Sunday, October 20, 2013
Passion fruits are my favorite fruits, distinguishable for their intriguing look and flavor, a rare seedy texture, and a very strong sour taste. They come from South America but their flavor and taste remind me of other remote parts of our planet. Among others, they grace the famous Australian Pavlova dessert and give flavor to some white wines from Australia and New Zealand.
When I lived in Geneva I experimented with passion fruits a lot. They were inexpensive and always available. In our Washington area passion fruits are very seasonal and hard to get. So I have learned to replace the fresh passion fruits with their frozen pulp or bottled juice.
Last week, however, while shopping in my local Safeway in the exotic fruit section, I noticed a small pile of passion fruits. A cashier was surprised that such these inconspicuous fruits cost three dollars a piece and even more so that I took five of them. But having access to them only occasionally I buy a few, scoop up the pulp, place in a small container, and freeze for couple of months until a special occasion comes.
But today, without a special occasion, I share a recipe for a light passion fruit-yogurt mousse. It is a bit complicated dessert, as I bake the biscuit base myself, but I believe that, at the end, it is very delicate and rewarding.
Passion Fruit and Yogurt Mousse Cake
(For a 10-inch form with removable walls):
3 eggs at room temperature,
3 tbsp all purpose flour,
3 tbsp. sugar plus 3 tbsp sugar extra for the syrup.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the cake form with butter and dust it with flour.
2. Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until almost stiff. Add gradually, one by one, three tbsps of sugar. Fold in gently three yolks and, at the end, the sifted flour. Gently mix the batter and pour it in the baking form.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it becomes gold. Let it cool completely.
4. Remove the cake from the form. Spread a large piece of aluminum or plastic foil on the bottom of the form, make sure that the foil is large enough to overhangs the rim of the form. Put the cake back in the form.
5. Mix sugar with 1/2 cup hot water. Cool to room temperature and using spoon sprinkle evenly all over the base.
14 oz (about 1 and 1/2 cup) defrosted passion fruit pulp or juice,
2 tbsp unflavored gelatin,
2/3 cup sugar,
1/2 cup 2 percent Greek yogurt,
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 passion fruits,
1 lemon jello pack or one sachet of Dr. Oetker clear glaze.
1. In a small bowl, mix gelatin with 3 tbsps of cold water and let it soak in it for 5 minutes. Put the pulp or juice in a medium pot, add sugar, heat the pot until sugar melts and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Add gelatin to the juice, mix well, and let it stand aside until it cools down to room temperature.
2. Beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff. Mix gently with yogurt. Fold in a half of the cream-yogurt mixture to the passion fruit mixture. Follow with the second part, mix gently again, and transfer the whole mousse on the pre-soaked base. Smooth the top and refrigerate for 4 hours until it is set.
3. Cut passion fruits in halves and using a teaspoon scoop out the flesh. Spread it on top of the mousse.
4. Prepare jello according to instruction and before it sets spread on top of the cake. If you use Dr. Oetker's clear glaze, just add 2 tbsps of sugar and 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and cover the fruits. Cool down again until everything is set.
Before serving remove the walls of the cake form. Peel off the foil. Cut and serve and enjoy.