Fruits

Tarunima Sinha’s recipe for panna cotta cake | Easter

A sponge soaked in passion fruit panna cotta makes a delicate spring cake. It can be prepared two days in advance and stored in the fridge.

Serves 8-10
For the sponge
eggs 5 large
golden caster sugar 150g
self-raising flour 150g
butter 50g, melted and slightly cooled, plus extra for greasing
passion fruit puree 60ml (available online, or pulp from 4-5 passion fruit with seeds removed)
vanilla extract ½ tsp
fine salt ½ tsp

For the panna cotta
gelatin sheets
double cream 400ml
whole milk 100ml
golden caster sugar 100g
passion fruit puree 60ml

For the cream
double cream 200ml
icing sugar 40g
vanilla extract ¼ tsp

To decorate (optional)
passion fruit pulp of 1
edible petals a few
icing sugar a dusting

Preheat the oven to 160C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm round springform cake tin with butter and line the base and side with baking parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric hand whisk, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until it has trebled in volume. This can take 10-12 minutes.

Once it is light and voluminous, sift in the self-raising flour in 2 or 3 additions, each time very gently folding it into the egg and sugar mixture, until no traces of flour are visible in the batter.

In a small jug, combine the cooled melted butter and the passion fruit puree. Add the vanilla extract and salt.

Pour the butter and passion fruit mixture very gently into the cake batter. Try to maintain the volume of the batter, taking care not to deflate it.

Then pour the batter gently into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. The cake is ready when it has risen and is light golden in colour. A skewer should come out clean when inserted in the middle. Let the cake cool in its tin for about 10 minutes.

After the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin, peel off the parchment and place it on a 20cm cake card or a plate. Now put the springform ring from the tin back around the cake and clip it into position (without the base). You just need a collar around the cake. Prick the cake all over with the skewer and keep to one side.

While the cake is baking in the oven, you can prepare the panna cotta mixture. In a small bowl, add very cold water and place in the gelatin sheets. Soften for 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, add the cream, milk and sugar, and heat on medium until it simmers and the sugar has dissolved (do not let it boil). Switch off the heat. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out the excess liquid, then add the gelatine to the warm cream mixture. Add the passion fruit puree, giving the mixture a gentle stir, and strain it into a jug. Keep it to one side until the cake is cooked and cooled.

When the cake is ready, gently pour the panna cotta mixture over it. The cake will start absorbing the mixture. Keep adding until all the mixture has been used up. Gently tap the cake to remove any air bubbles and place it in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, take the cake out of the fridge and run a warm spatula around it to release the tin ring.

Whip the double cream to soft peaks. Add the icing sugar and vanilla. Spoon the mixture on top of the chilled panna cotta cake, and drizzle with the passion fruit pulp. Decorate with a few flower petals and a dusting of icing sugar.

Tarunima Sinha is owner of baking delivery business My Little Cake Tin

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