Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Grease 2
x 20cm loose-based sandwich tins and line
the bases with discs of baking parchment.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, coconut,
orange zest and baking powder in a food
processor or food mixer and blend or beat
until well combined, thick and creamy. Do not
over-blend or the cake will be tough rather
than light. If you don’t have a food mixer, put
all the ingredients in a bowl and beat hard
with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the
prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake
on the same shelf in the centre of the oven
for 25 mins or until well risen and just
beginning to shrink back from the sides of
the tin. Remove the tins from the oven and
leave to cool for 5 mins before running a
knife around the edge of the cakes and
turning out onto a wire rack. Peel off the
parchment and leave to cool completely.
When the cakes are completely cold, very
carefully cut horizontally through each one
with a serrated knife to make 4 thin
sponges. To make the frosting, cut the
passion fruits in half and scoop into a sieve.
Press through the sieve to strain the juice
– you should have 4 tbsp. Set aside and
reserve the seeds. Put the butter, icing sugar
and cheese in a food processor or mixer and
blend until smooth. Do not overbeat or it will
become runny. Slowly add the passion fruit
juice and blend until just combined.
Place one of the sponges, cut-side down,
on the metal base of the sandwich tin and
put on an upturned bowl on a tray. This will
help make frosting the cake easier. Spread
with roughly a fifth of the frosting – just
enough to cover the sponge. Use a paddling
motion with a palette knife or soft spatula for
the best result, trying to keep contact with
the cake to prevent the sponge from lifting.
Cover with a second cake, spread with
frosting and repeat the layers once more,
ending with the last sponge, cut-side down.
By this stage, you should have layered 4
cakes with passion fruit frosting between
3 of them. Use the remaining frosting to
spread over the top and sides of the cakes
to cover completely. Don’t worry if the sides
are a little messy, as the grated chocolate
should cover any imperfections.
Put the cake in the fridge for 30-60 mins
to allow the icing to set a little. Coarsely
grate the chocolate. Working your way
slowly around the cake, scoop grated
chocolate onto a palette knife and sweep
up the sides of the cake, pressing into
the soft icing.
Take the cake off the bowl, slide the
palette knife between the cake and the
metal base, and gently transfer to a plate or
cake stand. (If the icing is too soft to do this,
pop the cake in the freezer for 30 mins and
then try again.) Chill until ready to serve.
Before serving, drizzle over 1 tsp of the
reserved passion fruit seeds over the top of
the cake. If making a day ahead, cover with
a cake tin or a bowl large enough to cover
the cake without touching it, so the cake
doesn’t get damaged in the fridge.