Friday, July 9, 2010

Catching Up On A Few Birthdays

My first post to this blog was in October of '07, not far short of 3 years ago. So "where have all the blog-iversaries been?" would be perfectly reasonable for you to ask 8). Well ya see, workaholic that I was, I left this young blog alone and unloved for the better part of 2 years until I met a stunning strawberry cake that simply for my own birthday last year. Since that was the real start of my blogging and to keep things simple, I decided then to celebrate 6 Bittersweets' birthday at the same time as mine.

What could I make this year to outdo a cake decked out with whipped cream and the season's ripest berries, not to mention one that had saved my fledgling site from the black hole that (I imagine) swallows up abandoned blogs? How about my favorite dessert re-born in a tropical mango paradise? Yes, please! Now beauty and foodgasms can't always come cheap (at least not when you've invited mascarpone, cream, and exotic fruit to the party). But if you've ever believed a word out of my mouth, believe this: this cake is worth every penny.

Mangomisu with Raspberry Sauce

Sweet and tart, juicy and fragrant, cool and creamy...all the flavors and textures meld perfectly to make every bite a revelation. Other than slicing the mangoes, assembly is fast too. Plus you won't even lose your summer cool, as there's no baking involved. Our 1st blog birthday (and my 25th) was joyous indeed, thanks to this remarkable treat as well as to every one of you lovely readers out there. So much has changed in just a year, and I wouldn't have made it this far without your encouragement. Truly, you all inspire me.

Alright, everyone, you can come out of hiding now. I'm done with all the sappiness ^__^. Now please go make this cake. Like right now. Bring it to a party or throw a party so you'll have an excuse to make it. Whatever it takes to get this deliciousness in your mouth ASAP. And while you're doing that, I'll be here planning all sorts of exciting things to share with you in the coming year :).

Mangomisu Cake [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from delicious. magazine
Serves 8 to 10

XIAOLU'S NOTES: Be sure to let the cake chill completely before attempting to unmold it. I did this too early, so the edges got messy. I ended up putting a cake ring back around the cake, freezing it, and smoothing the edges at the end. As a substitute to Grand Marnier, I boiled down the juice of 2 more oranges to about half the original volume and added 2 tablespoons of dark rum at the end. Since I used the soft type of ladyfingers, I brushed syrup on the ladyfingers instead of dipping them. I include directions for both types below.

500 g [16 to 18 oz.] mascarpone cheese
600 ml [2 1/2 cups] heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar [or more to taste]
2 medium egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped [or 2 tsp vanilla extract]
1/2 cup Grand Marnier [see note above]
Juice of 2 medium oranges
300g [about 2 packages] savoiardi (ladyfinger sponge biscuits)
[see note above]
3 large mangoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1 cm [1/3-inch] thick
[I used 6 small mangoes and the amount was perfect]
Raspberry Sauce [recipe below]

Line the base of a 22cm [9-inch] springform cake pan with plastic wrap or baking paper. Place the mascarpone, heavy cream, powdered sugar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until very thick and well combined.

Combine the Grand Marnier and orange juice in a separate bowl. Dip half the ladyfingers into the juice mixture and layer in the base of the cake pan [or layer then brush the ladyfingers with juice mixture if using the soft variety of ladyfingers]. Spread with one-third of the mascarpone mixture, and top with one-third of the mango slices. Repeat the process, then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture, reserving the remaining mango slices to serve. [I decorated the top with mango slices right away with no problem.] Cover the cake and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

To serve, carefully remove the sides and base of the cake pan and transfer the mangomisu to a platter. Decorate with curls of the reserved mango, then slice and serve with raspberry sauce.

Raspberry sauce
1/4 cup (55g) sugar [or more to taste]
2 T water
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon [I also added 1/2 tsp lemon zest]

Place the sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly, then add the berries and lemon juice [and zest, if using]. Whiz in a food processor until smooth or mash well with a spoon, then pass through a strainer, making sure to push as much liquid through as possible. Chill until ready to serve. (You can make the sauce in advance and store it, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days).


  1. Beautiful cake! And it sounds ridiculously delicious too. Happy birthday to you and your blog! I turn 25 later this year and this is definitely going to be in consideration for my own cake.

