Earl Grey and Passionfruit Cake
Moist, fragrant and delicious layers of Earl Grey tea infused cake with passionfruit curd and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream sandwiched between the layers.
Makes a 3-layered, 6 inch round cake.
Earl Grey cake
3 Earl Grey tea bags
½ cup boiling water
¾ cup milk
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and ¼ cup castor sugar
2 ½ cups self-raising flour
¾ cup passionfruit pulp/puree
1 tsp lemon juice
¾ cup castor sugar
4 egg yolks
125 g unsalted butter, chilled
Vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup castor sugar
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
Yellow gel food colour (optional)
To make the Earl Grey cake
Empty the tea bags into a coffee mug/cup. Pour the boiling water and milk into the mug. Leave aside.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C for fan forced ovens). Grease the base and sides of 3, 6 inch round pans and line the bases with baking paper.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat till blended. Add the flour and the Earl Grey mixture and beat until combined. The mixture will look speckled and curdled but that is fine.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Leave aside for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides gently with a blunt knife, then turn each layer onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the passionfruit curd
Place the passionfruit pulp, lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks and butter in a medium saucepan. Over low heat, cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and leave aside to cool. The curd will thicken further upon cooling. Refrigerate until needed.
To make the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Place the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl that is placed over a saucepan of simmering water (over low heat). Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the bowl is just warm to touch.
Remove the bowl from heat and whip on high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks and looks glossy. The bowl should have completely cooled by now.
Add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until thick and fluffy. If it looks curdled, continue to whip until it comes back together, before adding the remaining butter.
When the buttercream is smooth, add the vanilla paste/extract and food colour (if using) and whip again gently to blend.
Once cake layers have cooled down completely, start assembling. On a cake board or serving plate, spread a little buttercream in the centre and place the first layer. Spread 3 tablespoons of the passionfruit curd. Using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, pipe buttercream kisses over the passionfruit curd. Place the second layer. Repeat until the last layer has been placed in the same way. Decorate with sprinkles/macarons/edible glitter/flowers or any decoration of your choice.
The cake can be chilled to enjoy later but is best, served at room temperature. Enjoy!