Monday, May 19, 2008

Looking at the bright side: Mango Mascarpone Mousse Cake

mango mascarpone mousse cake

Just the other day, OCT and I lamented on the higher cost of living here in Atlanta, compared to our previous stint in St Louis. Not only do we pay a steeper rent, we also find the price of grocery here more expensive. We could no longer find the one dollar a bunch asparagus, nor 3 for two dollar red bell peppers that we were spoilt with at St Louis Soulard market. The rice which is a staple in our household is five dollars more per bag; even the all purpose flour demands fifty cents more than before.

mango cake

Surviving on a postdoc fellow income, we certainly feel the pinch. But what good does it serve to whine about things we couldn't change right? Looking at the bright side, I have found some juicy sweet mangoes that could rival those from my childhood. Not to mention, they come with an endearing price tag too. They were fifty cent each in the Dekalb Farmer's Market the last time I looked. I told OCT that I intended to eat mango for breakfast / lunch / dinner / dessert from now on. Like any mango deprived people would do, I loaded a dozen of them into my shopping cart. At the same time, I started to think of all the wonderful things I'd do with them. Sorbet is definitely on the menu. Maybe a tropical tart or pavlova loaded with mango? OCT however, requested for a mango mousse cake. Sure, I can do that. It's only once in a blue moon that my rice-craving husband asks for something sweet for a change.


I don't really have a recipe for the mousse and mango mirror, I simply tasted and adjusted the flavor as I moved along. However, I want to bring your attention to the sponge cake base. The recipe comes from none other than Christopher Kimball, the editor of Cook's Illustrated. He calls it the fool-proof sponge cake. The method of mixing is new to me, and I doubt it would work. But who am I to argue with the editor of Cook's Illustrated, who has all the answers to the perfect recipes of everything under the sun? So I sceptically followed the recipe as it was written. To my surprise, the recipe yielded the most amazing sponge cake I have ever whipped out. Plus it doesn't require much folding, which could intimidate many novice bakers. I highly recommend anyone who needs a fool proof recipe for sponge cake to give this a try.


As for the mango mascarpone mousse and mirror, I promise the recipe will follow, after I have infiltrated my blood stream with enough caffeine tomorrow morning. Or afternoon. ;p Meanwhile, checkout the fool proof sponge cake recipe below.

Foolproof Sponge Cake
adapted from Christopher Kimball'sThe Kitchen Detective

Softened unsalted butter for the pans
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons milk (I used soy milk)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 8-or-9-inch cake pans and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.

Whisk/sieve the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Take the sauce pan off the heat and add in vanilla extract; keep the mixture covered and warm.

Separate the eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer or whisk) and reserving the yolks in a small bowl. Beat the whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites to soft, moist peaks. If using a standing mixer transfer the beaten egg whites to a large bowl and add the egg yolks to the standing mixer bowl (you don't need to clean the bowl).

Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and turns a pale lemon color, about 5 minutes. Add in the beaten egg whites to the yolks, but do not mix.

Sprinkle/sieve the flour mixture over the egg whites and mix on low speed for 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, make a well in one side of the batter and pour the melted butter mixture into the bowl. Fold gently with a large rubber spatula until the batter shows no trace of flour and the whites and yolks are evenly mixed, about 8 strokes. Also make sure that you have incorporated the butter into the mixture. There should not be visible grease/oil as you pour the mixture into the cake pans.

Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, about 16 to 18 minutes for 9-inch cake pans and 20 to 22 minutes for 8-inch cake pans.

Cool completely on racks. Run a thin knife around the inside of the cake pans and then invert them onto the racks (or onto cardboard rounds or tart pan bottoms) to release the cakes from the pans. Remove the parchment paper.

To make the Mango Mascarpone Mousse
2 cups mango puree, from 2 large ripe mango
1 teaspoon of lime juice
3/4 cup heavy cream,
3/4 cup mascarpone,
1 (1/4oz)pack of gelatin powder,
1/4 cup sugar or more to taste

Puree flesh of 2 large mango in a blender to obtain 2 cups of mango puree. Add in the lime juice.

Sprinkle the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of water, set aside for 5 minutes. After that, heat the mixture in microwave for 10 second, until the gelatin has dissolved.

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer/hand mixer, beat the mascarpone and sugar until it becomes light, add in the mango puree mixture and beat for another 3 minutes to combine. Taste, make sure that it's slightly sweeter than how you would like the mousse, keep in mind that the heavy cream fold in later will somehow dilute the flavor. Add in extra sugar, one tablespoon at a time until the desired sweetness. Pour the mango-mascarpone mixture to another big bowl, gently stir in the gelatin mixture. Mix well to combine.

Without washing the whisk attachment and mixing bowl, beat heavy cream until medium peak form. Fold the heavy cream into the mango mascarpone mixture.

