Recipe

Feather sponge cake with passionfruit icing

A classic cake that's perfect for your next morning tea.

  • 50 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Feather sponge filled with clouds of whipped cream and topped with passionfruit icing.
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Ingredients

Sponge
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125 gram flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 175 gram caster sugar
  • 30 gram butter
  • 4 tablespoon hot water
Icing
  • 1 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 30 gram butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon passionfruit pulp
Filling
  • 250 millilitre cream, whipped
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tbsp passionfruit pulp

Method

Sponge
  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 190°C. Butter two 20cm shallow round tins and line the bases with circles of baking paper. Separate the eggs and put the whites into a large bowl. Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  • 2
    Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gradually beat in the caster sugar and the egg yolks one at a time, whisking well after each addition. After at least 10 minutes of whisking (from when you first added the sugar) you should have a pale lemon-coloured, light and spongy mixture. Sift dry ingredients into bowl and gently fold in with a metal spoon.
  • 3
    Put the butter and water into a small saucepan and heat until the water boils and the butter melts. Pour gently onto the sponge mixture and fold through.
  • 4
    Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, then lift each tin a few inches off the bench and drop it down. This will force out any large air bubbles and ensure a fine-textured sponge.
  • 5
    Bake the sponges for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden on top.
  • 6
    Remove from the oven and after a few minutes turn them out onto a cooling rack and remove baking paper.
Icing
  • 7
    When the cakes have cooled, turn one of them right-side up. Make the passionfruit icing by combining the icing sugar, melted butter and passionfruit pulp. Spread the icing over the top of the right-side-up cake and leave a few minutes to set.
Filling
  • 8
    Place the un-iced cake upside down on a pretty plate. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla or pulp, and spread thickly over the cake. Using two spatulas, carefully lift the iced cake and set it on top of the cream (if you iced the sponge once it was assembled you might accidentally squish out the filling).
  • 9
    Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving the cake. This allows the cream to firm up a little and makes serving easier.

Notes

When you have turned the sponges out onto a cooling rack, place the tins back on top of them and leave them to cool gradually – this minimises shrinkage. If one half is slightly higher than the other, ice the thinner one. It will put less pressure on the bottom layer and they will end up looking very similar in height. Use a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to cut the cake. I often cut the iced cake into segments before placing them on the cream, which ensures neat wedges of cake with no loss of form or filling.

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