Passion Fruit Mousse Cake – Delicious sponge cake soaked with passion fruit juice, and filled with a light and tangy passion fruit mousse.
This cake was a special request by my boyfriend. He was coming to visit me in Cincinnati last year and asked for a Passion Fruit Cake “just like the one at the Brazilian restaurants”.
I had never made Passion Fruit Cake, or even tasted one before so I knew this was going to require some research.
After looking through tons of recipes in Portuguese (thank you Google Translator!), I sort of knew what I needed to make.
A traditional Brazilian Passion Fruit Cake or “Bolo de Maracujá” consists of a sponge cake that is moistened with passion fruit juice and then topped with a mousse. The cake is frosted with whipped cream and served chilled.
It makes a very delicious dessert that will make you feel as if you are lounging on the sand of Ipanema Beach.
So, I made up a recipe and took a shot at it. My next challenge was find passion fruit in Ohio. I got lucky because I was close to a huge international supermarket called Jungle Jim’s. I bought some fresh passion fruits and frozen passion fruit pulp (from the Spanish frozen foods section).
I began making the cake a day before my boyfriend was scheduled to arrive. Even though it has many different components to it, it is actually very simple to make. Before I knew it, the cake was assembled and was chilling in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, I frosted the cake and topped it with pineapple flowers. Instead of whipped cream, I made a meringue frosting because I wanted it to hold onto the cake better.
A few hours later, my boyfriend arrived and it was the moment of truth! I cut him a generous slice and waited impatiently as he took his first bite. He devoured the whole slice in 30 seconds, then looked up at me, “Can I have another slice?”. After his second slice, he told me that it was just like the Brazilian restaurant’s but even better!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup passion fruit juice (pour fresh juice over sieve to remove seeds and pulp)
- ½ cup mineral water
- 1 envelope gelatin
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 egg whites
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup passion fruit concentrate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 egg whites
- ⅔ cup passion fruit juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare 3 8-in round cake pans by lightly greasing and flouring them. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating on high speed for about 3 more minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Reduce speed. Add juice and mineral water.
- Gently stir in dry ingredients.
- Evenly distribute batter into prepared cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cook in pans for 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, bloom gelatin by sprinkling it over 3 tbsp water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until firm peaks.
- In a blender, blend condensed milk and passion fruit concentrate.
- Stir in cream and dissolved gelatin.
- Transfer to large bowl and fold in egg whites.
- Cover and chill in refrigerator until firm.
- Combine sugar and water in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Simmer without stirring until syrup-like.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- On medium speed, carefully add sugar syrup in a slow steady stream down the side of the bowl.
- Beat on high speed until fluffy, light, and cool (about 7 minutes).
- Line an 8-inch springform pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place on cake layer in pan, then brush layer with 3 tbsp of passion fruit juice. Add 1 cup of mousse to layer and spread evenly.
- Gently place second layer and repeat process.
- Add final layer and brush with remaining passion fruit juice.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (minimum 2 hours).
- Remove from refrigerator, and gently remove from pan.
- Cover cake with frosting and serve!
- Add pineapple flowers as a decoration. Instruction can be found here.