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Chris’ Tropical Fresh Fruit Cake

This unusual three-layered sponge is made with fresh mango and pineapple, and limoncello liqueur. There’s also tropical fruit in the cream filling and as decoration – with enough leftovers to make a tasty smoothie.

Serves: 16

Hands-on time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

Skill level: Easy

For the sponge:

225g mango (about 2 large fruit), stoned and finely chopped

175g pineapple (about 1 pineapple), cored and chopped

340g white caster sugar

40g golden caster sugar

finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lime

2 eggs

380g self-raising flour

1½ tsp baking powder

2 tbsp limoncello liqueur

For the fruit purée:

about 375g mango (about 3 large fruit), stoned and chopped

about 250g pineapple (about 1 pineapple), cored and chopped

2 tbsp limoncello liqueur, or to taste

For the cream filling:

400ml double cream, well chilled

90g icing sugar, sifted

finely grated zest 1 of unwaxed lemon

finely grated zest 1 of unwaxed lime

limoncello liqueur, to taste

To decorate:

12 physalis fruits, leaves opened out

few mango, pineapple and kiwi fruit slices

dried hibiscus flowers

You will need:

18cm loose-bottomed deep sandwich tins x 2, greased and base-lined with baking paper

10cm loose-bottomed deep cake tin, greased and base-lined with baking paper

Large disposable piping bag

Small disposable piping bag

Step 1 – Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 2 – First, make the sponge. Using a tea towel squeeze out the excess liquid from the mango and pineapple pieces. Tip them into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Stir in the sugars and the citrus zests, then whisk in the eggs until they’re frothy and thick.

Step 3 – Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl, then gradually add the mixture to the fruit, whisking on a very low speed until incorporated. Add the limoncello.

Step 4 – Spoon 375g of the mixture into each of the 18cm tins, spreading it out evenly. Spoon 180g of the cake mixture into the remaining, smaller tin. (Use any leftovers to make muffins.)

Step 5 – Bake the sponges for 30–35 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 6 – Meanwhile, make the fruit purée. Blitz the mango pieces in the processor or blender until very smooth. Pour 225ml of the purée into a clean bowl (save any extra for smoothies). Purée the pineapple, then add 175ml of the pineapple purée to the mango in the bowl. Mix in the limoncello. Set aside 100ml of the mixture, cover and chill it until needed for decoration.

Step 7 – To make the cream filling. Whisk the cream with the icing sugar and the lemon and lime zests until floppy. Add the remaining fruit purée and the limoncello to taste, then whisk until the mixture is thick enough to pipe. Transfer to the large piping bag and chill until needed.

Step 8 – To assemble, trim the sponges so that they are level. Place a larger sponge top-side down on a cake board. Snip the end of the large piping bag and pipe ‘kisses’ of fruit cream over the sponge (leaving enough cream for the next two layers).

Step 9 – Transfer the chilled fruit purée to the small piping bag, snip off the end and drizzle over the cream. Top with the second larger sponge, top-side up, and repeat.

Step 10 – Put the small sponge on top of the second layer, top-side up. Pipe more cream ‘kisses’ on the top and around the base of the cake, and on the exposed edge of the middle sponge. Drizzle everything with the fruit purée.

Step 11 – To decorate, place the opened physalis around the edge of the middle sponge. Arrange the mango, pineapple and kiwi slices on the top sponge. Place the hibiscus flowers to one side of the cake base.