To assemble:

Using a 8/9-inch sprinform pan or ring, layer one sponge cake at the bottom of the pan, and pour half of the mousse in. Use an offset spatula to smoothen the mousse. Next, layer the second sponge cake on top of the mousse. Follow by the remaining mousse. Cover the mousse with saran wrap and chill the cake while preparing the mirror.

To make the Mango Mirror:
1 cup of mango puree, from one ripe mango
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 a pouch of gelatin powder

Sprinkle the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of water, set aside for 5 minutes. When the gelatin is softened, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds, until the gelatin has fully dissolved.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of mango puree with 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice and 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, to taste. Mix in the gelatin powder. Once the mirror is made, immediately pour on top of the mousse. Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.


Manggy said...

Sorry about your market woes, Mandy... But I have to say that cheap mangoes save all :) And if it produces such a gorgeous cake, who am I to argue? I can't wait for the rest of the recipe! :)

tigerfish said...

Things might be more expensive in Atlanta but your photos, cakes and bakes never change. They are beautiful, as always.

MPG said...

This looks delicious...I know what you mean about being mango deprived...I did the same when I saw them, but then had to resist - too expensive! I hope you enjoy them and I can't wait to see what else you make :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I know you are creative enough to try to go over this problem - just look at this impressive cake!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

Hey, its always gr8 to make the best of what u have and can get. The cake looks too perfect for words. The layers are so neat and the presentation is gorgeous. Well done girl. I'm in love with it.

Anonymous said...

I think prices are getting higher all over the country these days and makes me sad. But, your dessert puts a smile on my face. Looks delicious and tasty. Wonderful photo too!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Looks great! I love the vibrant colors!

Brilynn said...

That looks absolutely wonderful! And I definitely need a failproof recipe...

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Mandy, I made a mango mousse cake last week. It didn't turn out that well as it was the first time I tried making a mousse cake :p
Yours look so delicious!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Beautiful pictures! Your layers look perfect.

Anonymous said...

ohhh that looks delish! i've been dying to find a mousse cake recipe ever since i had some in canada YEARS ago! can't wait to see the mango part!!

LianneK said...

Food prices are going up everywhere and its pretty scary isn't it? All I know is, the cost of living in US (without converting) is still lower than say, in Malaysia and I can't help but sigh here too.

Mags said...

I was looking for a good sponge cake to use with the mango mousse recipe I have. I can't wait to try out our foolproof recipe.
Your cake looks delicious!

Nilmandra said...

I'm definitely mango-deprived here in England! :( Your cake looks absolutely gorgeous, I'm salivating. Can't wait to try out this recipe when I get hold of some decent mangoes at some point!

Ginny said...

Wow! I am very impressed! It looks amazing!

Cakebrain said...

Your mango mousse cake looks amazing! It looks so light and delicious!

Anne said...

The cake looks so delish!

I could relate to your woes. I am experiencing it as well. Everything is a bit more expensive here in our new place :(

Anonymous said...

Mandy, your recipes and photos are a constant source of inspiration for me, but I have to say that this living in a different hemisphere is killing me as I have no mangoes to make this with!! :( :( :(

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

love mascarpone, esp the italian-made ones. oh if u think inflation's bad in atlanta, try kk where it's lawless when it comes to food pricing. my fav parmesan (Millel frm australia) went up frm RM13 to RM19 overnight!

Piggy said...

The cake looks so yummy that I almost lick my screen now. :-P

I can't make proper sponge cake at all. Thanks for the recipe, I'd definitely give it a try very soon.

Anonymous said...

This cake looks stunning! I love mangoes and anything with it. You are such a talent!

Mari said...

I could certainly use a fool-proof sponge cake recipe that requires a modicum of folding! Your cake looks fabulous!

Anonymous said...

i love anything with mango, your cake looks stunning! it's perfect time to make one too since mangos are in season.

Sophie said...

I'm definitely trying out that sponge cake...and I'm really jealous of the 3 for 2 dollar red bells! That's definitely a price I'd miss :D.

Anonymous said...

The price of food truly is getting ridiculous, isn't it. But as you found, deals are still out there and this looks marvelous!

Pilar - Lechuza said...

This cake is really amazing!! It seems to be moist and soft. You are a great baker. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog.
Best wishes from Spain

P.D. Food here is also getting a litle bit expensive every day. Instead of visiting Mars, why don't they spend their money on Earth making things more cheaper?

Anonymous said...

I'm def. trying this one!!!!!!

you guys should try
their cookies are amazing!

Unknown said...

I think things are little cheaper here on the water but bites me everytime I go shopping. The cake turned out wonderful!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

So beautifully built and so refreshing looking... beautiful!

maybelles mom said...

these are stunning.

Anonymous said...

