Passionfruit Mousse, Almond Dacqouise, Strawberries and Vanilla Cake!

It’s my birthday. And as much as i wanted to buy a cake instead of baking it, I had an idea of how I wanted it decorated, so I just decided to bake it myself! haha! Typical for a baker I guess. I then walked into the grocery store for inspiration, and the first thing that caught my eyes were the passion fruits. During these testing times to find passionfruit was amazing! So i grabbed a good hand full, and then there were strawberries beside them, grabbed a box of those.. walked around and saw tiny meringues, which gave me an idea for an almond dacqouise, and then of course we needed some sort of cake base – and what would be more fitting to all these flavours than a fluffy vanilla cake! covered with Swiss meringue buttercream, decorated in spring florals all around. This cake is an ultimate dream! I love it, and i’m so scared i’m going to eat the entire thing! HAHA! but its my birthday.. so why not!? right?!!??! 😉

Here’s how you bake it!

INGREDIENTS : Makes one, 6-inch cake – 

Passion Fruit Mousse Layer – 

Vanilla Sponge –  

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp oil, vegetable or olive oil ( I used olive oil)
  • 2 tbs buttermilk (if you don’t have access to buttermilk make it yourself – 2 tbsp milk combined with 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g flour (1 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Almond Dacqouise – 

  • 70g almonds, coarsely crushed
  • 100g almond flour
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 200g egg whites
  • 50g sugar

Macerated Strawberries – 

Swiss Meringue buttercream – 

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 120 g Granulated Sugar
  • 250 g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature And Cut Into Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch Fine Sea Salt
  • (Plus liquid gel colour for the flowers, if you want to add them)  

METHOD : 

Passion fruit mousse – 

  1. Put the gelatine leaves into a bowl with cold water to soften.
  2. Take the insides if the passion fruit and put it into a saucepan, along with lemon zest of both lemons, and lemon juice form 1 lemon. Heat it up, then add the sugar and butter. Mix and bring to a boil. Sieve the mixture into a clean bowl. in a separate glass mix together the remaining lemon juice and corn starch (or maizena). Add that to the passionfruit mixture. Mix well. Then whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Mix well, and pour back into the sauce pan. Bring to a boil, while mixing. As soon as it starts to thicken up take off the heat and whisk in the softened gelatine – making sure to drain the gelatine off from water before putting it into the passion fruit mixture. Whisk over low heat until the gelatine is thoroughly melted in. Then sieve it again over a clean bowl, and place into the fridge to cool down.
  3. Then whip up your cream to stiff peaks. Once the passion fruit mixture is cooled completely, gently fold it into the whipped cream, and place into fridge until time to use.

Vanilla Sponge – 

  1. Turn the oven on to 180C. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and light in colour. IN a small bowl, add in the oil, buttermilk and vanilla. In another bowl, add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Then pour half of the flour mixture into the egg/sugar fluff, and FOLD gently with a spatula, add in half of the wet ingredients, and fold. Then add in the remaining flour mixture, and fold, and then the remaining wet ingredients and fold until combined. Do not over mix, you don’t want to lose the air from the cake.
  2. Pour onto a large baking tray lined with baking sheet. Bake for 15 min, take out, let cool completely and then cut out two 6inch circles. Leave to side until time to assemble.

Almond Dacqouise – 

  1. Turn your oven on to 180C.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix in the ground almond, almond flour and icing sugar. Then whip up the egg whites until stuff peaks, and slowly add int he sugar. Whisk on high until glossy and thick. Then fold in the dry ingredients, until thoroughly combined, making sure not to over fold and make sure not to release too much air. Then spread & make two 6 inch circle discs, onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. I just used a spoon and spooned it out, you can use a piping bag if it’s easier. Bake fro 20 min, until golden. Take out and let cool completely before assembly.

Macerated Strawberries – 

  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix, and leave to the side, until assembly.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream – 

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
  2. Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
  3. Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, approx. 5-10 mins).
  4. Switch to paddle attachment.
  5. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla,Whip until smooth. Keep aside in the fridge for covering the cake later.

Assembly –  

  1. Take a 6 inch cake tin, and place baking paper on the bottom. Then place 1 layer of the vanilla sponge, pour half of the strawberries and some of the juice evenly on top. Then place 1 almond dacqouise disc on top of the strawberries. Pipe or spoon on half of the passion fruit mousse, evenly. Then repeat one more time, first the vanilla sponge, then the strawberries, then the dacqouise, and finally the passion fruit mousse. Place into freezer for 2-3 hours, until stiff and cold.
  2. Once cold and hardened, Take out and cover with an even layer of the buttercream. If you want to pipe or place flowers on, take some of the buttercream, and colour it with your desired colours, and pipe or place on the flowers around the cake.

And there you have it! Complicated, time consuming but Very Worth it! 😉

Enjoy!

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