The last time I made this sponge it was because a very generous neighbour had shared her passionfruit with me. This time, it’s because 3 very generous friends have shared their feijoas.
Feijoa’s (or pineapple guavas as they’re sometimes known) are iconically very kiwi. You probably know someone who has a tree, or your neighbourhood berms are full of them. Either way, heavily laden trees can be found everywhere at this time of the year, ripe for the picking, and the slightly tangy fruit is super versatile. Feijoa wine, cordial, muffins, crumble and chutney are just a few examples of what they can be used in. The pulp also freezes well, making them perfect for winter baking when other fruit is out of season.
For this sponge, I decided to use the fruit in a curd. Made in the same way as you’d make lemon or passionfruit curd, the result is delicious and the perfect match for a fluffy sponge and rich cream.
For the feijoa curd
4 tablespoons lemon juice ( or more)
2 egg yolks
100g butter, cut into little cubes
Scoop out the feijoa flesh and put into a blender with the lemon juice. Blitz until a smooth puree forms.
Push the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds, set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the sugar, eggs and egg yolks and whisk together over a medium-low heat.
Add the knobs of butter, continuously whisking until the mixture is thick.
Stir in the feijoa puree and mix for another couple of minutes.
Transfer to sterilised jars or a bowl.
Makes about 2 cups of curd.
For the sponge
4 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cornflour
1 dessert spoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
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.
With the mixer still running, sprinkle the sugar in, followed by a splash of boiling water (no more than a tablespoon).
The mixture will look lovely and thick and should hold a stiff peak.
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.
For the chantilly cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar
Splash of vanilla extract
Whip together until soft peaks form.
Fold about 1 cup of the curd into the whipped cream and plop it onto one sponge, then gently and evenly spread it around. Pop the remaining sponge on top. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
- This sponge is best enjoyed on the day you make it.
- Store the filled sponge in an airtight container in the fridge. Alternatively, wrap it snuggly in plastic wrap.
- You can leave the cream and curd separate, but I found it easier to slice when they were combined.
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