Saturday, April 26, 2008

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream

We just got through day 13. I'm suffering from umbrella fatigue. Yes, it's been the 13th day of continuous rain in Sydney; from drought to drenching, the pendulum does swing both ways. And I guess now it's official, autumn is here, and I have to say a begrudging thank you for making it so obvious that you've arrived. Say hello to soaked hems, muddy feet and one constantly wet dog. I'll just try to think of it as one less bath I have to give him.

I know posting on the blog has been quite scanty of late, must be that crisp autumn air forcing me into hibernation. But the advantage of this is that my motivation for baking grows even the more as the weather gets colder. Keeping those oven fires burning is one way of staving off the chills.

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream

Sydney houses, are notoriously known for not being able to stand up to the colder months. Many overseas friends living here who come from much colder climes always gripe about the inadequate amount of insulation in our houses. And coupled with the lack of central heating in most homes, it makes the winter months even more unbearable.

Our comparably mild winter probably doesn't warrant builders making houses with central heating a standard thing, but no matter where you're from cold is cold, especially at 6am when the dread of getting out of bed to take a shower overcomes you. I guess keeping the oven on is one way to get around this minor setback.

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream

I made these cakes earlier this month but decided to give it an encore appearance at around day 7 of our marathon rainfest, while holed up at home just watching the spate of storms come and go. It was either build an ark or bake a cake and seeing as I was sitting on a pile of passionfruit, I made some cakes. If I was going to go down in a deluge, I might as well go down with cake.

With my priorities in the right place, I spent the better part of a day baking. With no central heating in our house, Jack (the dog) and I spent the rainy afternoon in front of the blazing oven, our makeshift fireplace. I'm sure he spends his time loitering around the oven just in case a rouge piece of food happens to accidentally fall out and magically land in his strategically poised mouth. He's quite the optimist, but it's still nice to have his company, no matter what the motives. He likes to think of himself as the sous chef, although most of the time he's more like the cleaner, mopping up spilled ingredients. He doesn't mind.

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream, Passionfruit

Right now, passionfruits are ubiquitous, so there's every reason for you to buy a whole lot. Here in Sydney we get the smaller round and wrinkled variety that have that distinct deep purple colour. They look quite strange and unassuming on the outside, and they weigh almost nothing but once you cut through that purple woody exterior there's a wonderfully rich and intensely brilliant daffodil yellow pulp inside.

By itself the pulp can be a little too tart to eat, but ripple a few spoonfuls through some vanilla ice cream or yoghurt and you have yourself a killer dessert. And if you are familiar with the Australian picnic staple, the pavlova, then you know that it's the passionfruit that gives it its bite.

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream

The cakes are actually lime flavoured, but only subtlety. The passionfruit syrup is what gives the cake its kick. And like many other tangy fruits, a little bit of sugar takes this a dish a long way and livens it up a bit more. Add a dollop of whipped cream and you have all the insulation you need to get through a rainy day.

Baby Lime Cakes with Passionfruit syrup and cream
Serves 10
Recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller

Baby lime cakes with passionfruit syrup and cream

FOR THE LIME CAKES
125g soft butter
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
2 tbsp finely grated lime rind
3 eggs
120g (½ cup) sour cream or plain yoghurt
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour

PASSIONFRUIT SYRUP
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) lime juice
3 passionfruit, pulp only

PASSIONFRUIT CREAM
300ml thickened cream
1 passionfruit, pulp only (optional)
30g pure icing sugar, sieved

Preheat oven to 170ºC.
Beat butter, sugar and rind using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add eggs and beat to combine, then add sour cream or yoghurt and beat to combine.
Fold in flour, then spoon mixture among 8 greased and floured 150ml-capacity dariole moulds and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Cool for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For syrup, combine all ingredients and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until syrupy. Makes about 1 cup.

For cream, combine ingredients and whisk until soft peaks form.
Refrigerate until required.
To serve, pour half the warm syrup over cool cakes and serve with passionfruit cream and extra syrup passed separately.

68 comments:

Felicia said...

Hope you stay dry. Those cakes look delicious :)

VeggieGirl said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry that you're enduring so much rain!! I do hope that you will have continuous GOOD weather, very soon.

Those Baby Lime Cakes are positively stunning - your food-photography is always so impeccable and awe-inspiring!

Rachel said...

Oh yum! I wish passion fruit was easier to find here. So dramatic!

