Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Passion Fruit-Yogurt Cake

I’ve been meaning to make a passion fruit variation of my favorite Lemon-Crème Fraîche Cake forever, and I’ve finally gotten around to it.

Now I’m having trouble deciding if I like the lemon or the passion fruit cake better. Hmm…It seems I prefer whichever one I’m eating at the moment. Which would you rather have?

Before I get to the recipe, I have to say thanks to the Knoxville News Sentinel for this fantastic review of Flavored Butters!

Passion Fruit-Yogurt Cake
Printable Recipe

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
10 ounces cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
5 large eggs, at room temperature
10 ounces sugar
6 ounces plain yogurt, at room temperature
5 ounces passion fruit puree
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9×3-inch round cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, mix the eggs and sugar on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and doubled in volume. Add the yogurt and mix on low until just combined. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the butter, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the passion fruit puree, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix. Transfer to the cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to shrink away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and finish cooling completely. Dust with plenty of powdered sugar, cut into portions, and serve.

Makes 1 9-inch cake, serving 8. You will need about 10 passion fruits for this recipe. When buying passion fruits, look for fruit that's shrinkled—that's my word for shrunken and wrinkled—and trust me when I say there's no better way to describe a ripe passion fruit. To make passion fruit puree, halve the passion fruits, scoop out the flesh using a spoon, and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. You can also use frozen passion fruit puree. This cake is best the day it’s made.


Irina said...

You should make them both for a side-by-side taste.

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Jay said...

I baked this cake when my mother was in town last weekend (I love passion fruit). Unfortunately, the cake was flat, dense, and more like a custard in texture.

Undeterred, I tried the lemon-creme fraiche version last night. It was almost as bad as the first try - though the flavor was excellent. Only the very top and sides were cake-like in texture. I made certain to whip the eggs to more than double the original volume and incorporated the rest of the ingredients very, very carefully. The batter seemed fine, but shrunk considerably in volume after I put it in the oven.

Any thoughts on what is going wrong? The only thing I've done differently than the directions is that I did not sift the flour (I don't own a sifter).

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

The most likely causes of a dense, heavy sponge cake are underwhipping of the eggs and overmixing of the flour. The eggs must be whipped until they are light and fluffy and form a ribbon, meaning that when the whip is lifted the mixture falls off slowly and forms a ribbon-like pattern on the surface of the batter that remains there for several seconds before sinking in. (Room temperature eggs whip up better than cold eggs.) The flour must be incorporated with the least amount of mixing possible. Sponge cake batter is very delicate, and a moment’s overmixing will start to deflate it. Cake flour tends to clump a lot, so using unsifted cake flour would make it nearly impossible to incorporate all of the flour into the batter without overmixing. I hope that helps, and please let me know how your next attempt turns out.

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