Raspberries, lemon and passionfruit

Today is my stepfather’s birthday.

That usually means there’s been a big Brady-bunch style dinner at some point to celebrate.

There’s been nearly 11 years of ‘The clan’ now, and it just keeps getting bigger. Now there are five adorable members of generation #3 to keep us busy and entertained when we get together.

When it comes to the clan, we’re all pretty different.

But there are certain things we agree on.

1) It’s a good night when bottles of red from the back of the cellar get pulled down.

2) Daiquiris at Christmas are non-negotiable.

3) So is dessert.

Sometimes it’s fruit and yogurt. Sometimes it’s chocolate cake and berries.

And sometimes it’s something like this

Raspberry buttermilk cake
with lemon curd ripple ice cream
and white chocolate, passionfruit sauce. 

The raspberry buttermilk cake comes courtesy of Matthew Evans’ raspberry sour milk cake in his beautiful new book The Real Food Companion

It’s pretty darn straightforward.

Shopping/ foraging 

250 grams of softened, cubed butter
1 and 1/3 cups of caster sugar
Three eggs
A teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of sour milk or buttermilk
400 grams of self raising flour
1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Passionfruit white chocolate sauce
30 grams of unsalted butter
250 grams of white chocolate
30 mls of cream
Pulp of two passionfruit

Here’s how we roll

1.Grease a 26cm springform cake tin while a 180 degree oven warms up. Do some origami and line the base and sides with baking paper.

2. Beat 250 grams of softened, cubed butter with 1 and 1/3 cups of caster sugar until they’re duckling light. Then beat in three eggs, one at a time. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

3. Then measure out 1 cup of sour milk. If you don’t have sour milk (like me)then buttermilk with an extra spiking of lemon juice is good. If you don’t have buttermilk then normal milk with a little yogurt and lemon juice should be good. If you don’t have that then I’m guessing normal milk would be fine.

4. Also measure out 400 grams of self raising flour. You then add half the milk and half the flour. Stir to combine. Then add the other half of the milk and the other half of the flour.

5. When that’s all happily playing together fold through a cup of frozen raspberries, put it in the cake tin and let it cook for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

It’s lovely, with a nice, friendly, soft crumb. It’s a big, squishy and comforting cake, with an occasional sour kick coming from the sides; courtesy of the redberries and lemon. It tastes a little like time in a big blended family.

As a cake it would be grand on its own with a cup of tea, but this is birthday dessert, so we put our thinking caps on and start mentally shopping for some supporting acts.

White chocolate passionfruit sauce

We think white chocolate and passionfruit go well with raspberries. To me, on its own white chocolate is the culinary equivalent of the Partridge Family. A little nauseating and cloying. But add the twang of passionfruit and it starts to sing in a different tune.

1. Muddle together 30 grams of unsalted butter, 250 grams of white chocolate and 30 mls of cream in a pan over low heat. When it’s tragically gooey I add the pulp of two passionfruit.

I like it. I like it even better when it’s warm and playing second string to raspberry coulis; which we also invite out for a twirl.

Lemon curd Ice cream

Then we need some kind of ice cream.

So we start thinking about lemon. Then we go straight to curd.

Lemon curd ripple. Now that sounds like party food.

So we’re making a double mixture of this Doris Day hued delight by beating eight egg yolks with 1/13 cups of caster sugar together by hand, then chucking that, 120 grams of butter, 200mls of lemon juice and four good tablespoons of lemon zest together in a non stick saucepan, over a small flame and stirring and stirring until they all start to get along and thicken.

When it’s cooled I fold it through softened blue ribbon ice cream (no time today to be making ice cream from scratch- next time, I promise). Individual portions then get spooned into muffin trays.

No squabbling about portion sizes then; everyone gets the same. They go into the freezer and then make the nervous trip across the bridge in an eski.

Everyone else is bringing the careful cargo of children in the back seat. At this stage we’re ok about just bringing cake.

So; lemon curd + raspberry + passionfruit. A flavour combination that makes friends in this group (last year at exactly this event it turned up in a trifle which down pretty well.

Part of the fun of stitching together a new family unit is finding new traditions.

I think this might be on its way to becoming one of its own.

  1. Gorgeous sounding traditions and I can tell that your gatherings are full of good food and good company! 😀

  2. happy bday to your stepdad! and lol make your pics bigger i want to see the food porn shot of your passionfruit sauce around your cake!

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