I’ve had my fair share of cake failures in the past. None more so than the first chocolate cake I ever made, but my first mango mousse failure also falls into close competition and is one I’m unlikely to forget anytime soon- afterall, it was the failure which inspired me to start this blog!
I’d decided to make a mango mirror mousse cake, not unlike the one in this post (although in my head, I’d imagined the finished product to be a little fancier)- this was back in the days before I started this blog, when my baking experience was limited to a handful of simple cakes and cookies. It was yet another one of my perhaps too ambitious baking projects especially considering the amount of interest, knowledge and experience I’d had with cakes, but hey, what’s the fun if it’s too easy right?
In hindsight, it was a project destined to fail as I had little understanding of the ingredients and the way that the mousse works but it did teach me that:
- Store bought mango puree tastes nothing like the real stuff, is a lot runnier and watery and pretty damn expensive too!
- If you add gelatine powder (dissolved in warm water) into a mixture that’s too cold, it’ll lump up and create blobs of jelly in your mixture- and that also means that it won’t do anything to your mixture
- You can’t really fold whipped cream into a mixture that is too runny- trying to whip the mixture up afterwards doesn’t do anything to save it either.
…and plenty of other things which are too embarassing to mention.
So I ended up with a rather ugly looking cake, which tasted marginally better than it looked…………..which was pretty much so bad that I decided that I should start a blog to start documenting everything so that I could actually start learning from my mistakes and put some more effort into making things turn out not so bad.
Fast forward four years later, and I’ve finally gotten around to remaking this mango mousse cake, this time with a better sponge cake and mango mousse recipe, using real mangoes and spreading out each component over a couple of days so that it wouldn’t be so rushed. It sounded like a perfect plan until I realised my mousse ring was much too short compared to my cake rings, I forgot to add more water to the glaze and I realised I didn’t have fruits to decorate the cake with. But it tasted a pretty amazing and at least a billion time better than my first attempt 🙂
I couldn’t really just leave it at that so here’s my latest attempt which is far from perfect (I forgot to add sugar to the glaze…..but you don’t know that!) but hey- at least I can say I’ve learnt from my mistakes!
Mango Mousse Cake
Makes a 15cm cake
Mousse recipe adapted from Desserts for You
Egg yolk 2
Caster Sugar (A) 20g
Cake Flour 55g
Baking powder 1.5g
Egg white 2
Caster Sugar (B) 40g
Cream of tartar 1g
1.Whisk together the egg yolks and 40g of caster sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns slightly pale. Add in the milk and oil, then whisk lightly until combined
2. Sift in the cake flour and baking powder and lightly whisk into batter until just combined.
3. In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the caster sugar slowly and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until just combined.
6. Pour into a 15cm small round tin (or smaller) and bake in a preheated 180C oven for ~20 minutes. Cool completely. Alternatively you can divide the mixture into two tins and bake each for ~15 minutes to save you having to cut the cake in half later. My tins are ~12cm which are a bit small for this recipe so I bake them in two tins and slice off some of the top of each as they’re too high for my mousse tin.
Mango Puree 200g
Egg yolks 2
Lemon Juice 10mL
Whipping Cream 165mL (I used thickened cream)
Gelatine Leaf 7g (I used gelatine powder dissolved in a couple of teaspoons of warm water)
1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick
2.Heat the milk over low heat while stirring continuously. Turn off the heat. Pout the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture from step 1 and stir well. Put it back on the stove and add the gelatine leaf and cook until the gelatine dissolves and the mixture turns thick. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
3. Stir in the mango puree and lemon juice.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the mango custard from step 3. Fold until well incorporated.
1. Cut the cake in half lengthwise into two layers (if you baked it in one tin) and place one of the layers on a plate. Place a mousse ring around the cake- you will need a ring which is slightly larger than the cake itself- if your ring is the same size as the cake, you probably want to trim the cake a bit to make it smaller.
2. Pour about half of the mousse mixture into the ring over the cake. Tap and jiggle the mixture lightly to make sure that the mousse fills all the spaces. Cover with the second layer of cake and pour the remainder of the mixture into the ring so that it almost reaches the top of the ring. You want to leave a couple of millimetres space for the mango glaze. Refrigerate for about an hour or until the mousse has set sufficiently.
Caster Sugar 1tbsp
Gelatine powder 2g
Mango Puree 1tsp (you can add more depending on how clear you like your glaze to be)
Yellow Food colouring (optional)
Note: you want to make the glaze after you’ve assembled the mousse and the cake in the tin and the mousse starts to set.
1. Mix the water with the sugar until mostly dissolved. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and set aside for 5 minutes.
2. Heat gently over warm water (I microwaved mine for a couple of seconds) until the gelatine is fully dissolved
3. Add the mango puree and a drop of food colouring if you want the glaze to be more yellow. Set aside to cool until thickened (but still pourable)- if it cools too much and becomes too jelly-like, you can heat the mixture up again.
4. Pour the cooled mixture into the mousse ring until it reaches the top. Put the cake back into the fridge to cool for a couple of hours until completely set (I usually leave it over night).
5. To take the cake out of the ring, heat the outside of the ring either briefly with a blow torch or with a hot tea towel, then slip the ring off the cake. Transfer to a new plate and refrigerate for a while longer (optional) before decorating and presenting!