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 had.to.be.shared 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.
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.
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).