Passion fruit cloud chiffon cake
MAKES ONE 23CM CAKE TO SERVE 10-16 PEOPLE
FOR THE CAKE
8-10 passion fruit, to yield
180ml of juice
300g caster sugar
240g plain flour
15g baking powder
¼tsp fine sea salt
300g egg white (from approx 10 eggs), plus 140g egg yolk (from approx 7 eggs) 2tsp cream of tartar
110ml vegetable oil
FOR THE GLAZE
200g icing sugar
70g full-fat sour cream
Fresh pulp of ½ passion fruit
1 Cut the passion fruit in half and scrape the pulp into a food processor. Passion fruit are mysterious; some are laden with pulp, others less juicy. Start with eight and use the extra two if some look a little dry.
2 Whiz briefly – don’t process too long or the seeds will crack and darken the juice. Strain the juice off and measure it.
If it’s less than the required amount, swirl some orange juice (or water) over the strained seeds to make up the shortfall. Set aside.
3 Preheat the oven to 150°C/ 130°C fan/gas mark 2. You will need a 23cm angel food cake tin. Don’t grease or line the tin. The cake needs to stick to the sides, so when inverted it stays in the tin to cool.
4 Put the sugar into a small bowl, then remove 2tbsp to add to the egg whites later on. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and set aside.
5 Next, find a bottle to place the angel cake tin on. Check that the bottle neck fits the hole in the tin before you proceed.
6 Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk on medium-high until the whites change from foamy to stiff and white. Start adding the reserved sugar to the whites gradually – one heaped tsp every 30secs, so the process takes 2-3min. Reduce speed to low for 1min to even out the air bubbles.
7 Just after you’ve started the whites, put the oil, egg yolk and passion-fruit juice in a wide bowl and combine using a whisk. Sift the bowl of dry ingredients over the yolk mix and whisk in by hand to form a loose batter.
8 Gently fold in one-third of the whisked egg whites, then the remaining whites until no streaks are left. Pour the mix into the ungreased cake tin. Wipe any batter smears from the sides or the centre tube, as they can impede the rise.
9 Bake for 55-60min until golden and puffed. Remove from the oven and immediately invert, placing the centre tube over the bottle – carefully and with courage! Let it hang for 2-3 hours until the base of the tin is completely cool. Meanwhile, make the glaze and set aside (see instructions, above right).
10 To release the cake, remove from the bottle and run a thin knife or metal spatula around the edge of the tin. Start where one of the legs is soldered on and move the knife down alongside the rivet (if it’s easier, lay the tin on its side). Make sure the knife is close to the tin, then, with a slight angle, drag it around the side of the tin to the next leg point. Repeat this action at each leg point. Don’t run a knife around the centre tube, as it will naturally release when cut from the base.
11 Turn the chiffon cake out onto a serving plate. Spoon the sour cream and passion fruit glaze around the outer edge of the cake first so it oozes down the sides, then fill in the gaps on the top. Serve at room temperature.
MAKING THE GLAZE
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the cream. Whisk together, slowly at first, then gradually faster, to form a homogeneous glaze. Add the fresh passion fruit pulp. You may need to add a little more icing sugar if the glaze is too runny.