Tag Archives: passion-fruit

Chocolate passion-fruit torte

15 Nov

passionfruit torte 1

It always make me sad when, upon admitting what I do for a living, I am told “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly bake a cake for you!” I learned to be a pastry chef because I like to eat cake and because I know how much pleasure it affords to offer cake to others and have them enjoy it. Baking is a pure indulgence, both in the construction and consumption, a fairy tale of spun sugar. If people are afraid to bake for me, they lose out on that satisfied feeling of having created something totally frivolous and yet universally appreciated. What’s more, I would miss out on their speciality, their tricks and tastes. I love collecting others’ recipes and have miles more to learn.

My cousin said exactly that when she brought over my birthday cake and it turned out to be wonderful, a soft chocolate sponge iced with a mix of whipped cream and Greek yoghurt, covered all over with sweet shreds of coconut. (Almost like a reverse lamington?) It was actually a variation on my favourite kind of summer cake, sponge and fruit and cream. So when the family challenged me to make something for the next week, I had to think again.

passionfruit torte 2

This was the result, a total show-off’s torte, two punchy flavours and five different techniques. Soft almond meringue sponges sandwich glossy passion-fruit jelly, rich chocolate ganache and buttery passion-fruit curd, all iced with a delicate chocolate Chantilly. The thin layers all meld for a bittersweet mouthful, tempered by the luxurious cream. In reality though, it is not difficult to prepare, as long as you start the evening before so everything can cool. The sponges, less than a centimetre thick, take a few minutes to cook and the ganache and jelly are both left to set in cake tins so they can just be flipped out in the morning.

This quantity of passion-fruit curd makes more than you will need for the cake, but it uses up the egg yolks and is delightful on toast. (A friend of mine introduces me not as ‘Frances, pastry chef’ but ‘Frances, this one time she made passion-fruit curd…’ It is that good.) For a simpler cake, omit one or two of the layers: just use passionfruit jelly and curd, for example. Or easier still, make the meringue sponge then fill and decorate with Greek yoghurt and fresh passionfruit.

passionfruit torte 3

Chocolate passion-fruit torte

makes 12 elegant slices

The passion-fruit pulp I used came in a tin, 55% fruit including seeds, plus water and sugar. You can find it in supermarkets or speciality baking stores. G. Detou in Paris sells passion-fruit purée which is less sweet and has no seeds, so sweeten the curd and jelly accordingly. I wouldn’t recommend using fresh fruit simply because it will require too many, at least a dozen if not more. Alternatively, substitute with half orange and half lemon juice. 

The curd, jelly, ganache and Chantilly need to be made the day before. If  possible, assemble everything a few hours before serving. Continue reading

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