Coincidentally, my birthday falls in the same month as Malaysia's Independence day. And my name starts with the letter "M" too! So, for our birthdays, I made a cake that starts with "M" too. Mango cheesecake, that is!
OCT was really sweet and offered to bake me a cake. After making so many birthday cakes for others, I felt rather pampered having someone made me one for my special day. We decided on something simple, yet special. What would be better than cheesecake right? That way, OCT doesn't have to worry about all the "beating, mixing, folding, icing, confusing" instructions an elaborate cake entails. I wanted a mango cake, because that reminds me of home. In the place I grow up, every household has at least one mango tree! Mango is such an indiscrimating fruit that it practically grows anywhere you throw the seed. Alright, I may be wrong on the second part. Or perhaps even the first part about every household having at least one mango tree. But for Sabahans, we are bound to have friends/relatives who have mango trees. And the mango from A's garden might taste different from B's garden. I beg not to pretend as an expert in this aspect, I can only assure you that I was a happy girl when a ripe, peeled, carefully cut mango landed on my lap.
So mango always conjure up happy memory. And it is fitting for a birthday celebration. After some research on potential recipes, we settled on a basic baked lemon cheesecake from Bon Appetit with pureed mango as topping. The initial plan of incorporating mango in the cheesecake batter was thwarted after many negative feedbacks on the changed texture and taste of mango after baking.
A mango mousse would be nice, but the cream added might dilute the mango flavor. Besides I wanted the mango flavor to be intense and unadulterated. In order to achieve this, I decided to do as little to the juicy sweet mango flesh as possible.
Maybe a mango mirror, I thought. With nothing more than a little gelatine powder, lots of mango pureed and sugar to taste. As little luck as I had with gelatin before, this actually worked! The mango mirror was firm when we cut the cake on my birthday!
Unlike other birthday cakes I made in the past, we left this cake unadorned. We didn't even bother to pipe "Happy Birthday" on top and the resulting cake, as you can see turned out to look pretty simple and unassuming.
The resulting cake, is a low fat tangy lemon cheesecake with a sweet mango topping. I like it for many reasons. One being it's a mango cake, and of course the fact that OCT was very involved in the whole baking process. He crushed the crumb manually and even attempted to beat the cream cheese by hand! The later was aborted after we found that task to be insurmountable. Why should we while we have the trustworthy Kitchen Aid by our side?
So here's a mango cheesecake for Mandy and Malaysia's birthday. Selamat Hari Merdeka to my fellow Malaysians.
Note: Oh, and my friend Adeline and Sean were so sweet to give me a surprise just before we cut my birthday cake. Guess what they brought? A huge and most delicious (also the first) ice cream birthday cake for me!
I was genuinely surprised when they turned up at our apartment. OCT did a great job by acting normal the whole night! I initially thought it would be a quiet night with simple dinner for my birthday like we always do on birthdays!
Thanks Adeline and Sean for giving me my first ice-cream birthday cake and spending my last "20-something" birthday with me!