the champagne mangos from mexico have been really quite delicious of late — so good, in fact, that i bought a box of 20 from the street vendor the other day. i needed to clear space in my refrigerator, and so i sliced some up to make a fresh mango cake resplendent with whipped cream and crushed pistachios for contrasting texture.
take me away to the south pacific, dear cake, take me away!
Fresh Mango Cake
(makes 1 nine-inch 2 layer round cake)
|Perfect Party Cake (from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: from My Home to Yours)|
|Cake Flour||2 ¼ cups|
|Baking powder||1 tbsp|
|Whole Milk or Buttermilk||1 ¼ cups|
|Egg whites||From 4 large eggs|
|Sugar||1 ½ cups|
|Grated lemon zest||2 tsp|
|Butter||1 stick @ room temperature|
|Lemon extract||½ tsp|
|Stabilized Whipped Cream|
|Gelatin Leaves||3 leaves (the ones that are 8-9 inches long)|
|Alcohol||1 tbsp (I used a pear infused brandy)|
|Filling & Toppings|
|Fresh Champagne Mangoes||4 peeled and thinly sliced|
|Crushed and peeled pistachios||1/3 cup|
for the cake:
- Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Butter 2 nine-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper as well. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together egg whites and milk in a separate bowl. Set aside both.
- Add sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of your stand mixer. Combine on low speed with paddle attachment. [You can also do this with your hands, so as to release the fragrance of the lemon zest]
- Add in butter and whip on medium high speed until butter and sugar are light and fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
- Turn speed down to lowest setting. Pour in lemon extract, then add flour mixture and egg white/milk mixture in three parts. Mix until just evenly combined but do not overmix.
- Transfer the cake batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack completely before assembling.
for the stabilized whipped cream:
- Soak gelatin leaves in cold water.
- Add heavy cream into the bowl of your standmixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until soft peaks just begin to form (1-2 minutes). Turn mixer down to lowest speed.
- Remove gelatin leaves from cold water. Put the leaves in a heat proof pan and set over a water bath until the leaves have just dissolved. About 1 minute. Do not over-heat as the gelatin leaves will smell like fish if over-dissolved.
- Splash a bit of alcohol into the gelatin to thin it out a bit.
- Quickly the gelatin into the whipped cream and continue to whip. Then add in powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
to assemble the cake:
- Shave off the tops of the cakes until the tops are fairly flat.
- Brush a bit of simple syrup on the interior edges of the cake to help stabilize the cake’s structure
- Spread a generous amount of whipped cream about 1/4 inch thick onto the first layer of cake. Place fresh cut mangoes on top of the whipped cream, leaving a 1/4 inch border from the edge. Reserve a few of the nicer mango slices for the topping. Then spread more whipped cream on top of the mangoes to lightly cover.
- Place 2nd layer of cake on top.
- Cover the rest of the cake with whipped cream.
- Place mango slices to cover the top of the cake.
- Finally, gently apply crushed pistachios to the sides of the cake until completely covered.