Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mango Mousse Cake 4Mummy's Bday

Can you imagine? Baked a cake for somebody's birthday and the cake turned out not as expected's mum's birthday!
That's what happened to me today...below is the story....

Have been planning to bake a birthday cake for my mum's birthday since she's in town - I asked her whether she prefers chocolate or fruity cake and she said she likes the latter one

After browsing many blogs and online recipe resources, I decided to bake mango mousse - since Thai honey mangoes are still available even though not as much
This was my first time making mousse cake as well as sponge cake
With so many recipes around, I chose the one from Happy Home Baking

At first I thought this gonna be a tedious, need a whole day to bake kind of cake, but I was wrong
This cake can't be categorized in simple cake (all layered cakes can't) but really, it's not so bad at all

Baking something that I never tried before for birthday cake for somebody as important as my mummy -WRONG!!!

The problem is not the cake, its in fact turned out perfect!
The sponge cake was perfect! It's really a keeper to use as cake base - unfortunately I didn't take a snap when it's just out of the oven
It's the mousse and the topping that messed the whole thing up!

The mousse: Since I'm still not so familiar with how "mousse state" looks like, I overbeat the whipping cream (lucky it's yet to turn into mashed tofu like texture, but very very close!)
No doubt the taste was excellent, but I ended up with lumpy and a little runny texture for the mousse, even after keeping in the fridge for more than 3 hours :(

Another big big big mistake I did...
The topping: Since I was disappointed with the mousse, I didn't want to use it as the cake topping, so it's only in between the 2 layers and I threw away the balance
Didn't want to have a bare plain birthday cake, but couldn't follow the recipe for the topping since I didn't have mango cordial
Cracked my unskilled brain and decided to arrange mango cubes on top and pour yellow agar agar

The top cake layer absorbed the agar agar so much that the texture changed, it expanded to double in size, became stiff and tasteless - it's like biting a sandy pudding :(
Luckily the mousse and the bottom cake layer was safe - still soft and moist, tasted yummy too

This is the cake before I knew about the "stiff sandy pudding"

Now you see the 2 pics below and you know what I mean when I said I'm really lousy at beautifying my bakings? So messy! I guess it's partly cos of my failed mousse *sigh*

I was shocked after see below - the expanded stiff top cake layer :(

This is what I did - I cut and disposed the top cake layer only, assemble the remaining and eat! hihihi...
While munching, I imagined if only all is perfect, this cake were really superb!!!

Aside from the mistakes I have done, this recipe should have resulted in a beautiful and yummy mango mousse cake
As usual, mistakes made will leading to another try - soon! Hope my family can bear with me haha...
Perhaps I'll switch to strawberry or peach for the next try :P

This is the recipe:

For the sponge cake: ( I used 20cm round springform pan)

100g cake flour
3 eggs, room temperature
90g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift cake flour, set aside. Line bottom and sides of an 20cm round pan with parchment paper, set aside
Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven
With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up)
Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter
Add sifted cake flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter. (To ensure proper folding in of the flour, you can add the flour in three separate additions)
Add the melted butter, fold with spatula until well blended
Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35mins (mine was 25mins), or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely

For the mousse:

350ml whipping cream (35%) + 3-4 tbsp icing sugar (depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)
300g mango puree
200g mango cubes
17g gelatin powder
60ml hot water
1 tbsp rum

Dissolve gelatin powder in the hot water - keep warm for use later
Whip cream til 70% stiff or mousse state
Add gelatin solution into mango puree – mix well
Add mango gelatin solution into whipped cream, combine well

To assemble:
Cool the cake, cut into 2
Line the inner circumference of the springform cake pan with pectin / plastic cake tape (can grease the pan and line with parchment paper)
Put 1 layer cake onto cake pan, top with mango mousse
Add mango cubes, top with some mousse just enuf to cover the mango cubes
Chill for 15mins
Put in the other cake layer and pour all mousse over it
Chill cake 3 hrs b4 serving

Another way to assemble (with mousse circling the sides of the cake):
Line the inner circumference of the springform cake pan with pectin / plastic cake tape (can grease the pan and line with parchment paper) and trim the cake smaller than the cake pan
This way the mousse will cover the whole cake and no need to cream the cake – just add deco on top (mango slice will do)
The rest is the same as above method

Recommended topping:
=> mirror layer: mixture of mango cordial, water and gelatin powder
=> drop teaspoon on mango puree on the cake surface and swirl the puree with toothpick
1 tsp at the centre, and the rest at the clock position: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

Some tips:
*** If the whipping cream cant go stiff like mousse:
Chill stainless steel bowl and beater b4 using
Whip over a bowl of ice water
When cream starts to thicken, beat a further 10counts -> mousse state
If overwhip, fats will separate from the cream and will get mashed tofu like mixture -> what has happened to mine *hiks*
*** Take note:
Dry cake:
Over beat the egg whites
Bake in too high temp too long
*** When the cake is chilled and set, use hair dryer to warm all around the sides of the cake pan to release the cake

Having said all the terrible 'should have not been done' things, we still enjoyed the cake minus the stiff cake layer
In the future, I will save the first time trial bakings for normal days!

Happy birthday mum! Sorry for the cake incident *hugz and kisses*


  1. It's okay, we all learned from our baking mistakes. The next one would be better. Fighting!

  2. It's the thought that count! At least half of it still good! You will have a perfect one the next time.

    From my experience, when making mirror layer you have to cover the cake fully with fruits to close up all gaps and chill it before pouring the jelly into it. Usually I used instant jelly can get from Phoon Huat/Sunlik. Hope this is helpful to you.

  3. hi LCOM, thks! yes, will definitely keep on trying til getting it right hehe...:)

    hi Wen, thks alot for the tips - will follow the next time i give this cake a try :)

  4. Glad the cake was still edible ;) I've tried making cakes for occasions and they've flopped horribly so I understand your agony :X Your hairdryer tip is really good btw! I've never heard of it before and have always used a blowtorch but the hairdryer is a good idea!

  5. hi Janine,
    thks for dropping by :)
    yeah...lesson 2learn! :P
    the hairdryer tips is from Florence (Do What I Like) and it does work! :)



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