Our Memorial Day celebration concluded with a lovely dinner at at a friend's house, to which we brought wine and dessert. This friend is one of those on whom I am not hesitatant to inflict culinary experiments, and this cake was one. I began with a simple vanilla cake base from my Boston Cream Pie recipe (credit my friend LCS). It is a single-layer cake, which I sliced in two horizontally with a serrated bread knife. I heated passionfruit jam a bit to make it thinner, and mixed it well to make it smooth. This I spread generously on the first layer. After adding the second layer, I used a pastry brush to glaze it and the sides with the thinned jam. Then I added the fruit: fresh strawberry halves and whole blueberries, canned apricot halves and peach slices. Using the brush again, I glazed the fruit with the jam.
I must say we were all very happy with it! Apricot or currant jams are more traditional for this sort of dessert, but I think the passion fruit flavor made this cake the success it was.
What I plan to do differently next time (and there will be a next time):
- Use a higher percentage of whole wheat flour in the cake. (This time I used a 50/50 mixture of white whole wheat and all-purpose flours).
- Use less sugar in the cake (the recipe calls for 1 cup, but I think less would work well—the jam makes it sweet enough).
- Possibly make the inner layer of jam thinner.
- Use fresh fruit exclusively if I can't find firmer canned fruit; the apricots and peaches were rather mushy—though that did make cutting the cake easier than firm fruit would have.