I haven’t typically been fond of melons.
More specifically, honey dew melons or anything that resembles cantaloupe.
As a post-college adult, I was surprised to find melons at the local Twin Cities farmers markets. I must had thought they were exotic fruits grown from afar. One summer, I visited a specialty melon stand at the Minneapolis Farmers market, investing in an unusual variety that originated in Jerusalem. When I brought the melon home, I carefully opened it and took my first bite
It tasted like cantaloupe.
Despite my aversion to cantaloupe, I am fond of the little melons appear in our CSA boxes. I’ve learned that I can palate cantaloupe one of two ways: Covered in lime, chili, and salt, or blended into a pulp and mixed with seltzer water and vodka. This weekend I wondered if melon could be incorporated into a cake. After all, there seems there is a cake recipe for every other fruit or vegetable, including tomatoes, beets, and zuchinni.
With a firm, salmon-colored watermelon in hand, I tinkered with Laurie Todd’s recipe for Melon Cake with Citrus Glaze, published in Vegetable Gardener.
The pureed watermelon adds a subtle sweetness and rosy hue. It’s flavor is more discernible in the batter than the cooked cake. Other melons may lend a stronger flavor. I made my glaze with grapefruit juice, but you could use whatever citrus fruit you have on hand.
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups melon, pureed
1/2 cup buttermilk
Semi-sweet chocolate chipsGrapefruit juice
Small dab of butter
Pinch of saltDirections:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract.
Fold the dry ingredients into the butter and eggs mixture, in two parts. Alternate with the pureed melon.
Sprinkle in chocolate chips. I used about 1/4 bag.
Scoop batter evenly into a pre-greased and floured bundt pan.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cake.
Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.
To make the glaze, mix powdered sugar with grapefruit juice (I used about 3/4 cup powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of juice). Add a small dab of butter and pinch of salt. Slightly heat the glaze to melt the butter. Glaze cake when cooled.