#Cakeventures: Cake 2: Passion Fruit and Lime

In case you missed the last post I’ve been tasked with producing wedding cakes for the wedding of Supernurse in 25 days time.  Cake#1 was a Raspberry and Lemon Layer Cake. I gave myself a day off before trying Cake#2 and rather appropriately, with Valentine’s Day looming, it was a Passion Fruit and Lime Cake. I’d been asked to try to make a cake incorporating these flavours and there are actually loads of recipes out there which combine various tropical flavours. The recipe I used was from  ‘Martha Stewart Weddings’ and promised that it would be ‘the food equivalent of the most intoxicating tropical drink you’ve ever had.’ Say no more.

Unlike Cake#1  this cake used both egg whites and egg yolks ( whipped separately and then folded in together) in the sponge, and the batter seemed much more meringue than cake like by the time I poured it into the tins. I decided to use a 9″ and a 7 3/4″ tin . The odd sized tin belonged to my Gran – I’m not sure tins come in that size anymore but the cake did bake beautifully in the old fashioned aluminium.

The most important thing to tell you about the sponge is that my 9 year old, who is assisting in the testing and tasting process, declared the uncooked cake batter to be the best thing he had ever tasted. So that’s a win for this cake no matter what you think of the cooked version.

img_3190The particularly fun part of this cake was making a passion fruit curd to go between the layers and on the top. I used the BBC Good Food recipe but instead of using fresh passion fruit pulp I used Sainsbury’s Passion Fruit and Mango Coulis . I heated it slowly with butter, eggs, golden caster sugar and cornflour, and although it took at least twice as long as the recipe said to thicken ( 30 minutes not 15), it is possibly the best thing that I’ve ever tasted. This stuff is like a tangy condensed milk, caramel consistency, mango and passion fruit sorbet something or other. It is amazing. We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole pan there and then.

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I’m learning a number of things as I move into mass cake production and one is that it is both possible and preferable to wash up as I go along. I know. Who’d have thought it ? Surprisingly effective. img_3191

The cakes came out beautifully baked with a very even rise and a good colour. I gave them a good dousing with lime syrup and then covered each layer with the passion fruit curd, which was stiff enough to stay in place without an icing dam, although I did pipe one anyway. I used the icing for cake#1 minus the lemon curd and instead added some lime zest and lime juice. We had friends over and Mrs Lovely-and-very-organised-and-skilful gave me some icing tips. First of all don’t go with the polyester piping bag – plastic bags prevent seepage and are easier to use. Secondly, practise a lot. Thirdly, make sure that the icing is at a spreadable temperature. The cake was assembled and after an afternoon spent in the woods I had 5 hungry children and 2 adults ready to test it.

The verdict on Cake#2 can be seen in the images below. It took no more than five minutes to eat half a double layered cake. Five minutes after the photo on the right was taken only a quarter remained.The good news is that Supernurse came by to try a slice this morning and she loved it which probably matters the most as it is for her wedding. 

I’m feeling quite relieved that in my first two cakes I have found two great sponge recipes which I need to choose between, and a very delicious icing. In addition I’ve discovered the utter goodness of homemade passion fruit curd, how to do dishes whilst baking, and that my family seemingly have a limitless appetite for cake.

Cake#3 will be tested at the weekend. Stay tuned.

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