Mango mouse mirror cake with coconut cake base

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 ½ 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.

This is my contribution to Mango Mania Monthly Mingle hosted by Meeta of What’s for Lucnh Honey?

Coconut butter cake base (adapted from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)

95 g (3 oz / ¾ cup) flour

⅔ ts baking powder (I used one ¼ ts and one ⅛ ts)

60 g (2 oz / ¼ cup) butter, room temperature

125 g (4 oz / ½ 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 180°C (350°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.

Mango mousse (adapted from Aran’s roasted plum mousse)

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 ¾ 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.

Mango mirror

10 g (â…“ oz) gelatin

150 ml (cold) water

40 g (1 ½ oz) sugar

125 g (4 ½ oz) mango puree (about ½ 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.

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26 Responses to Mango mouse mirror cake with coconut cake base

  1. sam says:

    that looks stunning!

  2. Aran says:

    Linda, this looks delicious and beautiful! I’m so excited you used a recipe from my blog… makes me feel special!

  3. This is super elegant and I bet it’s so fresh now for the hot weather. Hope you’re friend liked it!

  4. Y says:

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as fish based gelatine!

    I always love your inventive cakes, and the way you manage to get around any difficulties you encounter while making it.

  5. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    Exquisite Cake.What a lucky friend. I tried Agar Agar and wasnt to fond of it. It had a weird texture that neither CS or I liked.He told me never to use it again. Im nit adverse ti regular gelatin but its nice to know about the fish alternative.

  6. Katie says:

    That looks wonderful! I have always been fascinated by mirror cakes, though I’ve never tried one. They seem so delicate and delicious.

    Great blog!

  7. Astrid says:

    It looks beautiful and delicious (if one likes coconut… which sadly is about the only thing I don’t like in a dessert). I find your analysis of strengths and weaknesses of your dessert fascinating. On the one hand I want to tell you — as do my husband and friends all the time — “no no, don’t find fault with your cake, it’s perfect!” On the other, I know how much you want to learn from mistakes to improve the next time around. The critique is also very useful for anyone who wants to try your recipe. Still, I hope you agree the outcome is very successful!

  8. Rosa says:

    OMG, it looks so beautiful! A delicious cake! A great conbo!



  9. Dee says:

    Oh my, this is really stunning!

    I’ve never even considered making a mirror cake because it always seemed beyond my mediocre skills, but you make me believe that I could possible make it work. Amazing work, Linda!

  10. Graeme says:

    I’m always amazed by cakes like this. Such skill and dedication; great job.

  11. Mari says:

    Your friend is so lucky to have you around! I love the flavor combination of mangoes and coconut, yummy!

  12. linda says:

    Sam – thanks 🙂

    Aran – I love your recipes!

    ClumbsyCookie – my friend liked it a lot! and despite the amount of cream it was still light and fresh

    Y – you have to work with what you get 😉

    Courtney – thanks 🙂 I have still to experiment with agar agar…I’ll keep you posted, maybe it won’t have a weird texture when used in mousse..

    Katie – try it out, it’s not difficult to make

    Astrid – I’m my own worst critic, like you are your own 😉

    Rosa – thanks 🙂

    Dee – it really isn’t hard to make, I’m sure you can make it

    Graeme – it only looks like that 😉

    Mari – it was a great combo indeed

  13. What a gorgeous looking cake! Love the flavors you chose too!

  14. Sweet Tooth says:

    What a great choice!

    Did you heat the mango puree? I had trouble once with mangoes and gelatin not setting properly. Some fruits (pineapples, mangoes and kiwi for example) have an enzyme that destroys protein. Just curious…

    I just read that the enzyme level (papain) depends on the ripeness of the fruit. Might work or not.


  15. Hannah says:

    What a beauty! I’m still a bit intimidated by making a mirror cake, but seeing yours is truly inspiring.

  16. dhanggit says:

    i just fell in love with this mango mousse cake! and physalis fruit are one of my fave fruit for decoration!! i love love this cake linda!! really gorgeous!!

  17. Emilia says:

    That cake is mesmerizing in it’s beauty, it is really gorgeous 🙂

    And the light is beautiful too, it compliments the cake.

    I didn’t know about fish gelatin, I would also feel more comfortable using that. I think that agar-agar is quite easy to use.

    Physalis is one of my favourite decorations. I once tried making some decorations with it by dipping them in some egg whites and then rolling them in sugar, but it didn’t work out, they just became very soggy :/

    Maybe I should have whipped the egg whites slightly before using them.

  18. Linda, I don’t know how you do it, but you never cease to amaze with your magnificent desserts. This must have tasted as delectable as it looks.

  19. linda says:

    I didn’t heat the mango puree because I didn’t want a ‘canned’ taste. Didn’t know that mango had that enzyme too, only knew about pineapple, kiwi and papaya… So maybe I was lucky 😉

  20. Tartelette says:

    Gorgeous cake! Love the idea of a cocout base…but I am a coconut lover!

  21. snooky doodle says:

    This really looks sophisticated. I like coconut. I ll give it a try to impress my guests 🙂 I really like your site. And since i m just made a blogsite you really inspire me.

  22. I had physalis fruit ice cream in Germany and I saw this fruit all over Germany. Someone told me that this fruit is very German (or at least they like it a lot.) They didn’t have a translation for me, but when I saw it on your blog, I knew it was it. They are hard to find in the US, but they look amazing on your cake.

  23. That’s a beautiful cake! The white chocolate and coconut covered fruits are just gorgeous sitting on top. I’ve never used fish gelatin, but I’ll look for it now. Thanks for mentioning it.

  24. kellypea says:

    I’ve never heard of physalis fruit before. What a beautiful cake. The flavors are fabulous and the mirror just perfect! Lucky friend, yours.

  25. Lori says:

    In your list of ingredients for the cake there seems to be a missing ingredient. You have the measurement but nothing following it. It looks real good- I would love to make it. Thank you.

  26. Linda says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Lori, I’ve fixed it.

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