I love strawberry guava. Such a beautiful and aromatic fruit with it’s light yellow skin and bright pink flesh. Finding them while hiking is like finding treasure. My lovely friend Ashley is a great tour guide and hiker. She took me through a breathtaking forest. We discussed plant life, ate ice cream beans, sampled a single kukui nut (don’t eat more than one), observed the beauty and had a delightful and refreshing swim.
I visited Maui just before most good fruits come into season. I lucked out with Yee’s mangoes (as they were a little early this year) and always have the pleasure of as many apple bananas as I can eat. I was a bit too early for the lilikoi, although had the pleasure of viewing the gorgeous flowers that I rarely get to see.
Just missed these. They will be perfect in just a few short weeks.
This hike also marked the first time I have ever seen an orchid growing in the wild:
I also had the good fortune with being bestowed with a single ripe guava. The most perfect mid-hike/post swim snack one could dream of.
Ever and always inspired by this delicious and beautiful treat, I decided that I wanted to make a cake. Some of you may be pleased to know that you need no fresh guava for this cake or if you have fresh guava, use that! You can use homemade or store bought jam and guava juice. Ceres makes a lovely shelf stable guava juice, if you don’t have fresh guava at your disposal.
Vegan Guava Cake
makes one 8-9″ cake or two 6″ cakes.
1 c almond milk (I like unsweetened)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c neutral tasting oil, safflower or organic canola
2/3 c unbleached cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c guava juice
a few drops natural food coloring or beet juice for color.
1 jar of guava jam or guava butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil two 6″ cake pans or one 8-9″ pan. I made two 6″ cakes for a small layer cake.
Combine the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. Whisk the dry ingredients (except the sugar) together in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a separate medium to large mixing bowl, combine the oil and sugar. Add the vanilla and guava juice and mix to combine. Add a few drops of natural red food coloring or beet juice if you want a pink cake. Then add the almond milk mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine, making sure not to over mix.
Add the batter to the cake pans and bake 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. These cakes will dome. Use a sharp knife to trim them if you want flat cakes. I only trimmed the bottom layer and left the top layer with the domed top…because more cake!!
For the frosting, I don’t have an exact recipe, but use something like this: I add about 1 3/4 c sifted powdered sugar to my standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. I then add about half a stick of Earth Balance or shortening–or you can use a combo of both. I then whip the sugar and fat together for several minutes. It will seem dry at first, but don’t add liquid! It will come together, just give it time. Then I add a little vanilla and for this cake, a little coconut extract. Don’t use more than about a tsp. For coconut-vanilla, use a vanilla bean or vanilla powder and use 1/2 tsp of liquid coconut extract. I then add a touch of non-dairy milk for consistency. Frosting is VERY forgiving, so feel free to play around with it. If it’s too dry, just add a little more non-dairy milk. If it’s runny, add more sugar.
Frost the cake everywhere, even the top. For the top guava layer, delicately spread your guava jam over the frosting. If you’re using guava paste or a very thick or viscous jam, heat it up very slowly over the stove-top or in the microwave, being careful not to get it too hot. If the you heat the jam too much, it will melt your cake frosting. You just want to warm it up enough until it’s spreadable or a bit loose. Once you have the right consistency, carefully spoon some on the top of the cake and spread ever so slightly. If your frosting wants to mix with the jam, just use more jam. Be liberal with it if you don’t want everything to mix together on top. Once the jam cools, you will have a nice yummy, sticky layer of guava on top, similar to fruit leather but softer.