Parcha / Passion Fruit Mousse Cake
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Jeff's mom developed so many amazing recipes during her 15 years living in Puerto Rico. This is one that she brought with her and she only makes for special occasions. I remember the first time I went to visit Jeff's family, my flight into Chicago was delayed a couple of hours so by the time that I got to their house everyone had devoured this cake. I was so disappointed, but now I can make it for myself whenever I want!
Layers of angel food cake, passion fruit mousse and whipped cream topping make such a wonderful combination. I dare you to have only one bite!
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
6 large pasteurized eggs, separated
¾ cup Parcha pulp or concentrate (https://www.goya.com/en/products/passion-fruit-pulp)
1 ½ cup sugar (separated into 2 - ¾ cup containers)
½ teaspoon salt
1 large angel food cake
1 cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped or 1 pint whipped cream
This cake has three main components: the angel food cake, the whipped cream and the passion fruit mousse. If you buy the angel food cake at the store like I did, then all you have to do really is prepare the mousse. If you have never prepared a mousse before, then you may be in for a surprise, it uses raw egg whites. Now, this is nothing to worry about. The main concern with eating raw eggs is salmonella. salmonella lives only in the egg shell so the concern is that when you crack the egg the salmonella may transmit to the inside of the egg and contaminate the yolk or the white. For this reason, I want to highly encourage you to thoroughly wash your eggs with soap and warm water before you crack them. This will ensure that you can eat the egg whites safely. Once you have thoroughly washed your eggs, then separate the yolks from the whites.
Next, add the packet of unflavored gelatin to the cold water, mix it gently and set it aside to bloom.
We will first prepare a passion fruit curd by adding the egg yolks, passion fruit concentrate, ¾ cup of sugar and salt to a large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. This will take quite a bit of time and your hand may get tired, like mine did but it is important to continue to stir this mix constantly to make sure that the curd is properly formed. It took me about 10 minutes, but it will depend on your pot and your stove and it may take up to 20 minutes.
Once the curd is thickened and it coats the back of a spoon, then remove the pot from the heat and add the gelatin. Mix it well to make sure that it is thoroughly incorporated, then set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add all the egg whites and mix on medium high until the egg whites are stiff. This will only take a couple of minutes.
Then, lower the speed to medium and add the other ¾ cup of sugar in a slow even stream, this will take about 30 seconds. Once you have added all the sugar, then increase the speed to high and continue to mix until the egg whites form high peaks and it resembles shaving cream.
Next, add the egg whites to the passion fruit curd to finalize the mousse. Fold the egg whites with a rubber spatula. It is best to do this in an even motion starting at the center and moving it towards the outside. You want to make sure that it is all well incorporated so you don’t end up with pieces of just egg white. Take a break as necessary and check whether you can see any white spots. Once there are no white spots left then the mouse is ready.
Cut the angel food cake into 1 inch cubes. It is best if all the pieces are about the same size so the texture of the cake is consistent. How many pieces you will get will depend on the size of the cake.
We are now ready to assemble the cake. I am using an 11 cup pyrex, but you can use any glass container that you have. Using an offset spatula, start by spreading a layer of passion fruit mousse on the bottom of the pan. Then, add a layer of angel food cake and cover it with passion fruit mousse. Use the offset spatula to spread and even out the mousse.
Then add another layer of cake and top it with more mousse and once again use the offset spatula to even it all out. Use a small piece of paper towel to clean the edges of the container as necessary. This is purely aesthetics and it will not affect the flavor of the cake at all. Then add a layer of whipped cream on the top and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. If you are using whipped cream from the store then make sure to shake the can really well before starting to make sure that the whipped cream is not runny. Once the layer is even, use a small paper towel to clean the edges as necessary. Again, this is just aesthetics, but you know what we say in Puerto Rico “people eat with their eyes” so we want to make it look really pretty.
The cake could be considered done at this point, but you can go the extra mile by decorating it. You can use strawberries and blueberries, kiwi, raspberry, or any other fruit that you really like. I was feeling extra patriotic today so I used the strawberries and blueberries to make the Puerto Rican flag, but you can decorate as you wish. Let the cake sit on the fridge for at least 4 hours before cutting into it.
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.