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passion fruit cake

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Passion fruit cake

Some fruit seeds you’re supposed to eat, others you’re not. Orange seeds were long thought to be poisonous, as they contain miniscule amount of cyanide compounds. I used to feel quite adventurous as a kid, as I loved biting the soft skin around the orange seeds, crushing the fleshy, bitter core on my tongue, feeling like a daredevil, toying with DEATH! Incidentally, almonds also contain cyanide, the bitter ones especially, a compound called glycoside amygdalin. When eaten, glycoside amygdalin will turn into prussic acid, a.k.a. hydrogen cyanide, which by the way was the key ingredient to Zyklon B, the lethal pellets used in the Nazi gas chambers. Lovely! Your old harmless looking almonds! But I digress, clearly, and not in a nice direction...

More seeds? Pomegranate. There’s the rub – I love them, I do, I’m a veritable pomegranate FIEND. Especially when the large, fleshy, sweet ones come into season. But you should (not!) see the state of my plate after I’ve had a quarter – adorned with a neat pile of spat-out seeds. I’m not proud of myself, mind. I just don’t like those pesky pips.

Passion fruit, or maracujá, are the nicest smelling and flavoured fruit on earth. Does the flesh have to come wrapped around those hard pips though? It seems it does – when you try to sieve the pips away, as some pernickety people would do with raspberries, you’re left with juice. No flesh. So pips and all it has to be if you’re baking with passion fruit – and it’s one instance where it’s SO worth it. The flavour. The fragrance. The crunch of the pips, even. All right, I’ll take them, pips and all.

Beautiful cake recipe by Dan Lepard, when he used to do his Guardian column.

passion fruit cake


INGREDIENTS

  • For the cake:
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 20g sunflower oil
  • 175g caster sugar
  • pulp from 3 passionfruit
  • 25g cornflour
  • 3 medium eggs, separated
  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • For the coconut crumble:
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • icing sugar, to finish

Maracuja


METHOD

1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Make the crumble by rubbing the butter through the flour, caster sugar and coconut until it turns crumbly. You can use a small blender to do that – works really well.

Passion fruit, cake mix and crumble

2. Melt the butter, cool it down slightly to body temperature, then pour into a bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment and beat in the oil and sugar. Add the passion fruit whilst still beating, then the cornflour, egg yolks and cream.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a spotlessly clean whisk or the balloon attachment for a standing mixer until it holds soft peaks when the whisk is pulled out. Sift the flour and baking powder into the passion fruit mix and mix in gently  using a whisk. Fold in the egg whites with a spatula and spoon into the tin.

Passion fruit cake before and after

4. Sprinkle the crumble gently all over the top of the cake paying special attention tpo covering the sides. Bake for an hour, or until a skewer poked in pulls out almost clean.Leave to cool in the tin, then run a knife around the edge to release the cake. Dust with a little icing sugar to serve.

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