Oh BTW, I met Rose and Woody her fab assistant yesterday at the Baker's Dozen meeting in San Francisco and what a great event!
Rose offered for us to make one of 10 different recipes from her book and I made this one!
And others made pound cakes, cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, angel cakes... and we feasted! What I loved was comparing two other people's passion cakes to mine. All three had their merits but one of the members, David said, "I think I like this cake, your filling and my soak..this would have been the perfect cake!" Funny how all three were so different... I know what I did differently than the recipe, I used all cake flour instead of cornstarch and cake flour mixed. Next time I will do that since the cake made with the mix was noticeably lighter in texture.
The other two also made more cake and stacked it up with three and four layers, I used the one specified in the recipe which I thought worked out fine.
Also, at the event they passed out literature on the Perfect Puree that is now sold at specialty stores (all over California, anyway)... The Whole Foods carries it in the frozen food section and they seem to be in almost every state so if you have one of those try there for the passion fruit and other fruit purees.
They are great to work with and you get a fresh fruit flavor as opposed to artificial flavorings.
OK, BACK TO THE RECIPE!!
Passion Fruit syrup
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup passion fruit puree plus 2 Tablespoons measured separately
In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, place the sugar, and rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar with your fingers. Add the pod, the 1/2 cup of puree and stir until the sugar is moistened. Bring to a roiling boil and then turn off the heat, cover with the lid and let cool completely. Transfer the syrup to a cup with a spout, like a glass measuring cup, and add the 2 Tbl. of extra puree.
WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
This buttercream is made in two stages, first the white chocolate custard and then the completed buttercream.
3.5 ounces white chocolate with cocoa butter
3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (eggs at room temperature)
In a double boiler over barely simmering water melt together the butter and the white chocolate.
Stir until smooth and creamy, don't let this get too hot or it will break...
Whisk the egg and yolk together and then add it to the white chocolate mix. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens slightly. An instant read thermometer should read 140F
Remove it from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
You can cover the bowl and refrigerate to speed up the cooling process. The mixture should be 65F - 70F on the thermometer when it is ready to add to the following:
Completed white chocolate buttercream
6 ounces cream cheese
3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature(
1/2 tablespoon sour cream (or creme fraiche)
white chocolate custard base
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitting with the whisk, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Beat in the sour cream or creme fraiche until very smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides if needed.
Gradually beat in the cooled custard base and vanilla. Raise the speed to medium high and beat until smooth, light and creamy.
Compose the cake:
Using a long serrated knife and your fingertips to remove the top crust.
Remove the parchment and scrape off the bottom crust.
Clean the knife and cut the genoise in half horizontally.
Brush or pour the syrup onto each layer of the cake. The cake will be very tender now and must be supported by a removable pan bottom or a cake cardboard when moving them.
Spread 3/4 cup of the curd over the bottom layer. Then top with the other layer.
Ice the cake with the buttercream and swirl the top with a small icing spatula. Refrigerate for about one hour and then apply small dabs of any remaining passion curd, and with the metal spatula, swirl them into the buttercream.
Serve at room temp or cold from the fridge... it will knock your socks off!!