If I ask any Bengali, what’s the best thing about summer, I’m sure the majority would say “Mangoes.” or as we lovingly call them….”Aam” This fruit, so delicious, so sweet and perfect! I feel bad for those people in this world who will never get to know the wonderful-ness that is an Aam, who don’t have such easy access to Aam every summer as we Bangladeshis do. So as the lucky ones I feel it is our duty to showcase and celebrate this fruit in every way possible!
As for my part, last summer I made a mango salad on my birthday which went down very well and when this summer came around, I was looking forward to another occasion where I could use mangoes in a different way. That occasion came on my brother’s birthday which was on the 16th of June and I decided to make a cake incorporating mangoes in it.
I knew for sure that the cake would be a simple white cake but I had yet to come up with a way to make mangoes the star of the show. I was juggling between soaking the sponge cake by brushing real mango juice over the top of the cake after it’s baked or putting macerated mangoes in between the cake layers. I figured the former had the risk of being too mango-y so I went ahead with the latter.
So finally these were the elements that went into this cake:
1 White cake, sliced into two
Mango Filling, in between the cake layers
Swiss Meringue Buttercream, in between the cake layers and on top of the cake
Mango Flavoured Jello
This is how I prepared it:
- Flour- 1 ½ cups (180g)
- Baking Powder- 1 ½ teaspoon
- Butter- ½ cup (113g), room temperature
- Sugar- 1 cup (200g)
- Eggs- 2
- Vanilla- 1 teaspoon
- Milk- ½ cup (120 ml)
- Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and lightly butter an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake tin. Take butter out of the fridge and leave it to soften.
- In a bowl, sift together, flour and baking powder and whisk them together to mix ( This is to distribute the baking powder evenly throughout the flour to make sure that the cake rises evenly )
- In another bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and give it a whizz.
- Scrape down the mixture from the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Like so: 1/3rd Flour (F), ½ Milk (M), 1/3rd F, ½ M, 1/3rd F.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. ( As a rule of thumb: always set your timer on the lowest baking time, once that time is up, check the cake and increase the time accordingly)
- 1 ripe Mango, cut into cubes/ small pieces
- Place the mango cubes in a small, moderately deep bowl and then using a fork mash it up well until they look somewhat like baby food. You’re filling is ready! Place it in the fridge to chill.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Egg whites- 3
- Sugar- 2/3rd cup
- Butter-200gm, cut into cubes
- Vanilla- 1 tsp
- Prepare a heatproof bowl (Pyrex or stainless steel) by washing and drying it, This is to make sure it is totally grease free otherwise the egg white won’t rise properly. Then place the egg whites and sugar in it. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and using a whisk/large fork start beating the mixture. Continue beating until the sugar is completely melted in the egg whites, about 18-10 minutes ( to test: dip a clean finger into the mixture and rub it between two fingers to see if it still feels gritty).
- Once the egg whites and sugar mixture is melted, remove it from heat and start beating it using a beater. Beat for about 10 mins or until the mixture turns into a beautifully white meringue that holds stiff peaks.
- At this point, start adding the butter cubes one by one, beating well after each addition. The meringue will disintegrate and look quite unappetizing but do not worry, keep beating. After you’re done adding all the butter, add the vanilla and beat for a while more. At one point you will see the mixture will transform into a silky smooth butter cream, like magic! There you have it, this is your buttercream ( you can make this ahead of time and store it in the freezer, just thaw it properly and give it a good whizz with the beater before using it )
Mango Flavoured Jello
- ½ packet Mango flavoured Jello
½ cup boiling water
any medium sized bowl
- Heat half a cup of water in your microwave, then dissolve the jello into it. Pour it into any medium sized bowl (the shape of the bowl will determine the shape of your jello) and place in the fridge to set.
1.Make sure the cake is cool. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half ( try to make it as even as possible by using a sawing motion)
2. Place the bottom layer on your serving plate and spread a layer of buttercream on it. Then put the mango filling on top of it. Be as generous you want with the buttercream and mango filling.
3. Place the top layer over it. Then, spread a generous amount of buttercream on top of it. Take out the set jello from the fridge, wiggle it around in its container/bowl to loosen it up and then in a smooth motion flop it over and onto the bed of buttercream.
4. For decoration, you can dot a bit of buttercream on the sides of the cake and stick some “jelly chocolates”(as my big brother lovingly calls them) onto it.
So there you go, an uncomplicated cake with a favourite summer fruit, topped with jello and decorated with “jelly chocolates”. There couldn’t have been a better occasion to make this as I think it represents my brother quite well because that is what he is, uncomplicated, simple and everybody’s favourite! Happy Birthday again, bhaiya!