Saturday, September 5, 2020

Passionfruit Cloud Chiffon Cake

Recently, I purchased a bag of passionfruit on my shopping excursion.  I could not resist them, as they were significantly cheaper than the normal asking price of more than a dollar each.  I wanted to make something special with them, and what could be more special than a light as air chiffon cake?

The beautiful Beatrix Bakes cookbook contains a recipe for a Passionfruit Cloud Chiffon Cake, based on a recipe for chiffon cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I had an angel cake pan that I had never used, so it seemed serendipitous that I found this recipe.

After reading the directions, which mentioned what could go wrong, I was a little nervous about making this cake, as I did not want to waste the number of eggs (10!) and precious passionfruit should this cake not work out.  However, Lady Luck was smiling on me and it turned out perfectly:

I decided not to glaze the cake so that I could freeze some of it - because boy, this is a big cake. It defrosts perfectly and is almost as good as the day it was made. The cake is light and fluffy as the cloud its name suggests, and the passionfruit flavour comes through perfectly.  The passionfruit also gives the cake its  gorgeous sunny hue.

Instead, I served my cake with yoghurt and some extra passionfruit pulp:

To make this gorgeous cake, you will need:

8-10 passionfruit to yield 180ml juice
300g sugar
240g plain flour
15g baking powder
Pinch of salt
300g egg whites (~ 10 eggs)
140g egg yolks (~ 7 eggs)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
110ml vegetable oil

9” angel food cake tin

To make the passionfruit juice, halve the passionfruit and scrape the pulp into a food processor.  Pulse briefly - don’t overprocess otherwise the seeds will crack and darken the juice. Strain the juice to remove the seeds and pulp. If you have less than 180ml juice, make up the volume with orange juice or water. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Put the sugar in a small bowl and remove two tablespoons to reserve for the egg whites. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Put a sieve on top of the bowl and set aside.

Find a bottle whose neck the tube of your angel food cake tin rests over neatly, and set aside.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk the whites on medium speed until the egg whites are stiff and white.  Gradually add the reserved two tablespoons of sugar - one teaspoon every 30 seconds.  The meringue should be stiff and shiny.  Once all the sugar has been added, reduce the speed to low and whisk for another minute to even out air bubbles.

While the egg whites are whisking, place the oil, egg yolks and passionfruit juice into a wide bowl and whisk together. Sift the dry ingredients over the yolk mixture, and whisk together until smooth.  

Gently fold one third of the meringue into the yolk mixture with a rubber spatula.  Once done, gently fold the remaining meringue through the mixture until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the ungreased angel food cake tin, and wipe away any stray splashes from the inside of the tin, as these may stop the cake from rising.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes until golden and puffed up, and the cake around the tube looks dry.  Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the centre of the tube over the neck of the bottle. Leave the cake to hang in the tin over the bottle for 2-3 hours until the base of the tin is completely cool.

To release the cake from the tin, run a thin knife around the edge of the tin (but not around the centre tube).  Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and cut it away from the base plate. You can glaze the cake if desired, but if you don’t want to eat it all that day, don’t glaze it. The unglazed cake will stay fresh for 2 days. You can wrap and freeze part of the cake if desired.

1 comment:

Johanna GGG said...

Wow that is an impressive looking cake - it looks like a big pile of tinned pineapple slices (that is not meant in a negative way)