Papaya, the juice’s third main ingredient, yields a fairly large amount of spreadable pulp that I used to fill the space between the cake’s layers. Since the papaya pulp isn’t particularly flavorful on its own, I added some orange juice and a little sugar and cooked it all down to make a paste-like spread. The following juice recipe is thick, like a fruit smoothie, and a pretty coral color. When stored in the refrigerator it becomes almost saucy, so if you’re not planning to drink it right after juicing, you may want to add a little more cucumber to thin it out.
A twist of lime
A plump, round, yellow citrus fruit, labeled “sweet lime” at my local market, provided a nice contrast to the papaya’s somewhat starchy flavor. If you cannot find sweet limes, try squeezing a Valencia orange and adding that instead.
Blueberry Papaya Cucumber Juice
- 1¼ cup blueberries
- 1 medium papaya, peeled, and trimmed, seeds removed
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
- juice of 1 to 2 sweet limes or 1 Valencia orange
- Process blueberries and cucumber in your juicer and reserve the pulp in one bag.
- Juice papaya and reserve its pulp separately.
- Add the sweet lime or orange juice to the mixture, stir, and enjoy.
Blueberry Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut
The above juice left me with about 4 ounces (½ cup) of cucumber-blueberry pulp and ¾ cup of papaya pulp. Using slightly more or less pulp in your recipe probably will not affect your finished product all that much. Here I adapted my standard vegan chocolate cake recipe, with the pulp serving as a substitute for a large portion of the oil. As I mentioned above, the pulp in the batter is virtually undetectable and the cake came out incredibly moist and tender.
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting (I add a tablespoon or two of black onyx cocoa powder to my regular cocoa when I make chocolate cake — it gives a slightly richer product. Onyx cocoa powder can be ordered from the Savory Spice Shop.)
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup blueberry-cucumber pulp
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups brewed black tea*, chilled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*Either coffee or tea works very well in this recipe — for best results be sure to use a strong brew.
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease the parchment as well.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the middle.
- Sift flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the blueberry-cucumber pulp, vegetable oil, chilled tea, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a rubber spatula. Add the vinegar and mix in with as few strokes as possible (it’s okay if there are streaks in the batter).
- Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, testing doneness with a wooden toothpick.
- Let cakes cool in their pans for 5 to 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of each pan and unmolding to cool completely.
While cakes are cooling, put the papaya pulp and a tablespoon or two or orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir as the mixture simmers gently for about 5 minutes. Cook until you have a thick, spreadable paste. Cool. When the cake has cooled you may want to even out the surface of your first layer by slicing off the dome to create a flat, even round. Spread the papaya filling over the bottom cake layer and top with second cake.
- 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate, or chocolate chips (about 60% cocoa)
- ⅔ cup soy milk
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- topping: ½ cup toasted* unsweetened shredded coconut (*spread coconut onto a sheet pan and toast at 325°F (163°C) in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes)
- Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate.
- Stir until all the chocolate has melted, then stir in maple syrup until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Let cool slightly before pouring over the cake. Top your cake with the toasted coconut, and chill in fridge to set the ganache.
This cake keeps beautifully for 3 to 4 days at room temperature when wrapped in plastic or stored inside a cake dome.