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Friday, January 22, 2010

Mousse de Maracuja Cake

Ahhh the passion fruit! For those of you unlucky enough to have never been to Brazil, or to never have tasted passion fruit, let me be the first to introduce you. My first memory of eating in Brazil was Mousse de Maracuja or passion fruit mousse at the home of a sweet Brazilian woman. I was a fan from my first mouthful. When I came across this recipe I knew it was one I was going to want to keep around. I love Tres' Leches cake, which is also a moist/wet cake, and knew that one involving maracuja would be even better. For those of you without access to the fresh fruit, you can usually find the pulp/juice concentrate at most hispanic or south american food stores. Be sure that you are getting pulp or concentrate and not a watered down sugared juice. If you wanted you could also make just the mousse, and serve it in dishes, and it is delicious by itself.

For the Cake:
  • 1 plain white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
For the Passion Fruit Mousse:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen passion fruit pulp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg whites
For the Passion Fruit Syrup:
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen passion fruit pulp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
For the Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the cake mix, 3 eggs, 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup buttermilk, and 1/3 cup water. Mix for 2 minutes or until well blended.

  3. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with wax paper, and divide the cake mix between the 2 pans.

  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

  5. Let cakes cool 10 to 15 minutes in the pans. Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and flip them out of the pans. Set aside to cool.

  6. While the cakes are baking, make the mousse: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside for 5 minutes. Microwave for 15 seconds or until gelatin is dissolved (do not overheat). Whisk the melted gelatin into the passion fruit pulp and set aside.

  7. Make the cake soaking syrup: Bring 3/4 cup passion fruit pulp and 3/4 cups sugar to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, and remove from heat. Let cool and set aside.

  8. Make the italian meringue: Add egg whites to the clean bowl of a standing mixer. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the syrup starts to thicken and the bubbles are popping slowly.

  9. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

  10. Slowly add the hot sugar mixture to the egg whites. Pour syrup in a thin stream down the side of the bowl to prevent splattering. Work carefully to avoid burns.

  11. Beat the meringue on high speed for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low and continue to beat so that the meringue will cool.

  12. While the meringue cools, beat the whipping cream until very soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.

  13. Fold the the passion fruit/gelatin mix gently into the egg whites. Do not overmix.

  14. Whisk a small amount of the meringue/passion fruit mixture into the whipped cream, then gently fold all of the whipped cream back into the meringue mixture.

  15. Slice each cake layer in half horizontally, so that you have 4 layers. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with a circle of wax paper. Butter the inside of the springform pan.

  16. Place one cake layer, cut side up, in the bottom of the springform pan. Brush the cake with 1/4 of the syrup. Spread 1/3 of the mousse over the cake.

  17. Cover mousse with another cake layer, and brush cake with syrup. Spread another 1/3 of the mousse over the cake.

  18. Continue to layer, ending with the fourth cake layer. Press cake down gently into the pan. Brush top of cake with syrup. Chill thoroughly - at least 4 hours to overnight.

  19. Pop the side of springform pan off of cake in one quick motion. Gently lift ring off, leaving cake on base.

  20. Add sugar to remaining whipped cream, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla. Spread whipped cream around sides of cake and on top. You can also use a pastry bag with star tip to pipe the whipped cream onto the top of the cake. Decorate with fruit, and serve chilled.

1 comment:

kristi said...

I haven't looked on this site for a bit, but imagine my happiness and sheer delight that THIS was the recipe that popped up. It sounds hard - I'm not sure I can pull it off... but I'll try!! It looks FANTASTIC!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!