“The best books… are those
that tell you what you know already.”
― George Orwell, 1984
Don’t mind me, I just finished reading this book today. Trust me, you don’t wanna know how I’m feeling right now. This book has got me in shambles! I finished it in three days and I guess that’s why it has traumatized me to such an extent. As grim and as twisted as it is. It still is an absolutely stunning piece of literature. I have never talked about this side of me, but I used to be a bookworm, I stopped reading for fun a long time ago but since the beginning of this year I have got back ‘my edge’ (ifyouknowhatImean). Do you read? If you do, I’d love to know which are your favourite books or what are you currently reading?
Anyway, enough about books. Here’s a creative recipe for you. I am always looking for interesting flavour combinations to try out and dessert-ify them. This recipe was in my book written and finalized in February but I somehow never ended up posting it. Why? Do you ask? I FORGOT. I know! I know! I am sorry. But hey! Better late than, never right? We had gone to my parents’ place in Kerala at the end of 2018 for our house warming. We have a new home there now! It’s a beautiful place, away from the city, lots of trees, clean roads, no traffic. I loved every bit of the time we spent there. I had the kitchen customized according to my liking because I am someone who loves to bake in solitude and in presence of nature. Especially when I have a large kitchen, the joy is indescribable. Also! ALSO!!! We have passion fruit trees!! I mean COME ON! I think passion fruit is one of my absolute favourite fruits of all time. Sadly, we don’t get them here in Ahmedabad. So, I made sure that I used those babies to my heart’s content while I was there and I also brought a ton of them on the flight back home (Yeah, I’m on of those people hahahaa!)
This cake is a marriage between: Coconut, Passion Fruit and Strawberries. It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s delicious! If you do not have access to passion fruit, you can leave it out and use milk instead of the juice in the recipe. But I would highly recommend it if you can get your hands on these tropical delights.
Key things about this cake:
- Coconut and passionfruit sponge: The cake layers are inspired by the Classic Victoria sponge recipe; I have altered it a little to include these two components. Please use UNSWEETENED Shredded Coconut and fresh passionfruit juice. I haven’t tested this recipe with the concentrated juice.
- Fresh Passionfruit: I cannot stand concentrated juices, judge me all you want. So please use fresh fruit. I have used both, the seeds and the juice in this recipe.
- Strawberry frosting: I have pureed the strawberries, passed the puree through a sieve and then used it in the frosting. This ensures a silky-smooth frosting and you’re gonna wanna eat it by the spoonful. REALLY.
- Chilling the cake: I will advise you to not skip this step. It is important that you let this cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving or else that chances of it falling apart are… well… very high.
Coconut & Passion-fruit Cake (w/Strawberry Buttercream & Fresh Passionfruit pulp)
- 250 g Unsalted butter
- 250 g caster sugar
- 4 large Eggs
- a pinch Salt
- 80 ml freshly squeezed passionfruit juice (seeds removed)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 100 g Unsweetened shredded coconut
- 250 g All purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 200 g Unsalted butter
- 280 g Icing sugar sifted
- a pinch salt
- 2-3 tbsp strawberry puree (blended in a blender and sieved to remove seeds)
Filling and garnish:
- Passion fruit pulp
- Fresh strawberries
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat your oven to 175 C. Grease and line three 6-inch round cake pans or 7-inch rounds if you don’t want a tall cake. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add your room temperature butter and caster sugar and whisk well either by hand or with a mixer for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Sift in your the flour, baking powder and salt. Start folding it into the batter gently with a spatula.
- Halfway through mixing, add the passionfruit juice (seeds removed) and the unsweetened shredded coconut. Mix until well combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide the batter equally into the cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes. If you use a 7 inch pan the cakes will bake faster so keep an eye on them. The cake is baked if a toothpick/skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool completely inside the pans on a wire rack. Do not handle the cake when it is warm, it will break apart.
Make the frosting:
- Blend about a heaping cup of fresh/frozen strawberries in a blender and run it through a sieve to remove seeds.
- In a large bowl, add your room temperature butter and blend for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the sifted icing sugar in 2 stages and the salt and keep blending for about 5 minutes.
- Now add the strawberry puree, not more than 2-3 tablespoons and blend well.
- If your cakes are still warm, keep the frosting covered in a cool place in your house. You may also refrigerate it but you will have to bring it up to room temperature before use.
Assemble the cake:
- If your oven is calibrated correctly, you cakes will be pretty much flat (mine were). If not then level your cake layers so that they all have even tops.
- Take a piping bag and add roughly less than half of the frosting into it. Cut a hole at the end of the bag, approximately 2-3 cm in diameter. Set aside.
- Place the first layer on a turn table or plate and add some frosting. Spread it evenly.
- Now take the piping bag and create a frosting wall on the circumference of the cake to make sure that the passion fruit pulp stays inside the layers of the cake.
- Add the passion fruit pulp into the centre of the cake layer. Repeat with the next.
- Cover the entire cake with frosting or just leave it at the crumb coat. Decorate your cake with more fresh fruit. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.