I first found out about guava cake from David's sister, Laura. For her birthday, she found a way to track down the hard-to-find cake from a specialty bakery in Seattle's Georgetown. I believe it was this bakery.
She explained to me how she remembers having guava cakes for her birthdays when she was a kid and living in Hawaii.
When I went to Maui a few months ago, I noticed that guava cake is everywhere there. It's a staple in the bakery department of the local grocery stores. I was so excited to find the cakes so readily available that I seriously considered carting a cake to the airport and holding it in my lap all the way back to Seattle to surprise her.
After all, her enthusiasm for guava cake reminds me of my own fixation with foods that take me back to my childhood. Things like lemon meringue pie, angle food cake, and Mom's biscotti...when strawberry popsicle stains hung at the corners of my mouth and white Keds hugged my little feet. When I was proud of riding my little red tricycle around the house, and when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches followed large glasses of 1% milk for lunch.
I'm so glad that Laura introduced me to gauva cake. My first bite was amazing, and if I'm still thinking about it months later...and attempting to make my own..trust me when I say it's good stuff.
I tried to make my own guava cake for Laura this weekend, and the pictures you see are the outcome of my efforts. It's not perfect. There is guava gel sliding down the sides of the cake....but it's made with my own two hands and the best of intentions. I hope she likes it! We'll find out later tonight..
What treats are unique to you and your family? Do any desserts or dishes bring you back to your childhood?
Directions: Make the cake according the cake package's directions, but substitute guava juice for the water.
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 small package of Cool Whip topping, thawed
Directions: In a medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. With a spatula, slowly fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate the topping until ready to use.
2 cups guava juice (Kerns again)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
Red food coloring
Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring guava juice and sugar to a boil. In the meantime, make a paste out of the cornstarch and a small amount of water. Remove guava juice mixture from heat and whisk in cornstarch paste. Return to heat and bring back to a boil. Boil for one minute stirring frequently. Cool in refrigerator. Once cooled, stir in red food coloring until gel is the color you desire.
And finally!....The assembly of the final cake: Thickly ice the cake with the cream cheese topping. Pour the guava gel on top of the cream cheese topping and spread evenly being careful not to mix it into the cream cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.