8 May 2016

Capital Kitchen: Mother's Day passionfruit sponge cake

| Diana Lampe
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Passionfruit sponge for Mother's Day

I think that a passionfruit sponge is the perfect treat to have and share on Mother’s Day. I have been thinking about sponge cakes this week because they remind me of my mother and growing up in the country.

My mother, May, was a dab hand at making sponges and often whipped one up for afternoon tea. It was usually a passionfruit sponge made with fruit from the vine growing around the water tank at the kitchen door. Sometimes she added sliced banana to the filling as well. What a lovely food memory to have.

You may like to make a delicious passionfruit sponge for your mother and family to enjoy today on Mother’s Day.

Serves 8 to 12

Sponge cake

4 free-range eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup (145g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (70g) cornflour
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Passionfruit icing and cream filling

1 1/4 cups pure icing sugar, sifted or whizzed in a food processor
20g butter, softened
3-4 passionfruit (about 1/4 cup pulp)
225ml pure cream

For baking the cakes you need 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins. Brush them with butter, line the base with baking paper and dust lightly with plain flour. Preheat the oven to 180C fan or 200C regular.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl in an electric mixer for a few minutes until foaming. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat on high speed for eight to ten minutes until pale and thick.

Meanwhile sift the flours, baking powder and salt three times onto a sheet of foil or baking paper. Add the sifted flours to the egg mixture and gently fold in by hand, using a large metal spoon. Try not to deflate the mixture.

Tip the sponge batter into the prepared tins and turn and tilt the tins to spread the batter evenly. You can weigh each tin and batter to be sure they weigh about the same. Bake the cakes for 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch in the middle.

Let the cakes stand on a wire racks for about five minutes, then turn out to cool. Turn them right side up.

Icing and filling

Place one of the cakes on the serving plate. Whip the cream (in a chilled bowl) with two or three teaspoons of passionfruit pulp, until firm peaks stage. It is a good idea to do the last strokes by hand, for a perfect consistency. Spread the cream over the cake right to the edge. Carefully place the other sponge cake on top.

To make the icing, mix the sifted (or whizzed) icing sugar with the butter and work in with a spoon. Add enough passionfruit pulp (about 2 tbsp) to make icing of spreading consistency. Spread the icing on top of the cake using an offset spatula or knife. Transfer the passionfruit sponge to the fridge to set for 30 minutes or longer.

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