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Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Passion Fruit Torte

Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged people to do one thing every day that scared them. I have often tried to incorporate this ideology into my life. Baking a new recipe can sometimes fall into the category of “scary attempts.” I’ve ruined chocolate tortes (and cried), dried out cakes (and cursed), and had cakes that refused to set (and swore I’d give up baking).

This is my first passion fruit torte based on a recipe I had never tested. Trying new recipes can either go swimmingly or end up added to the epic fail list. So as the hot passion fruit icing flung from the mixer like streams of sticky, lava-like, sugary goo and coated my hair, face, and clothes, I knew this just might not turn out okay.

When it comes to baking, Anna doesn’t really risk failure because she has baking skills that I have yet to perfect, but in chapter 13 of The Baker’s Man, titled Passion Fruit Torte, she takes an even bigger risk. She takes a chance on love.

C. S. Lewis said, “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Passion Fruit Torte

Serves: 12

Difficulty Level: Moderate


7 oz softend unsalted butter

1 c superfine sugar

3 eggs

¼ c fresh passion fruit pulp

2 ½ c self rising flour

⅔ c milk

kiwis (optional)

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.

  3. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.

  4. Add eggs one at a time.

  5. Add passion fruit and beat until combined.

  6. Sift flour and add to mixer, alternating flour and milk.

  7. Stir until just combined and mixture is smooth.

  8. Divide evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the surface.

  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  10. Cool for 15 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

  11. Frost cake with standard buttercream icing. Decorate top with sliced kiwis.

The Baker's Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.

Chapter 1: Peanut Brittle

Chapter 2: Rum Cake

Chapter 4: Mudslide Cookies

Chapter 7: Blueberry Pie

Chapter 8: Lady Fingers

Chapter 9: Mirror Glaze

Chapter 11: Bear Claws

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