Vanilla Buttermilk Cake w/Lilikoi Ganache
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups buttermilk – divided use
3 cups cake flour, sifted*
2 cups sugar – I used vanilla infused sugar
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) ganache:
6oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup + 1 ½ cups heavy cream – divided use
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup pulp of lilikoi (passion fruit)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans or spray to coat with vegetable oil. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.
Put the eggs and the yolks in a medium bowl, add the vanilla and ¼ cup of buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl – it has to be large, because there will be a huge amount of batter; whisk to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup buttermilk and butter to these dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, blend together. Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
Bake the cake layers for 28-32 minutes or until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes; then carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel off the paper liners and let cool completely.
Prepare the ganache:
put the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let stand for 1 minute then whisk until smooth. Let stand until cool to room temperature.
Process the passion fruit pulp in a food processor or blender to crack the seeds. Pass through a fine sieve directly onto the white chocolate mixture and mix well (I left a bit of seeds in the ganache just to make the cake look more like a passion fruit).
In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat the remaining 1 ½ cups of cream with the sugar until softly whipped. Stir in the passion fruit cream and beat until fairly stiff, taking care not to overbeat the mixture, which would cause the ganache to separate.
To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread about ½ cup of the whipped ganache over the layer right to the edge. Repeat with the next layer. Plate the last layer on top and use the remaining ganache to frost the top and sides of the cake.
* homemade cake flour: 1 cup all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons corn starch