Mandy said...

gorgeous looking cakes! I have yet to try passion fruits, because I don't seem to see them at my neck of the wood at all. But it would be worth the hunt for this recipe. :)

Isa said...

It looks very, ver and I emphazise on the very DELICIOUS. Beutiful pictures too.
Thanks for sharing!

Cass said...

These cakes look lovely and I'm sick of the Sydney rain too, although it's a beautiful sunny day today

Gretchen Noelle said...

This looks wonderful! I love passionfruit! I have never done anything other than bake with it, but I am loving this syrup recipe, I am sure to use it!

Allison said...

oh my, this looks like pure love. I love passionfruit, but I've never seen a whole one before... I think this means I need to go on a passionfruit hunt! Because this is so beautiful!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Those cakes look stunning :) I flipping love passionfruit, but it is always expensive here in NZ. Oh for the days when we had a passionfruit vine...and I LOVE it on top of a pav :) Hope the weather improves soon for you!

Aran said...

Simply delicious! Like a ray of much needed sunshine!

Syrie said...

13 Days?! Sounds like Vancouver! comiserations. Well at least all that miserable weather is dampening your gorgeous creativity!

Cyndi said...

Those cakes are so cute! Passion fruit is my most favorite fruit in the world! Right now, passion fruits are $3 each to buy here in California........how much do you pay there?

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Passion fruit...my weakness! Those cakes look so cute! I love mini cakes and when you add passionfruit you just make me want to eat them right now!

CollyWolly said...

Just beautiful, I cant imagine life without passionfruit!! Hah! Jen, your'e a girl after my own heart. Why go down if you cant go down with cake eh??? It makes up for all the little injustices in life..... :) Stay warm and pats to Jack xx

gkbloodsugar said...

13 days of rain, and you manage to keep a tight grasp on the sunshine through cake!

Good goin', Jen.

Cathie said...

These look totally FANTASTIC and I'm jealous of the availability of passionfruit. They just don't have it over here in the US, or at least where I live in Virginia (I'm Aussie, but lived here for 10 years). I'm off to Florida next week for hols, so I'm hoping to find some passionfruit down there!!

Marc @ norecipes said...

Oh man, to say this looks delicious would be a grave understatement! I really wish passion fruit were more affordable here.

abby said...

gorgeous looking little leopard cakes!

jasmine said...

These cakes are so adorable...really like the contrast of the light-coloured sponge with the black seeds...

j

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Lael said...

Mmm, those passion fruit seeds take me back to burrowing through the vine behind our house in NZ for the first ripe fruit when their season began. I actually don't remember if I've had them since, but I can still remember their taste and texture. If I get my hands on them again, I will certainly make this cake!

Cakelaw said...

In a word, "yum"! Glad to hear that the rain has finally stopped in Sydney - you can rediscover the sun.

Gloria said...

Look beautiful and delicious!!!xx really nice Gloria

Katy said...

yum!!! it's raining here today too -- what a great excuse to drool over your rainy-week creation! hope you get some sunshine soon.

Betty C. said...

These are beautiful. I love your new heading too (maybe it's not new -- I haven't been by in a while.)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Oh my gosh, that looks amazing! Sorry I have not been blogging lately! I have been taping shows. What was I thinking?? Hah! Maybe it is a good thing I wasn't thinking! If you get a minute, check it out. I'd love to hear what you think. I am inviting all my blog friends over for feedback. http://www.dishingwithdebbie.com Your stories are great and my whole idea behind this show is for other moms to share real stories like you do. Sponsors are donating neat prizes like chocolate baskets and mini-chef aprons and way cool cookery stuff. Anyway, I'd love to hear from you.

Bron said...

Mmmm these look absolutely stunning Jen! Adore passionfruit!

CIA-Cooking In An Apron said...

Hope you see a rainbow at the end of the rain cuz these cakes sure did bring sunlight to my day. They are totally going into my "make soon" pile!! I LOVE passionfruit! Thanks for sharing!

noobcook said...

Your photos are AMAZING! :)~

Christina said...

Rain, rain, go away!

Stellar recipe and amazing pictures!

Manuela said...

It looks delicious :-) Great photos!

diva@theSugarBar said...

this looks well good. so pretty and perfect!

Alfie said...

I always love reading your blog and I've left you an award for creativity and design for all your lovely pics (it's on my blog if you'd like to pick it up!)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oooo, delicious photographs! Just stumbled in here (out of the rain) from somewhere else and am transfixed by your pix. Lovely!
Pigx

Sha said...

