Vanilla Passionfruit Bones

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RECIPE: It was my dog’s birthday this week, and it coincided with his weekly visit to Doggy Daycare at Scruffy’s, so I decided to treat the staff as a thank you for persisting with my lively fellow. I made the vanilla cake for two recipes. I cut shapes from it for this recipe, and used the offcuts to crumble up as cake pop mix for my filled Easter eggs. I topped the cake cut-outs with passionfruit mousse and a layer of white chocolate. The mousse recipe had a lovely strong flavour, but was only just firm and very light – for this purpose I could have done with a slightly firmer and denser mousse. I found this great webpage that recommends thickening mousse by creating a ‘liaison’, which is cream mixed with egg yolk; or adding more egg yolks or cornstarch. I’ll try this next time.

COMPONENTS: See the Easter Egg recipe for the making of the cake. Any vanilla cake will do! As I was only making a small number of cakes, I halved the mousse recipe. I always find that once you’re working with small quantities the stand mixer just doesn’t work as well. I wish they still had the option of a small bowl. Juicing the passionfruit was fine, but I couldn’t think of any use for the seeds and pulp so unfortunately had to discard them. I seem to be having better luck with gelatine lately – being careful to trickle it in when combining it. I suspect I over-whipped my egg whites – they were meant to be brought to soft peaks, but I’m still finding it hard to pick the point to stop. I put the mousse in a shallow tray, thinking that if it set firmly I might be able to use the bone-shaped cutter to cut out the shapes.

ASSEMBLY: The cake was easy to cut with my bone-shaped cutter. The mousse was a soft set, so rather than cutting shapes, I put some in a piping bag and piped it over the cake. It kept it’s shape. I melted some white chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds then stirred it until all the chunks were smooth. Using a spatula (I need to get a palette knife) I spread the chocolate flat over a tray. I didn’t attempt to temper the chocolate because I haven’t ventured there yet. I discovered that you can smooth chocolate a couple of times and then you start undoing your work as it starts to set again. So I ended up with a textured finish. I let it just start to set before pressing the bone cutter into the chocolate, and then left it in the fridge to finish setting. The bone shapes were fairly easy to separate from the sheet once set.

IMPRESSION: The taste was perfect, with all flavours working well together. The passionfruit was strong enough to balance the sweetness of the cake and white chocolate. The mousse was a bit light and squished out when eating the cake. This may not have happened with thinner slices of chocolate. I’m not sure about the lack of variation in colour – I feel like it needed something to make it pop. Despite this, I was really happy with the result and enjoyed eating it. The staff of Scruffy’s enjoyed them!

Recipe for the vanilla buttermilk cake from Make, bake & celebrate by Annie Rigg
Recipe for the passionfruit mousse from Australia’s Good Food website

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