This cake looks SO light and delicious and lovely presented.!

M.H. said...

wow, it looks soo nice and delicious... i totally loveee mango!

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to try this!

What a great adaption. And I'm sure I'll be frequenting your site often in the future. = )

Tiffany said...

I MADE THIS and it was amazing! Thanks!

bp said...

Ahhh... this looks so yum! Can I have a slice please?

Hope the farmer's market there will work out nicely for you, and you'll visit it as often as you did Soulard. And I really should try and go to Soulard one of these days... next week, next month I always say!

The jasmine rice is $22 at Baili weeks ago, dunno if it's gone up some more!

Anonymous said...

Mandy, thanks again for sharing it. I made it this week for my hubby's birthday and my family loved it so much!

Julie said...

That cake is so beautiful and I love mangoes--love them! I wish I could find them so cheap. I agree that food cost is depressing, especially when the produce doesn't look all that good in the first place. Thanks for the sponge cake tip--Cook's Ill. is a great resource for those kind of no-fail recipes.

Steph said...

I'm so glad you had such sucess with sponge cake. Every recipe I've tried failed miserably!! I was hoping that someone would have sucess with this recipe since I've been dying to try it, but afriad that it will flop!

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious. I think I'll give it a go. I've been getting a lot of mangoes from friends and neighbors lately. One of the perks of living in Hawaii, I guess. :]

Anonymous said...

This cake looks amazing. I love mango and to top it on cake is just heaven!

Unknown said...

love both of your mango recipe.
you gave me ideas on how to top my mango cake.
i use the regular recipe for chiffon cake but i add mango juice instead of orange juice then added
1 cup of mango bits.these are just to die for.
then i used whipped cream and more mangoes
and with gelatin too,but your mango topping are the
the best . mango in chicago are cheap if they are in season, now they are 2 for a dollar.

Stardust said...

Thank you for the sponge cake recipe, it works for our Christmas cake.

I'm tempted to try this Mango thingy but I doubt my hands can get me far. Hahaha. My husband loves mango and I truly hope to give him a decent mango cake for his BD.

Hope you've got a beautiful Christmas. =)

Anonymous said...

can i replace mango puree which comes in the tin instead of making from fresh mangoes.

Mandy said...

sorry for the later reply! I am sure you can replace it with mango puree that comes in a tin. If it's sweetened puree, I think you may want to leave out the sugar. Or just add sugar to your taste.

Anonymous said...

this may be a silly question, but is this a really hard cake to make? i want to try it but as i am limited to kitchen space, i am wary of trying it in the event that i fail =/ and waste a lot of time and money. i'm not an expert baker, but i can work my way around the kitchen usually...

Amanda said...

Hi Mandy,
Just wanted to thank you for this recipe! I made it yesterday for my boyfriend's birthday and it turned out wonderful! Really light, moist, and full of flavor. He really like how delicately sweet it was too--not that cloying type of sweet that overpowers everything else. We topped it with a little freshly whipped cream too.

I used 9-in cake pans, and sliced the cakes horizontally so I had four layers. I also made half the mousse raspberry (using one container of raspberries, which I pureed and then strained) and the other half mango. I had some mousse leftover in the end, which I layered into a glass jar and stuck in the fridge for a separate snack :)

My mango mirror dripped down the sides quite a bit, but it ended being fine after it was chilled. Next time I may surround the sides of the cake with stabilized whipped cream instead.

Anyway, just wanted to comment in case someone finds this helpful in the future! Thanks again for the post!

Unknown said...

This recipe looks awesome!

I have a question, do you think it'll be okay if I only have an 8" pan for the sponge cake and a 9" springform pan to assemble the cake?

Mandy said...

yes, you can definitely do that.

mib said...

Hi Mandy, I just tried this recipe and my husband & I love it so much.
Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Hi Mandy, I have been meaning to post a comment for a long time now. I had a can of mango pulp and wanted to make something cake like with it. That's how I found your blog.
The cake turned out soooo well. Everyone who tried it LOVED it. I have never tried this with fresh mangoes, but pulp works ok.
Thanks for such a wonderful recipe - different and delish!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for a great receipe-it has become the most requested cake among my family and friends.
I dread when the mango season is there any other fruit you can try making with this receipe?
Regards from Australia!

Dhana said...

Mandy: Awesome recipe. I used Alphonso Mango puree(a brand called Chitale from India) which made the flavors extra divine. Thank you so much for the recipe. I did not make the mirror since I wanted to avoid gelatin, but I did not miss it one bit.

God will surely bless you for this :)

Anonymous said...


Just wondering how much grams is 3/4 cup of mascarpone? also is it possible to substitute the gelatin for agar agar powder? if so how much?

Thank you ! the cake looks wonderful!

Related Posts with Thumbnails