Passion Fruit Cake

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
9 ½ ounces all-purpose flour

4 ounces cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
13 ounces sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces milk, at room temperature

1 recipe Swiss Buttercream

4 ounces passion fruit puree
1 recipe Passion Fruit Curd

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the milk, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cakes start to shrink away from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks and finish cooling completely.

 

In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the buttercream and passion fruit puree until smooth, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

 

Using a long serrated knife, level the tops of the cake layers. Place a dollop of the buttercream onto a 9-inch cake circle and top with one cake layer cut side down. Transfer about a quarter of the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a circle around the top edge of the cake layer. Spread the curd evenly on top of the cake layer inside of the circle of buttercream. The circle of buttercream will act as a dam to keep the curd from oozing out. Top with the remaining cake layer cut side down. Spread and pipe the remaining buttercream evenly over the top and sides of the cake in a decorative manner. Cut into portions and serve.

Makes 1 9-inch cake, serving 8. In addition to the passion fruits for the curd recipe, you will need 6 to 7 passion fruits to make the buttercream in this recipe. When buying passion fruits, look for fruit that's shrinkled—that's my word for shrunken and wrinkled—and trust me when I say there's no better way to describe a ripe passion fruit. To make passion fruit puree, halve the passion fruits, scoop out the flesh using a spoon, and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. Cake keeps for 2 to 3 days tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

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