For my birthday I’ve made a pavlova the last three years. This year I decided to revisit the Hawaiian Paradise Cake, a three-layer flavored cake that’s pink, green, and yellow or orange. This time I made each layer without using any food coloring at all. I think I like the all-natural cake better, even though the colors aren’t as vibrant. To achieve the flavors for each layer, I used a farang or Thai green guava for the top layer, strawberry preserves for the middle pink layer, and an extra egg yolk for the orange layer. The cake was frosted with a whipped cream icing; slightly tangy and not too sweet. I served the cake with my own fresh passion fruit syrup, chilled fresh mango, and a scoop of white chocolate and almond ice cream.
Hawaiian Paradise Cake, Version 2.0
Have at room temperature:
2 1/4 (281g) cups flour
2/3 cups (150g) white superfine sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1/4 cup strawberry preserves, thinned with 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh guava pulp and skin
1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh orange juice, plus zest (juice and zest of 1 medium orange)
5 egg yolks plus one more
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon each flavoring, optional
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (lemon in original)
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white superfine sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Get 6 mixing bowls together and 3 eight- inch spring form cake pans, preferably non-stick. Do not grease and flour the sides or the bottom. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift flour with 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together oil, water, 5 egg yolks, vanilla, 2 tablespoons lime juice and lime zest until just combined. Mix yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. The consistency will be thick. Divide the batter into thirds and place in separate bowls.
3. Make the following additions but do not mix until after the juice and flavoring are in: In one bowl of batter, add the strawberry jam. In another, add the guava pulp and zest. In the third, add the orange juice and zest, plus the egg yolk. Add flavoring, if using.
4. Using a clean bowl and beaters free of grease, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped egg whites by thirds and add each third to the batters. Fold in gently. Pour each batter into a prepared cake pan.
Cake Baker’s Note: Wipe down the bowl and beaters with vinegar to be sure, or your whites won’t whip.
5. Put each pan in the oven. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove pans from the oven and place on wire racks to cool completely. Run a thin sharp blade around the edges to loosen the cake. Remove the sides. Invert the cake and remove the bottom using a sharp thin blade. Insert the blade between the cake and the pan bottom and press away from the pan. Once the cake is released from the pan bottom, re-invert the cake for filling and frosting.
6. Fill and frost with whipped cream icing and glaze with passion fruit syrup (recipes to follow).
Whipped Cream Icing
1 8-oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup white superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and extracts in a mixing bowl. While the mixer is running on medium speed, add the cream. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill and frost the cake then refrigerate it until ready to slice and serve.
Passion Fruit Syrup (optional, for serving)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup white superfine sugar
2 tablespoons water or orange juice
1/2 cup fresh passion fruit pulp
Mix the corn syrup, sugar, and juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add the passion fruit pulp. Let cool. You can also put this in the fridge for 45 minutes to speed up the process.
An alternative to the corn syrup is to make a simple syrup. To the pan add 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water to the saucepan and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and, if desired, add a thickener. To 2 tablespoons corn starch add 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Mix well and stir into the syrup. Cool slightly. Add the passion fruit pulp. Stir to combine.
Chill the syrup until ready to serve.
To serve, cut a slice of cake , spoon some fruit on the side, and pour some of the passion fruit syrup on top of the fruit, and if you like, on top of the cake too. Delicious!