A sponge cake drenched in passion fruit panna cotta makes a tender spring cake. It can be prepared two days in advance and kept in the fridge.
For 8-10 people
For the sponge
eggs 5 big
golden powdered sugar 150gr
self-raising flour 150gr
butter 50g, melted and slightly cooled, plus extra for greasing
passion fruit puree 60ml (available online, or pulp from 4-5 passion fruit without seeds)
vanilla extract ½ tsp
fine salt ½ tsp
For the panna cotta
gelatin sheets 3½
double cream 400ml
whole milk 100ml
golden powdered sugar 100 g
passion fruit puree 60ml
For the cream
double cream 200ml
powdered sugar 40g
vanilla extract ¼ tsp
To decorate (optional)
passion fruit pulp of 1
edible petals a couple
powdered sugar a dusting
Preheat oven to 160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a round 20 cm springform pan with butter and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with an electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until tripled in volume. This can take 10-12 minutes.
Once light and fluffy, sift the self-raising flour in 2 or 3 additions, very gently folding into the egg and sugar mixture each time until no traces of flour can be seen in the batter.
In a small pitcher, combine the cooled, melted butter and passion fruit puree. Add vanilla extract and salt.
Pour the butter and passion fruit mixture very carefully into the cake batter. Try to maintain the volume of the dough, being careful not to deflate it.
Then carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes. The cake is ready when it has risen and is light golden in colour. A skewer should come out clean when inserted in the center. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
When cool, remove the cake from the tin, peel off the parchment and place on a 20cm cake card or plate. Now put the springform ring out of the mold back around the cake and snap it into place (without bottom). You just need a collar around the cake. Prick the cake all over with the skewer and set aside.
While the cake is baking in the oven, you can prepare the panna cotta mixture. In a small bowl, add very cold water and pour into the gelatin sheets. Soften for 10 minutes.
Place cream, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high until simmering and sugar has dissolved (do not boil). Turn off the heater. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out the excess liquid, then add the gelatin to the warm cream mixture. Add the passion fruit puree, stir the mixture lightly and strain into a pitcher. Keep it on one side until the cake is cooked and cooled.
When the cake is done, carefully pour the panna cotta mixture over it. The cake will start to absorb the mixture. Keep adding until the entire mixture is used up. Gently tap the cake to remove air bubbles and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from the fridge and run a warm spatula around it to loosen the tin ring.
Whip the double cream to soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture onto the chilled panna cotta cake and drizzle over the passion fruit pulp. Decorate with a few flower petals and dust with icing sugar.
Tarunima Sinha is the owner of the My Little Cake Tin bakery delivery company