  2. Happy Birthday to you and your blog going ahead! I'm hiding the screen from Mr NQN right now as I know he'd ask me to make that! :P

  3. Oh wow that looks and sounds amazing!

    Happy birthday - I hope you have/had a good one :)

  4. Happy birthday to both you and the blog! This cake looks insane(ly delicious). Definitely worth every penny. I'm glad it was spared from the black hole of abandoned blogs. :P

  5. Happy Birthday girl! And um.. this cake looks HEAVENLY!!

  6. Yay June birthday girls! Happy Birthday to you, too! That mango cake totally has me drooling. I love how you curled the mango slices around each other on the top of the cake--so pretty!

  7. That cake looks amazing, love the pattern!

  8. Thanks, everyone! It's been such a fun year even though I haven't always been able to blog as much as I wanted. Hope you like the cake and can't wait for year no. 2 =D.

  9. Loved the textures and the art in this recipe!

  10. The cheesecake looks so pretty! Love how you arrange the topping.
    Happy Birthday!

  11. Happy Birthday to you and the blog!! Mangomisu looks amazing!!

  12. So beauiful. I love the pattern of the mangoes. I see that you found the cake stand you were looking for :) Also love the antique looking knife.
    Happy Birthday!

  13. I have been dying to make this ever since I saw it in delicious magazine!
    Looks fantastic!

  14. Beautiful presentation! Gorgeous!!

  15. I've never seen a cake with mangoes before. It looks lovely!

  16. what a unique cake! i'm not sure i'd be willing to take it to a party and share it. :)
    happy birthday indeed.

  17. Wowowowowow, This looks soo divine. So glad you are out of the blogging black hole!

  18. Wow, that is one incredible cake, both beautiful and undoubtedly delicious! Happy birthday(s)!

  19. Happy birthday & happy blog birthday!! :) Mascarpone is one of my favourite ingredients in dessert! This is a stunning and perfect cake to celebrate your birthdays. I need to make that strawberry cake again soon...

  20. HO-LY-COW! My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw this in my Google reader... *BOOKMARKED!!!*

  21. Such a stunning cake. Truly a fitting way to celebrate two very special occasions. I love the mango swirls on top.

  22. Xialou, I left a few ideas on my urad daal post for you :) Happy Birthday and Blog Birthday!This cake is stunning! Love your photography :)

  23. ? - thanks!

    Angie - I had fun arranging these wonderfully ripe mangoes, but did have to steal a few pieces ;).

    Avanika - I'm glad you like it.

    Sala - Gracias. I did indeed find a vintage rack. I realized it's kind of silly to have put a no-bake cake on a cooling rack haha.

    ABowlOfMush - Aw it's good to find another delicious mag. fan. The bookstore I bought it from just stopped carrying it though :(.

    pigpigscorner - thx, girl!

    Lexie - you're too sweet.

    Laura - hehe, tank ya.

    El - it's so delicious and refreshing. please do try it!

    grace - haha. i only got to slice and try it after i got to work and i did consider hiding it away for a split second!

    Koko - haha it was tough to climb out but i made it!

    Hannah - thanks, chica.

    eatme_delicious - i need to make the strawberry cake again, too. it haunts me sometimes it was so good ;p. as you can see by now, i posted a reincarnation of it in cupcake form.

    Simply Life - Glad you think so.

    How To Eat A Cupcake - yay! i'd love to see what you'd do with this.

    Trissa - the swirls were so fun to arrange. you should try it!

    Sanjana - thanks for the tips and for stopping by!

  24. Goodness. It's mango season here. This cake is soooooo made. I am in love!

  25. congrats! your desserts look amazing!

  26. LOVE the topping, looks delicious, professional and almost TOO good.

  27. gorgeous cake!!!!
    and happy B-day :)

  28. Looks absolutely elegant and yummy!

  29. A fabulous cake! I love magnoes, especially in fresh desserts. Happy belated Blogiversary!



  30. Has anyone ever said anything about the eggs not being cooked in this dessert? It looks sensational and have wanted to make it since it came out in Delicious but have hesitated because of the raw eggs and how funny people are about that.

  31. Hi Vicki! Thanks for your very appropriate question. I read on Rose Levy Beranbaum's site ( that food safety experts agree that the highest risk for eating raw eggs is to young children, the elderly, pregnant, and those whose immune systems are impaired. While I got no complaints of upset from this cake with the raw yolks, I found at least 2 options if you want to play it safe: (1) use yolks from eggs that are labeled as pasteurized on the carton or (2) cook normal raw yolks according to the directions on this page just make sure they're completely cooled before using in this recipe. Hope that helps!


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu