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Lime and Passion-Fruit Layer Cake

Winter 2017
F201701029.jpg
food and drink

BY: Joanne Yolles

Just looking at the number of steps involved with this cake might make anyone turn the page, but please don’t. It can all be managed over a couple of days, and trust me, it’s worth it. In order for the cake to set properly, it should be assembled and chilled overnight, leaving the meringue as the last step. Sweet and tart at the same time, this cake is light and bursting with flavour. Fresh, unsweetened passion-fruit purée, usually sold frozen, can be found in Latin-American grocery stores. Seek it out and you will be happy.

GENOISE
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
3 eggs
2 yolks
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
½ cup plus 2 tbsp (155 mL) cake flour

PASSION-FRUIT CURD
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh passion-fruit purée
¼ tsp (1 mL) gelatin
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter


LIME SYRUP
⅓ cup (80 mL) sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice


PASSION-FRUIT MOUSSE
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (175 plus 30 mL) fresh passion-fruit purée
2¼ tsp (11 mL) gelatin
⅓ cup (80 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
¾ cup (175 mL) whipping cream

ITALIAN MERINGUE
3 egg whites
¾ cup (175 mL) sugar
½ cup (125 mL) water

 

1. For the genoise, place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 6-inch (15-cm) square cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and set aside.

3. Combine the eggs, yolks, sugar and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved.

4. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is tripled in volume, thick and foamy. It should form a slowly dissolving ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

5. Sift one-third of the flour over the beaten eggs and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 stages. Whisk about ½ cup (125 mL) of the egg mixture into the melted butter, then add the butter mixture back into the egg-and-flour mixture. Fold just to combine. Divide the batter into the 2 pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. (The cake can be prepared in advance and stored for 1 day, well wrapped, at room temperature. Alternatively, the cake can be frozen and thawed just before the final assembly.)

6. For the passion-fruit curd, measure 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the passion-fruit purée into a small bowl, add the gelatin and stir to combine; set aside.

7. Combine the remaining passion-fruit purée and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot.

8. Whisk together the egg and yolk, then slowly whisk in the hot passion-fruit mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk over low heat until the mixture thickens without boiling.

9. Off the heat, whisk in the gelatin until dissolved, followed by the butter. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (The passion-fruit curd can be made 2 days in advance.)

10. For the lime syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cool completely and add the lime juice. (The syrup can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for 1 day.)

11. To assemble the cake, line a 6-inch (15-cm) square pan with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap extends up and over the sides of the pan.

12. Using a serrated knife, cut both genoise layers horizontally in 2 to create 4 layers in all. (You will need only 3 layers for the finished cake. The remaining layer can be wrapped and frozen for future use)

13. Place 1 cake layer in the bottom of the pan and, using a pastry brush, moisten the cake with one-third of the lime syrup. Spread half of the passion-fruit curd overtop in an even layer; set the pan aside.

14. For the passion-fruit mousse, place 2 tbsp (30 mL) of passion-fruit purée into a small bowl, add the gelatin and stir to combine; set aside.

15. Combine half of the remaining passion-fruit purée and the sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. Off the heat, add the reserved gelatin mixture, remaining passion-fruit purée and lemon juice, and whisk to dissolve. Place the bowl over another bowl of ice water until the mixture is cool to the touch.

16. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream to medium-stiff peaks and fold into the passion-fruit mixture. (The mousse will be quite loose.) Pour half of the mousse over the first cake layer in the pan.

17. Top with another cake layer, lime syrup, the remaining passion-fruit curd and remaining mousse. Finish with the third cake layer and lime syrup. Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

18. For the Italian meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, cover and bring to the boil. Remove the cover, continue boiling the sugar and, when it reaches 235°F (113°C) on an instant-read or candy thermometer, begin beating the egg whites at medium speed. Beat the whites to soft peaks and when the sugar syrup reaches 248°F (120°C), gradually pour it into the egg whites. Increase to high speed and continue beating the meringue to stiff glossy peaks.

19. Turn the cake out of the pan, remove the plastic wrap, and turn over again so the top side is up. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cake to a serving plate. Spread a thin coat of meringue over the cake to “fix” the crumbs. Spread another layer of meringue on the sides and dollop meringue on the top. Create swoops and peaks by lifting and swirling the spatula. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the meringue. The cake can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

 

Serves 6 to 8

What to Serve

F201701029.jpg
food and drink

Lime and Passion-Fruit Layer Cake

Winter 2017

BY: Joanne Yolles

Just looking at the number of steps involved with this cake might make anyone turn the page, but please don’t. It can all be managed over a couple of days, and trust me, it’s worth it. In order for the cake to set properly, it should be assembled and chilled overnight, leaving the meringue as the last step. Sweet and tart at the same time, this cake is light and bursting with flavour. Fresh, unsweetened passion-fruit purée, usually sold frozen, can be found in Latin-American grocery stores. Seek it out and you will be happy.

GENOISE
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
3 eggs
2 yolks
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
½ cup plus 2 tbsp (155 mL) cake flour

PASSION-FRUIT CURD
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh passion-fruit purée
¼ tsp (1 mL) gelatin
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter


LIME SYRUP
⅓ cup (80 mL) sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice


PASSION-FRUIT MOUSSE
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (175 plus 30 mL) fresh passion-fruit purée
2¼ tsp (11 mL) gelatin
⅓ cup (80 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
¾ cup (175 mL) whipping cream

ITALIAN MERINGUE
3 egg whites
¾ cup (175 mL) sugar
½ cup (125 mL) water

 

1. For the genoise, place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 6-inch (15-cm) square cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and set aside.

3. Combine the eggs, yolks, sugar and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved.

4. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is tripled in volume, thick and foamy. It should form a slowly dissolving ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

5. Sift one-third of the flour over the beaten eggs and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 stages. Whisk about ½ cup (125 mL) of the egg mixture into the melted butter, then add the butter mixture back into the egg-and-flour mixture. Fold just to combine. Divide the batter into the 2 pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. (The cake can be prepared in advance and stored for 1 day, well wrapped, at room temperature. Alternatively, the cake can be frozen and thawed just before the final assembly.)

6. For the passion-fruit curd, measure 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the passion-fruit purée into a small bowl, add the gelatin and stir to combine; set aside.

7. Combine the remaining passion-fruit purée and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot.

8. Whisk together the egg and yolk, then slowly whisk in the hot passion-fruit mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk over low heat until the mixture thickens without boiling.

9. Off the heat, whisk in the gelatin until dissolved, followed by the butter. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (The passion-fruit curd can be made 2 days in advance.)

10. For the lime syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cool completely and add the lime juice. (The syrup can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for 1 day.)

11. To assemble the cake, line a 6-inch (15-cm) square pan with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap extends up and over the sides of the pan.

12. Using a serrated knife, cut both genoise layers horizontally in 2 to create 4 layers in all. (You will need only 3 layers for the finished cake. The remaining layer can be wrapped and frozen for future use)

13. Place 1 cake layer in the bottom of the pan and, using a pastry brush, moisten the cake with one-third of the lime syrup. Spread half of the passion-fruit curd overtop in an even layer; set the pan aside.

14. For the passion-fruit mousse, place 2 tbsp (30 mL) of passion-fruit purée into a small bowl, add the gelatin and stir to combine; set aside.

15. Combine half of the remaining passion-fruit purée and the sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. Off the heat, add the reserved gelatin mixture, remaining passion-fruit purée and lemon juice, and whisk to dissolve. Place the bowl over another bowl of ice water until the mixture is cool to the touch.

16. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream to medium-stiff peaks and fold into the passion-fruit mixture. (The mousse will be quite loose.) Pour half of the mousse over the first cake layer in the pan.

17. Top with another cake layer, lime syrup, the remaining passion-fruit curd and remaining mousse. Finish with the third cake layer and lime syrup. Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

18. For the Italian meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, cover and bring to the boil. Remove the cover, continue boiling the sugar and, when it reaches 235°F (113°C) on an instant-read or candy thermometer, begin beating the egg whites at medium speed. Beat the whites to soft peaks and when the sugar syrup reaches 248°F (120°C), gradually pour it into the egg whites. Increase to high speed and continue beating the meringue to stiff glossy peaks.

19. Turn the cake out of the pan, remove the plastic wrap, and turn over again so the top side is up. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cake to a serving plate. Spread a thin coat of meringue over the cake to “fix” the crumbs. Spread another layer of meringue on the sides and dollop meringue on the top. Create swoops and peaks by lifting and swirling the spatula. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the meringue. The cake can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

 

Serves 6 to 8

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