This recipe reminds me my exotic cheesecake with passion caramel ! This version is...wow !! I love "baby things"

CupcakeLady said...

What delicious cakes! I bet they taste great.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Today we are having a true Cape Town winters day and I just love it.....
These lime cakes look fantastic and I will let you know how mine turned out.Thx for sharing your recipe.

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Mikiye Creations said...

Your photos are AMAZING and I JUST WANT TO EAT THOSE DELICIOUS CAKES!

Wonderful!
I am SOOO Going to have to try and makes these some day...my oven doesn't work very well so I do not bake like I would want to.
...looking at your blog gives me such a desire!

Nan said...

Wow, your cakes look delicious! That sucks about the rain and impending cold, though. There's nothing worse than the mid-night run to the freezing bathroom :(

ovenhaven said...

Beautiful presentation! I don't believe I've ever seen passionfruit syrup paired with lime cakes before, but this looks too good to miss out on!

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vegeyum said...

How beautiful your cakes look. Yes, I know what rain can be like in Sydney. It must be aweful. Although here it has been so dry for so long I think I would welcome even 13 days of rain. we have had a bit, but not in catchment areas so it is still pretty dire.

lululu said...

The cakes look yummy and beautiful! I've never thought of using passion fruit this way.

Orchidea said...

It looks very nice!!!
Ciao.

caryn said...

hi! i was looking for recipes and i stumbled upon your blog. love it! great pictures and you make the recipes really easy to comprehend. i hope to try a couple of them soon. cheers!

Carmen said...

your blog is wonderful
beautiful beautiful

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Mara said...

those look amazing, i love the seeds visually. i need to get my hands on some of those "dariole moulds" ... that look is fab.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

I hope it stops raing soon! Your blog is such eye-candy, so pretty.

June said...

I've never had passion fruit but this cakes sound so good!

I gave you a Yummy Blog award! http://thymeforfood.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-blog-is-yummy.html

zoe / puku said...

mmmm, Jen.. lime. passionfruit. cake. cream. and looks really beautiful to boot! (hmm, tho I think I'd still be drooling if you'd just plonked it together!)

Ten Minutes to Digest said...

I'm going to join the crowd in saying that these cakes are STUNNING. I think you could make a dirty bowl of cardboard look appetizing. I always enjoy seeing what you post.

Chrystel said...

It looks so delicious !!
I am discovering your blog at this moment. It's marvellous.
Kisses from Brittany (France)
Chrys

Hillary said...

I love the way the passionfruit seeds decorate the cake themselves. I'm sorry about all the rain!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Wow, those shots are absolutely gorgeous! Plus the recipe has all my favourite ingredients - thanks! i'm going to give these a go.

Aline said...

I made this cake this morning and it's delicious!! I cut a little bit of the butter an used less passionfruit - only 2 - because they were really big. They were just the way I expected: soft, tangy and pure pleasure!! I didn't make the cream, though, but I really dind't miss it. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

Chocolate Shavings said...

Those look absolutely delicious, and I am sure they helped cope with the cold weather. I have always loved passion fruit, so I will definitely have to try those!

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Yuri said...

Hi jen jen, absolutely gorgeous blog with fantastic photos. I have been playing with passionfruits lately and have another 3 to use! They are getting really wrinkled given the warm temps here in SG...

julia said...

Truly stunning photos. The cakes look delicious. Please come and visit me at my blog..photos not stunning but food and my view of the world are fun. Keep up the great work
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Bellini Valli said...

These little gems will cure you of the rainy day blues. Thirteen days of rain though sounds and awful lot like our Vancouver coastal winters....rain, rain, rain:D

Dondon said...

Cake with a passion fruit on it..That's really new to me...I used to eat passion fruit have a pinch of salt in it..then scoop it up..
Thanks for sharing it...

Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi there~

Lovely photos and nicely written piece. I hope I can find passion fruit at my local markets soon so I can make this myself^^

The Food Traveller said...

Super lovely!!!
I will do this but with a strawberry custard on sunday (I think)

LOLA said...

hola aunque con el traductor me sigue siendo dificil enterarme de tus recetas quiero decirte que tardo mas en asimilarlas pero tu blogs me gusta

Kristen said...

I'm sorry to read about such rain. California has spoiled me entirely too much, but I remember the rainy days of Massachusetts!

Those cakes look fabulous. I must find a pan for them. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

I like your blog a lot. Just wondering, do you recommend any baking cook book? I'm thinking of getting one, I'm a beginner in baking.

S