ZESTY Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

recipe

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

I love the softness of this passion fruit cake. It uses three of my favourite tips to produce a light, soft and fluffy cake. Because cake is all about science (plus a little black magic or craziness)

1 - I use cake flour because the lower protein in cake flour produces a more tender crumbed cake

2 - I use acids like passion fruit and lemon/buttermilk to break down the protein strands

3 - I let the cake batter rest for 10 minutes in the tin before baking it in the oven. I know it sounds strange or crazy and I don't think that anybody else recommends that you do this but I think it allows the glutens to relax. I've never had a tough or hard cake when doing this. But make sure that it's 10 minutes and not longer as the baking powder starts to work after 10 minutes.

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

Now that we've sort of settled in (although there are still over a dozen unopened boxes) we've turned our attention to the kitchen situation. We need to move the kitchen to the back dining area to give it an indoor/outdoor vibe especially as there are big floor to ceiling windows that look out to the garden. Currently, the kitchen is a medieval pirate style kitchen that is tiny and dark with completely bonkers sinks and a gas oven that only works if you shove a garbage bin in front of it to close the door.

We quickly learned that what we needed was not an architect but an interior designer and so we searched around for some and a Dear Reader recommended one. We contacted them and the owner does a free 1 hour consultation via Zoom. I don't know if it was because it was towards the end of the day but they were very tired and a bit underwhelming. The next step was to pay them to come out and they said that they'd bring a designer with them which would be the main person we would work with and then they could come up with some ideas and a fee schedule with prices according to what we wanted. It was $350 for the visit and we had to pay it beforehand.

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

We paid the fee but they came alone without the designer and stayed for about 25 minutes and then left. I was baffled when they sent through the fee schedule which basically looked like their brochure. I didn't see any of my ideas referenced or any detail for the prices -the focus of this brochure were three very large warnings that they will stop work immediately if bills aren't paid. I was completely confused about what I paid $350 for since they could have just sent the brochure to me without coming out. The fees were also really exorbitant and were not based on an hourly basis but a project basis. I sent it onto a friend's husband who renovated their house and he found them just as confusing and his only comment was that it seemed very expensive for not very much. "I don't know..." I said to Mr NQN. I was reminded me of Mandy the real estate agent. The only reason we went with Mandy was that we were pressed for time and she was able to get our apartment on the market very quickly. I didn't want to be rushed into going with this interior designer that I didn't really vibe with.

That night, despondent at our options Mr NQN and I looked for another interior designer. We scrolled through Houzz and a lot of them were nice but most were Hamptons style renovations which are nice but not quite our design style. We wanted someone that could work with heritage properties.

"Omg stop! That one!" I said pointing at a picture. This one designer really stood out from a lot of the white palettes that we were seeing. Her designs were glamorous but melded modern touches with heritage details and there was the rich use of colour. It was just what we wanted.

I crossed my fingers and emailed her the next morning. Within an hour she had called me and we had a chat. She understood what I wanted and she also worked on a simple hourly basis. She also offered to come over and create some sketches and design our kitchen which is pretty much what I envisaged happening!

So tell me Dear Reader, how long did it take you to unpack all of your boxes? Do you have any kitchen design tips?

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3 readers

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8

  • 1 1/4 cup/185g/6.5ozs. cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 40g/1.4ozs desiccated coconut
  • 40g/1.4ozs shredded coconut
  • 150ml/5flozs passion fruit pulp
  • 125ml/4.2flozs buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 125g/4.2ozs butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup/165g/5.8ozs caster or superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut extra for decorating

Frosting

  • 300g/10.6ozs. pure icing sugar
  • 90g/3ozs. butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons passion fruit pulp

You can buy cake flour at the supermarket or you can make it by measuring your flour and then replacing 2 tablespoons of the flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch. Whisk to combine.

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

Step 1 - Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch round springform tin and preheat oven to 170C/340F/3.5 gas. In one jug sift in the flour then whisk in the baking powder and two types of coconut. In another jug measure the passion fruit pulp, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk.

Step 2 - Beat the butter and sugar for 6 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat between each addition. Add the flour and milk mixture to the butter in two or three lots at low speed. Scoop into the tin and allow to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before baking in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden on top and the centre springs back when gently touched. Cool completely. While the oven is still on add the extra shredded coconut and bake for 5 minutes until golden.

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake

Step 3 - Sift the icing sugar (or place in a food processor and whizz until all lumps disappear). Beat with the butter and 3 tablespoons of the passion fruit pulp (reserving 1 tablespoon) until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Spoon on top of the cake and add the coconut and the extra tablespoon of passion fruit.

Thermomix directions:

Step 1 - Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch round springform tin and preheat oven to 170C/340F/3.5 gas. In one jug sift in the flour then whisk in the baking powder and two types of coconut. In another jug measure the passion fruit pulp, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk.

Step 2 - Add the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and add the butterfly insert. Beat for 3 minutes at speed #4 until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and turn to speed #4 for 20 seconds and add eggs one at a time and beat for 5-10 seconds each. Add the flour and milk mixture to the bowl and set to 10 seconds at speed #4. Scoop into the tin and allow to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before baking in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden on top and the centre springs back when gently touched. Cool completely. While the oven is still on add the extra shredded coconut and bake for 5 minutes until golden.

Step 3 - Place the icing sugar in the Thermomix bowl and set to Speed #7, 15 seconds. Add the butter and insert butterfly. Beat for 2 minutes at speed #3. Then add 3 tablespoons of the passion fruit pulp (reserving 1 tablespoon) and beat for another 2 minutes at speed #3. Spoon on top of the cake and add the coconut and the extra tablespoon of passion fruit.

Passion Fruit Coconut Cake