Nothing says Spring better than a fresh and colourful fruity cake!
And with the wonderful sunshine we’ve been having, you’d think we were well on our way to Summer.
Alas (sigh), we still have a long way to go, and let’s not forget the snow we Londoners had in April last year!
In the meantime, let’s revel in the mildly warm glow while we can with Pear Ciders and Pimms, and indulge in all that is wonderfully sweet and fruity.
Passion Fruit, Raspberry & Orange Cake
Yield: 6 two-layer 4″ cakes
(I’m not going to lie… I ate a whole one to myself!)
For the cake:
440g (2 cups) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 orange (zest only)
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites (reserve remaining yolks for curd)
240ml coconut cream
420g (3 cups) plain flour
20g baking powder
Tip: If you can’t find coconut cream, coconut milk will be fine. Try placing your can in the fridge to help separate out the water. Pride coconut milk (available at UK supermarkets) is my go to brand.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4, and grease your chosen cake tins. I used 4″ loose bottom cake tins to make 6 cakes, but you could also make (approximately) a 3 layer 9″ cake with this recipe.
Set aside 2 Tbsp of sugar, then beat the remainder together with the butter. Add in the vanilla and orange zest, then beat the egg yolks in one at a time.
Add in the coconut cream and continue to beat until your mixture is light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour, baking powder and salt, stirring to combine, then beat the sifted dry mixture into the creamed mixture in three parts.
Start beating the egg whites, and when they begin to foam add in the reserved sugar, one Tbsp at a time. Continue beating until you are left with stiff peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into your cake mixture until combined.
Divide your mixture evenly into 6 parts for your 4″ cakes, and bake for 30 minutes.
Orange Passion Fruit Curd
5 fresh passion fruit
1 zestless orange (from your cake)
3 egg yolks (reserve remaining white for the cream filling)
Collect all the pulp from you passion fruit, squeeze in the orange juice and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and pale.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, or over a double boiler, then add in the passion fruit and egg yolk mixture.
Stir over a low heat until mixture has thickened, this will take ten minutes or so.
Tip: if you over heat your egg yolks the mixture will curdle! A double boiler will help to avoid this, but if you do use a saucepan just remember the heat absorbed by the saucepan will continue to cook the mixture for a minute or so even after it has been removed from the heat source!
Strain you orange passion fruit curd, reserving the pulp for your syrup, then set aside to cool.
Orange Passion Fruit Syrup
1 orange (juice only)
2 fresh passion fruit
passion fruit pulp collected from curd (I used about half of this)
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to boil on a low heat.
Allow mixture to simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Tip: if you heat for too long your syrup will become a jam. The syrup thickens as it cools, so if it’s already very sticky in the saucepan, add a little boiling water to loosen it up.
Raspberry & Passion Fruit Cream
1 egg white
2 Tbsp caster sugar
300ml crème fraîche
75g cream cheese
40g icing sugar
1/3 cup of orange passion fruit curd (from above)
150g fresh raspberries
Beat the crème fraîche and icing sugar, then add in the cream cheese, and then the mascarpone.
Add in your orange passion fruit curd and beat until combined.
Chop the raspberries in halves or quarters and fold them into your cream mixture, then set aside.
Beat the egg white with the caster sugar until stiff peaks are formed, then gently fold this into the raspberry cream mixture. Place in the refrigerator for an hour or so to set.
Assembling your cakes:
Split your cakes in half using a cake cutting wire or a serrated knife.
Spread a thin layer of orange passion fruit curd over your cake layer, both sides if you like, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Spoon your chilled raspberry cream onto the bottom layer of your cake, curd side up, then level the top with a palette knife. Place the top layer of your cake (curd side down if you coated both halves) on top of the cream.
Spoon your orange passion fruit syrup on top of the cake, allowing some syrup to drip down the sides, then garnish with fresh raspberries.