Upon purchasing one and trying it at home, I quickly realized it is really just a big papaya. I’ve asked around about the two fruits and that is pretty much what everyone here tells me as well. Although, the smaller papaya is supposed to be a bit sweeter. I can’t tell a flavor difference though. They look and taste exactly the same to me.
To tell you the truth, I’m not a huge fan of papaya. I enjoy it mixed in with other fruit in fruit salads and juices, but I don’t like the flavor enough to sit down to a big piece of it. Actually the most interesting thing about the fruit, the mamão specifically, is how it grows. I have been trying like crazy to get a photo because typically I only see them when we are driving. This is the best I have been able to do.
They grow on a tall, incredibly skinny tree that branches out with leaves at the top. The fruit grows in numerous bunches right at the top of the trunk.
Despite the fact that it isn’t my favorite, I do buy papaya or mamão every now and then. I consider it my duty to appreciate my access to all these good things and it usually goes into juice. However, the other day I was feeling a little creative.
I wanted to use the mamão, but wasn’t hungry for dessert. The thought of a bread entered my mind, and then, why not a breakfast cake. Who doesn’t want cake for breakfast?
This cake is full of whole grains and is hearty and filling. The papaya simply adds moisture as the flavor of the fruit itself isn’t very strong. I will say that it is very, very buttery. In fact, I think I’ll probably reduce the butter to a 1/3 cup the next time I make it. Because it is so moist, you’ll want to store any leftovers in the fridge.
½ cup butter, very soft
½ cup mascavo sugar (unrefined cane sugar)
1 cup papaya or mamão, pureed
¼ cup steel cut oats, soaked for at least a half hour and drained
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar, then mix in eggs. Stir in papaya, mix well. Next stir in soaked oats and stir until combined. Finally add in flour, baking soda and salt and combine all ingredients. I used a lightly greased 10 inch round, glass baking dish. However, given the amount of butter I think I could have gone without greasing it. Any square pan would work fine too. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until edges are browned and center is baked through. Allow to cool about 5 minutes, serve warm or at room temperature.