Monday, May 23, 2011

Passion Fruit Sponge Cakes

I love finding new and unique products.  While strolling through a new Super Wally World in my area, I was drawn to the international aisle.  So many fun ingredients and foods! My eyes and stomach are screaming at the chance to partake in all the variety.  To me, the real test of any international aisle excellence is the  presence of peanut butter flavored "Bamba" from Israel.  In a blue bag with a cartoon boy on the front, these morsels of puffed peanut butter will leave you craving for more. SOOO GOOD! This store had everything...including passion fruit pulp.  So exotic, I just had to try. No idea what to do with it but no worries, the inspiration would come.

Adapted from a ricotta pound cake, I topped these individual cakes with a slightly sweetened passion fruit puree.  Once the warm cakes had been covered, they transformed into more of sponge cake.  Not heavy in the slightest, I could eat all of these in a sitting...but I wont, for now at least.

An experiment in baking = successful

Passion Fruit Sponge Cakes
Adapted from Proud Italian Cook

1 1/2 c. cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 c. + 4 Tbl. Passion Fruit Pulp, divided
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and position rack in center. Grease and flour pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. With your mixer cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 2 min's. Beat eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and passion fruit pulp. On low speed beat in the dry ingredients. Scrape down and beat for 30 seconds more.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth down with a spatula. Gently whack pan on counter to remove air pockets. Bake just for 10 min's, then turn pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Bake an additional 6 min  till cake springs back lightly, the sides start to pull away, and when it comes out clean in the center.
* If using 9 inch loaf pan, cooking time will be longer.  Check after 20-25 min.

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