Mango and passionfruit sponge and meringue cake

I prepared this cake for husband's birthday, which happens to be in summer lately, though he was born in winter (side effect of moving to Down Under). Hot summer days call for light but indulging cakes with plenty of fresh fruits: this one absolutely fits the bill!

The sponge disks (my grandmother`s no-scale recipe) alternating with the meringue ones brought together with freshly whipped cream, passionfruit puree and fresh mango and blueberry pieces create a lovely harmony! Originally, the chili I picked from the garden was really just for decoration but it was welcome by the men at the birthday party as a quirky twist with the light sweet and the heat, a bit of a Mexican touch if you like ;)


This cake was a tall one not just for design purpose but also as I needed a lot of portions, but you can prepare a smaller version with less layers. Naturally, this would be lovely with any other fruit variations, too.


For three pieces of 20cm sponge discs: 9 eggs at room temperature 9 tbsp of caster sugar 9 tbsp of standard flour Vanilla syrup for the sponge: 100g of caster sugar 5 tbsp of water 1/2 vanilla bean or a tbsp of vanilla essence For three pieces of meringue discs: 9 egg whites at room temperature pinch of salt couple of drops of vinegar 100 g of caster sugar 500 ml of whipping cream 4 tbsp of caster sugar 1 big mango 2 packs of blueberries 1,5 cup of passionfruit puree chili - optional for decoration and taste


For the sponge cakes heat the oven at 180C fan forced. Grease and line the bottom of 3 round (20cm) cake tins. Make the sugar syrup: mix the water and sugar and add the slit vanilla bean (if you use bean) in a small pot and bring it to the boil then stop the heat. If you use essence then add it after cooking. Put it aside. Separate the yolk and the white of the eggs into two bowls, add the sugar to the yolks and mix them until they become fluffy and lighter. Whip up the egg white separate, too. Fold in the egg whites into the yolk mix very gently in three additions adding some flour to the mix at each addition. Pour the batter in the cake tins and bake them for about 10 cm, or until the top springs back from a gentle touch and the edges start coming off the wall. After 10 minutes of cooling them turn them out from the tin and brush them up with the syrup. The syrup is essential for sponge cakes to make them moist and to infuse extra flavours. For the meringue discs warm the oven to 180C degree. Prepare one big or two small (depending on your oven) trays lined with baking paper. Start whipping the egg whites with the pinch of salt and a few drops of vinegar. When it reaches a soft peak add the sugar to it little by little while still whisking. Beat it for another 6-7 minutes. Use a 20cm cake circle to form 3 discs with the meringue with the help of a spatula (lift and remove the circle afterwards) or just do it free hand with drawing a 20cm diameter circle on the back of the baking paper. Put the meringue in the oven and reduce the temperature to 100C. Bake the discs for about an hour at that low temperature and then let them cool in the oven with the door opened a bit and blocked with a wooden spoon. In the meantime peel and cut the mango in pieces, wash the blueberries, prepare (if not store bought) the passionfruit puree (you can add some sugar to it if it is too acidic to your taste) and whip up the cold cream with the sugar. Spread the passionfruit puree on the sponge cakes (leaving a bit for the top decor) then assemble the layers with adding cream and fruit pieces in between. Putt more cream and fruits on the top, drizzle the puree over it and add the chili if you fancy. Chill it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy!
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