Saturday, March 6, 2010
I think this cake ended up being 6 inches tall! It was truly statuesque. The sponge cake recipe from the Joy of Cooking is a staple in my recipe repertoire. It's great on its own but it is also versatile as it complements any filling.
I took my inspiration for the mango mousse filling from those Asian bakery-style cakes with mango or strawberry mousse fillings. The sponge cake wasn't quite as light as Asian cakes but the mousse was excellent. I highly recommend using canned mango puree/pulp (in the ethnic foods aisle, indian food section) as it is usually sweetened already so you don't have to worry about adding any extra sugar to the mousse. This stuff is so good. You can use the extra mango pulp for smoothies, ice cream, milkshakes or in my favorites: Mango Cheesecake.
Have your egg whites at room temperature before starting this cake, the secret to perfect sponge cake is to beat your egg yolks until very thick and lemon-coloured.
Never-Fail Sponge Cake
Makes 2 - 9" rounds | Adapted from JOY
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup room temperature water
1-2 tablespoons lemon or orange zest (optional)
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set oven rack to middle position. Line the bottoms of two 9" round pans with parchment. (I wanted a taller cake so I used two 7" pans and had some leftover batter for a cupcakes) Leave sides ungreased.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl beat egg yolks until thick and lemon coloured (the egg yolks must be thick - beating time should take about 5 minutes or more). Add in sugar, vanilla and lemon juice; beat until thoroughly blended and no sugar granules remain (about 5 minutes).
Add in sifted flour mixture alternately with water; beat until just blended.
3. In a large bowl beat room temperature egg whites with cream of tartar until quite stiff; gently fold into the flour mixture. Transfer to the ungreased pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool completely in the pans upside down on cooling rack before removing.
Mango Mousse Filling
approx 3 cups
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup mango puree (I use canned puree)
Sugar to taste (if mango puree is not sweetened)
1 tbsp gelatin powder
2-3 tbsp hot water
1. Dissolve the gelatin powder in hot water. Add more water as needed but try not to water it down too much. Add liquified gelatin to the mango puree and mix well.
2. With very cold beaters and bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Strain mango-gelatin mixture and add to the whipped cream. If there are large chunks of gelatin left in the strainer put them in a bowl and microwave just enough to melt. Add to the bowl and continue to beat to a mousse consistency.
3. Use to fill the cake or transfer to pretty serving dishes. Refrigerate.