Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Baking Sunday: Over the Top Passionfruit Sponge

This is a beauty of a cake and is best made for a special occasion or when you really want to impress folk. It's a mahoosive three layers of sponge with a cream, full of tangy passionfruit and lemon curd filling. It also has whipped cream, strawberries and is topped with passionfruit butter icing dripping over the sides. It is ridiculous and magnificent and surprisingly easy to make.

The sponge layers are incredibly light and airy and this is mainly due to the eggs being whisked for a ridiculous amount of time. I would really recommend using a stand mixer to make this as the eggs need to be beaten for at least 25 minutes. It is worth the effort though - the sponges don't sink and are feathery soft. The time used to whisk the sponge layers can be used making or arranging the other components and so the cake is really relatively quick to put together.

Putting the cake together can be as simple or as fancy as you like. The sauces can be made in advance but store-bought substitutions can easily be used to save time. I think it's worth piping the whipped cream around the edge of the cake as it adds to the cake's prettiness with the strawberry halves peeking out inbetween rosettes. If you don't have the time or inclination though, the cream could also just be spread out onto the edges of the sponge and dripping down along with the passionfruit sauce and sliced strawberries would look equally luxurious.

Because the sponge is fat-free, the cake doesn't keep especially well nor does it freeze as well as some other cakes but it can be frozen for up to two weeks. And if that's not an excuse to finish up that final piece, I don't know what is!

Note: The recipe requires cup measurements. As it's an Australian publication, there's no variation between UK cup sizes.

Sponge Layer cake
6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ cup self-raising flour
¼ cup cornfour
¼ cup custard powder
1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Lightly grease three 20 cm round layer cake tins.
2. Beat the eggs for 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat for a further 15 minutes on high speed.
3. Gradually add the sugar, beating after each addition until dissolved. Once you have added all the sugar, beat for a further 10 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Combine flours and custard powder by sifting together three times. Using a slotted metal spoon, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the sponges have come away from the sides of the tins.
6. Remove from the tins immediately and cool on a wire rack or 30 minutes before filling.

2 cups whipped cream
½ cup lemon curd filling (recipe below or bought lemon curd)
¼ cup passionfruit sauce (recipe below or equivalent bought thick passionfruit sauce)
1 quantity passionfruit icing (recipe below)
Fresh strawberries, halved
Cachous, fresh berries or flowers to decorate
Piping bag and star tip #11
1. Place one of the sponges onto your serving dish. Place half of the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with star tip attached and pipe large cream rosettes around the outside top of the sponge. Pour half of the lemon curd on top of the sponge and spread over with a small offset palette knife. Pipe some more cream rosettes over the lemon curd to create a flat layer for the next layer to sit on. Using a tablespoon, drizzle some Passionfruit Sauce over the rosettes. Place half of the strawberries, flat-side down, in between the piped rosettes around the outside edge of the sponge.
2. Place a second sponge layer on top and repeat this process with the rest of the lemon curd, cream, Passionfruit Sauce and strawberries.
3. Using a large offset palette knife, spread the passionfruit icing over the top of the third sponge layer, allowing some of the icing to dribble over the sides. Sprinkle with gold cachous. Place this final layer on top of the previous two.
4. Top the cake with fresh berries or flowers to decorate.

Passionfruit Sauce

Ingredients: (Note: odd measurements as it is halving a recipe)
1/3 cup passionfruit pulp (about 2 large passionfruit)
1/8 cup orange juice
3/4 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1. Combine the passionfruit pulp, orange juice and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.
2. In a small cup combine the cornflour and water and stir until smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir continuously with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until thick and bubbly and allow to cool before using.

Passionfruit Icing
50g softened butter
1/2 cup fresh passionfruit pulp (about 4 large passionfruit)
4 cups icing sugar
1. Combine the butter, passionfruit and half of the sifted icing sugar in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
2. Gradually add remaining icing sugar and combine until smooth and of spreadable consistency.


Victoria said...

oh wow!!! this looks incredible! :)

Michelle Colins said...

Made this for my son's 16th It is amazing and very popular there was plenty to go around. However I think I will halve the icing next time as it took on a life of it's own the starwberries on top were a bit weepy and ran ove r the icing.

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