage kids join us.
I follow a footpath which runs along its eastern bank, flanked by houses, then under a bridge and up alongside the town’s high school. The high school hasn’t always been a high school though.
For a long time, it was a TAFE College where adults could study a variety of courses designed to help them find a job, change their job, or start their own business.
I was a teenager myself when it first kicked off and it was a roaring success. It had all sorts of subjects on offer and in its heyday, had a lot of really cool infrastructure in place.
One of these was an orchard.
I think the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries used it as a bit of a testing ground and planted all sorts of weird and wonderful exotic fruit trees from tropical regions across the globe.
Most of these trees are still there, but the orchard has become a bit neglected now that the TAFE side of things has declined.
The fruits fall on the ground to be slowly consumed by fruit flies. The most prolific of these is the star fruit.
It’s also known as a carambola, star apple or five-corner. It’s a native of South-East Asia and the trees near my home are loaded with fruit at the moment.
I took an empty bag with me on my walk this week and grabbed some.
They taste fine raw. In fact, I munched on one on my way home, but I wanted to try something a little more exciting.
So, I started thinking: “what about in a cake?”
After a bit of research, I found that star fruit can be used as a substitute for pineapple in a traditional pineapple upside down cake.
I flicked through a few recipes then found one at http://www.busogsarap.com that was close to what I was after. It’s for a pineapple upside down cake but I made adjustments to suit the ingredients I had on hand.
Star fruit upside down cake
3 star fruit (1 cut into 1cm thick slices and the other 2 for the juice mentioned below)
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons of star fruit juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch of salt
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put butter into a 22cm round by 6cm deep n0n-stick cake tin and place in oven until melted. Remove and then stir in brown sugar until it turns into a thick syrup.
2. Place sliced star fruit pieces neatly spaced into the bottom of cake tin. Set aside. Next separate eggs, placing whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Beat whites until firm. In the other bowl, add caster sugar to yolks and beat until combined.
3. Then add the star fruit juice, vanilla essence, salt, baking powder, sifted flour and whisk together until smooth. Then fold in egg whites with a wooden spoon gently, to form a light and fluffy batter.
4. Pour this into cake tin over top of syrup and star fruit pieces. Cook for 30 minutes or until you can insert a wooden skewer and have it come out clean.
5. Take cake out of the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Then put a plate over top and flip cake upside down (use oven mitts or tea towel as it will still be hot). The cake should come out of the tin cleanly.
6. You can eat it warm while the caramel syrup is still a bit runny, or cold when it has set.
Both ways are equally delicious!
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