Holla all you lovers ! We’re almost through this gloomy month of January and before you know it, Valentine’s day is here! That means heart-shaped pendants, boxes of heart-shaped chocolates, and stuffed animals decorated with heart-shaped I love you’s. Now, if you’re like me and you’re not much into the over-commercialized holiday February 14 represents, but your heart flutters and trembles when you think of your significant other, I feel you! Judge me for being unromantic but I grew up without Valentine’s day. The world was not as globalized as it is now and it was not until the mid-1990’s that this tradition made its way into Hungary. And by then I was in my mid-20s so for me this lovey-dovey day never reached the peak of romantic expression as marketers would like us to believe.
You won’t catch me buying heart-shaped trinkets with romantic clichés for my honey, but let’s celebrate love whenever we can, even on February 14! And why not honor the day by baking a cake? Who doesn’t love that, right? Mine might not be red or pink, decorated with chocolate kisses or romantic messages (although never say never, one year I might end up making little heart-shaped linzers for my man) but it’s full of passion. As in passion fruit!
This cake started out as a magic cake but I replaced cow milk by almond milk and added a banana to the batter then finished it off with a mascarpone topping so I’m hesitant if I can now call this a proper magic cake. Although it still holds the magical quality of a much surprising sweet layer of custard on the bottom followed by a fluffy sponge cake on top, both made with the same batter. The tanginess of the lime counteracts the sweetness of the batter and the passion fruit juice adds its strong and characteristic perfume. For the icing I mixed passion fruit in the sweetened mascarpone letting the tart fruit with its strong smell component surface again and added just a bit of lime zest to give it a twang.
What you’ll need:
- 3 eggs
- 110g sugar
- 2 lime
- 1 ripe banana
- 80g flour
- 150ml of almond milk
- 90g butter
- 150ml of passion fruit juice
- 2 ripe and wrinkled passion fruits
- 125g mascarpone
- 40 g caster sugar
- a heaping cup full of passion
What you’ll need to do:
- You will need to prepare the cake a day earlier to allow it to sit overnight. To start, measure the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Separate eggs, adding the yolks with the sugar and putting the whites aside for the moment in a separate bowl.
- Whisk the sugar and the egg yolks well until foamy then add the zest and juice of one lime. Mix well. Add the passion fruit juice and continue to whisk.
- In a small pan gently warm the butter with the almond milk until the butter is completely melted.
- In the meantime mash up the banana with a fork, add it to your batter along with the now melted butter and almond milk, mix again. Finally sift in the flour, whisking continuously.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Add a third to your batter and mix well. Now add the rest of the whites and gently mix in, raising and lifting your whisk continuously to fluff up the batter even more. At this moment your preparation is quite fluid, don’t worry, this is normal.
- Grease a loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment paper. (I used a 23x7cm size baking tin.) Spoon the mixture into the tin let it rest for 15 minutes, just the time needed to heat your oven to 160°C. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, depending on the depth of your tin or until the cake is baked on top but slightly creamy in the middle. Let the cake rest overnight.
- Next day prepare the topping: mix the pulp of the passion fruits with the mascarpone and the sugar adding the zest of half a lime. Spread evenly on top of your cake. And enjoy a passion filled Valentine’s day!