Light as a feather

If you’re lucky you might have a generous neighbour. And if you’re lucky, that neighbour might have a loaded passionfruit vine. And if you’re really lucky that neighbour might give you a bag full of them, and you’ll be super grateful because inside those ugly little pocked balls lies liquid sunshine.

Here in the southern hemisphere we’re saying goodbye to the end of the summer. Daylight savings has ended, the days are shorter and there’s a distinct autumnal feel. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to that summery feeling so I’m stretching it out by turning those passionfruit into this glorious tropical curd, sandwiched with a good dollop of cream between two light and airy sponges.


4 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cornflour
1 dessertspoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Boiling water

Preheat your oven to 180°C, grease two 20cm baking tins and line the base with baking paper – set aside
Sift the cornflour, flour and baking powder onto a piece of baking paper, then sift it back onto another piece of baking paper. Repeat twice (this helps to incorporate lots of air into the mixture) and set aside
Using the whisk attachment on your mixer beat the egg whites until stiff
Add the yolks and beat until well incorporated
Add the sugar bit by bit, following with a splash of boiling water (no more than a tablespoon)
The mixture will look lovely and thick and should form a slowly dissolving ribbon if you drizzle some back into the bowl
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle the flour mixture over evenly
Fold it in very gently and very slowly, you don’t want to deflate that lovely airy mixture
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans (weigh them if want them to be exactly the same) and bake for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before gently turning out and leaving to cool completely.

Passionfruit, mango and lime curd

5 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
4oz (115g) butter, cut into little cubes
½ cup passionfruit pulp
½ cup pureed mango
1 or 2 limes, juiced

Place the yolks and sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until combined.
Add the butter and let it melt, give it the odd stir
Stir in the passionfruit pulp, mango and lime juice to taste and allow it to thicken (about 12 minutes). Stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Chantilly cream
300ml cream
1 dessert spoon icing sugar
Splash of vanilla extract

Whip together until soft peaks form.

Plop the whipped cream onto one sponge and gently and evenly spread it around, then dollop spoonfuls of the curd on top. Pop the remaining sponge on top and dust with icing sugar.


  • This sponge is best enjoyed on the day you make it
  • You can add as much or as little lime juice as you like. I prefer mine quite tart to cut through the sweet/rich combo of the sponge and cream
  • Curd recipe slightly adapted from Not Quite Nigella

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