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Prep: 20 min

Baking: 40 min

Makes: one cake or loaf (can be sliced into 12 slices) Suits: gluten free, diary free, vegetarian

A fine loaf or cake for any Autumn Day with warm ginger tea, when passion fruit is in season and at an (almost) reasonable price. And don’t worry if you don’t have matcha green tea; although it gives a subtle taste and gorgeous glow to the cake, it is absolutely fine without it. Same goes for the lime leaves.

Cake Ingredients:

175g monk fruit sweetener or granulated sweetener your choice

3 large eggs, separated and room temperature

100ml light olive oil 

1 tsp real vanilla extract or paste

Zest of one lime and juice of one large passion fruit

1 tsp lime leaves, very finely chopped (optional) or kaffir lime zest

2 tsp Matcha green tea powder (optional)

100g fine polenta or finest yellow cornmeal

175g ground almonds (best ground from whole almonds but pre-ground is okay) or almond meal

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

¼ tsp salt

Icing Ingredients:

3 large passion fruits, halved and pulp and seeds scraped out into a bowl

2 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener

½ tsp lime leaves, very finely chopped (optional)


Grease and baseline with baking parchment a 24cm diameter springform pan or well-oiled and lined square tin. Preheat the oven to 150C/140C fan/300F.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sweetener for at least five minutes – until very smooth, thick and pale; add the oil, vanilla, passion fruit juice and green tea powder (if using), whisking a further three minutes. 

In a separate bowl – with very clean beaters – whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Set aside.

Measure the fine polenta, ground almonds or almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and, using a balloon whisk, mix very thoroughly. I do this instead of trying to sieve such coarse ingredients. Gradually work this into the wet mixture, adding the lime leaves at the last few strokes – it should react a bit with the bicarb by getting a bit airy. Now fold in one large spoonful of the whisked whites, really working it in to loosen the mixture as it will be quite heavy at this point. Once loosened, plop the remaining egg white into the mix and fold in carefully. I use a rough figure eight motion combined with a forward scooping motion to fold the egg white in without knocking the air out.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and well-risen. If it seems to be browning too quickly just cover it loosely with baking parchment.

When the cake is nearly baked, simmer the passionfruit pulp and seeds (or strain the seeds out if you can’t tolerate them) with 2 tablespoons each of water and monkfruits , and lime leaves if using, until slightly reduced and syrupy. Pour the sticky aromatic syrup over the cake after the cake has ‘rested’ for five minutes.

Let it cool down and slice. Enjoy with your favourite cup of tea.