This pretty little sponge cake is delicately light, delightfully fruity and quite frankly scrumptious. Don’t be afraid of attempting the ever-so daunting sponge and it’s poorly understood pal, the passionfruit curd. Both recipes may seem like technical challenges beyond your reach, but I’ve detailed a few key steps that should allow you to sail straight to baking bliss. And the result is worth it; the slight tartness of the passionfruit curd and fresh blueberries are a wonderful complement to the velvety whipped cream, which I’ve laced with vanilla bean. Served up with a cup of tea on a warm summer’s day, this cake couldn’t get any more… lovely.
I put this cake together a few days ago with an even lovelier old friend. Baking was such a happy way to spend time together, and at the end of it all we sad down with a sigh and a slice and a big old smile. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my ridiculous free range egg yolks make every sponge cake I bake turn bright yellow… but they’re so delicious so I’m not complaining! Enjoy!
Vanilla Sponge Cake with Passionfruit Curd, Whipped Cream and Fresh Blueberries
Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Passionfruit Curd from Special Delivery, makes about 2 cups
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 110 g caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter, cubed
- strained pulp from 8 passionfruit (keep the seeds)
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
from Donna Hay
- 4 eggs
- 110 g caster sugar
- 100 g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 75 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 400 mL thickened cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence/vanilla bean paste
- 50 g icing sugar, sifted
- 125 g fresh blueberries, to decorate
- Hand-whisk the eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and keep whisking rapidly and continuously until pale, smooth and slightly thickened. This will take about 10 minutes. Take care to not let the eggs scramble, put a lot of elbow grease into that whisking motion!
- Add the cubes of butter one by one, whisking well to allow the butter to melt as you go. Once all the butter has been added, whisk for another few minutes until smooth and thick like custard.
- Pour in the strained passionfruit pulp and the lemon juice, and start whisking again. The curd will loosen at first, but will soon thicken up and regain its custard consistency.
- Add the passionfruit seeds back into the curd, and whisk to combine. Pour the curd into a bowl and cover with glad wrap, pressing the glad wrap directly onto the surface of the curd so that it does not form a skin. Alternatively, place in a clean glass jar and seal it tightly.
- Refrigerate the curd until completely cooled, for at least 1 hour.
Vanilla Sponge Cake
- Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F fan-forced. Grease and line two 18 cm/7 inch cake tins.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together on high speed for 15 minutes until thick and pale. The mixture should triple in size. Meanwhile, sift the flour and baking powder 3 times. Hold the sifter high over the bowl each time, so that plenty of air is incorporated into the dry ingredients.
- Sift half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, and use a large metal spoon to very gently fold the dry into the wet. Add the remaining dry ingredients and repeat. Add the cooled melted butter, and fold once more until just combined. Handle the batter as little as possible.
- Gently spoon the batter evenly into the two cake tins and smooth the surfaces.
- Bake on the oven’s central rack for 14-18 minutes. The sponges are ready when they are a light golden colour, have shrunk from the sides of the tin, and spring back to the touch. A metal skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 2 minutes, then gently turn out and leave to cool completely on wire racks. Turn them over after 10 minutes so that they don’t stick to the racks.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- Whip the cream on medium speed with the vanilla and icing sugar, until thick and fluffy.
- Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Brush any loose crumbs off the cake layers. Place one layer top side down onto your serving plate. Spread with half the cream, leaving a 1cm gap at the edge. Dollop about 1/2 cup of passionfruit curd evenly over the cream.
- Place the second layer down over the curd, and press gently to allow the cream the spread to the edges. Top with the remaining cream. Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to spread the cream around the sides of the cake, and to smooth the surface.
- Dollop a little more passionfruit curd on top, and decorate with the fresh blueberries.
- Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.
Store the cake covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Best served on the day of baking. The passionfruit curd can be refrigerated in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.