My best friend had her birthday last Friday, no real party just a little get together of four friends. Of course I volunteered to make a birthday cake. C preferred a fruity cake without buttercream and without chocolate. That sort of coincided with what I had in mind. I already made a chocolate tart at another of our get-togethers so I wanted to make something different anyway.
I found some really cheap mango’s and physalis fruit at the market and made the cake using those. To accentuate the tropicalness of the mango’s I used coconut in the cake base.
I used gelatin to make the mousse and mirror, an ingredient that I barely use. The reason is that I don’t like making sweet stuff that isn’t vegetarian. I used fish gelatin which to me feels slightly better than using ‘regular’ gelatin. Next time I’m going to experiment with using agar-agar. Something I haven’t used before.
The mango mousse is a very simple mousse made from just mango puree, whipped cream, sugar and gelatin. It was the first time I made a mousse with gelatin. I loved how the texture turned out, it was delicate and soft yet firm enough to hold its shape. The taste would have been a bit better with riper mango’s, even though mine were ripe and delicious they weren’t very soft, they were sweet but not very sweet. Another factor that probably contributed to the little lack of mango taste was the fact that I multiplied the recipe I used by 2 Â½ but forgot to multiply the sugar as well. My friends liked the fact that the mousse wasn’t very sweet but I thought it needed the sugar I forgot to add.
The cake base was sweet though and the coconut inside complimented the mango mousse beautifully.
It wasn’t my intention to make a mango mirror but it was difficult to get a smooth mousse layer because I couldn’t use a spatula with the cake ring I used. Luckily I had a mango left to make a mirror. I used a bit too much gelatin so the mirror was a bit too solid in my opinion. The only initial downside of making the mirror was that the physalis fruit wouldn’t combine very well with the mango mirror colour-wise. I still wanted to use them though so I dipped them in melted white chocolate, and to give them some texture I dipped them in shredded coconut too (also a great way to hide potential bloom on the chocolate 😉 I think the cake looks more like winter than like summer despite it’s fruitiness. The physalis fruit reminded me a bit of snowballs 😉
I thought it was pretty hard to get the adjustable cake ring off the cake. Instead of warming the cake ring I used a knife to cut it free and than removed it, as you can see it didn’t turn out that good (and you’re seeing the best part of the cake 😉 So next time I’ll try using the blowdryer.
Coconut butter cake base (adapted from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)
95 g (3 oz / Â¾ cup) flour
â…” ts baking powder (I used one Â¼ ts and one â…› ts)
60 g (2 oz / Â¼ cup) butter, room temperature
125 g (4 oz / Â½ cup) sugar
1 large egg, separated
85 ml (scant 3 fl oz / â…“ cup) coconut milk
40 g (1 â…“ oz / â…“ cup) shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (350Â°F). Butter a 20 cm (8 in) square baking pan. Line the bottom with baking paper cut to fit. Butter the paper and dust the bottom and sides with flour.
Sift the flour and baking powder.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Gently fold â…“ of the flour/baking powder mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in half of the coconut milk. Fold in â…“ of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the coconut milk. Gently fold in the remaining â…“ of the flour mixture until combined.
In a clean bowl, whip the egg white until medium peaks form. Fold the egg white into the batter, then fold in the shredded coconut. Be careful not to overmix. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 3 minutes. Place a whire rack on top of the baking pan and invert the cake. Peel off the baking paper and let cool completely on the racks. Cut out a round with a high cake ring of about 18 cm (7in) and leave the cake inside.
500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream, chilled
10 g (â…“ oz) gelatin
75 ml (â…“ cup) cold water
500 ml (2 cups) mango puree (about 2 mango’s)
50 g (1 Â¾ oz) icing sugar
Whip the whipping cream until soft peaks. Cover and put it in the fridge.
Soak the gelatine in the water for a few minutes. Meanwhile mix the mango puree with the icing sugar. Heat the gelatine/water mixture in the microwave until dissolved. I popped it in for 30 seconds at a time and stirred every time.
Add the gelatine mixture to the mango puree and mix well. Add the mango mixture to the whipped cream until well combined. Pour the mango mousse into the cake ring on top of the cake layer. Chill for at least 4 hours.
10 g (â…“ oz) gelatin
150 ml (cold) water
40 g (1 Â½ oz) sugar
125 g (4 Â½ oz) mango puree (about Â½ mango)
Soak the gelatin in about half of the cold water. Meanwhile heat the rest of the water with the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat. Add the soaked gelatin to the water/sugar mixture. Stir until all the gelatin has dissolved. (Heat gently if the gelatin doesn’t dissolve).
Add the gelatine mixture to the mango puree and allow to cool down to room temperature. Pour the mirror through a sieve on top of the chilled mousse. Allow to set in the fridge.
Physalis fruit with white chocolate and coconut
3 physalis fruit
a little melted white chocolate
a little shredded coconut
Dip the fruit in the white chocolate and shredded coconut. Allow to set before using.