When i was a bit younger (and not too much younger mind you) my grandmother had three specialties that would always set my tummy rumbling: Apple pie, 'cheesecakes' and passionfruit sponge. Unfortunately my nan can't really cook anymore, and i miss her treats a lot.
Nan's apple pie was the most delicious apple pie in the world with a buttery, crumby crust that soaked up the yellow tinged Blue Ribbon ice cream she would lavishly ladle into the bowl.
Her 'cheesecakes' were definitely a family favorite, and i hear reknowned in the shop in which she once worked. I'm not sure where the 'cheese' comes in to these cheesecakes. They were like a jam tart in puff pastry, but with a lid that was of a dense cupcake like mixture. Truly special.
And finally, the passionfruit sponge. Light as a feather, filled with whipped cream, and topped with a passionfruit icing. I could have eaten a whole cake in one sitting (and i and worried that i may have on more than one occasion.)
And so it came, that i thought i'd try my hand at a sponge. But rather than ice with passionfruit i thought i'd go with a curd instead. I am extremely happy to find that my cake is also as light as a feather! I followed recipes and instructions much more closely than usual however, remembering to triple sift the flour and bring ingredients to room temperature.
Ingredients (Makes 1 two-layer 20cm sponge cake)
- 8 eggs, at room temperature
- 240gm plain flour + extra for dusting, triple sifted
- 220gm caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 80gm butter, melted and left to come back to room temperature
- 200ml thickened cream
- 1 heaped tablespoon creme fraiche (optional)
- 1/2 cup passionfruit pulp
- 2 eggs
- 50gm butter
- 120 gm caster sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Grease and line the bases of two 20cm cake pans before dusting with flour
In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sugar and vanilla
Beat with an electric mixture for 8 minutes or until tripled in volume
Sift in the flour in three batches, folding in gently after each addition
Fold through the butter
Pour the mixture evenly between the two pans
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cake is slightly springy to the touch and is beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan.
Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 10 minutes.
Turn the cakes onto a cooling rack.
In a glass bowl, combine the passion fruit, 70gm sugar and eggs and whisk well
Place over a double boiler on low heat and stir for 10-20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
Stir in the chopped butter.
Transfer to refrigerator to cool.
Beat the cream and remaining 50gm sugar until well whipped.
Beat in the creme fraiche.
Spread the cooled curd over the top of one of the cakes.
Top with dollops of the cream mixture.
Place the second cake on top and dust with icing sugar.