Nothing says summer better than Mangoes! Especially in India. Especially in Mumbai.
There are so many delicious varieties of mangoes in India – Banganapalli, Langda, Dashehri, Kesar and so on. But my favourite has got to be the Alphonso! It is so sweet and full of flavour! Mangoes make the horrid summer heat a teeny bit more bearable. I dread summers. I am definitely a winter and monsoon person. The heat and humidity are just not my scene. Give me an air-conditioned room, coconut water and some tasty mangoes and I might feel a bit better about this time of year.
Mangoes are extremely versatile. Eat them as is, add them to milk to make thick shakes, puree them and eat them with puris, add them to a nice leafy salad, enjoy the chunks of mango in mango ice cream… the possibilities are endless. My favourites are the milkshake and the ice cream. And the plain fruit as is, of course. I took this love of mangoes and milk/cream and converted it into a cake!
The base of this dessert is a light, airy, vanilla sponge. It is then topped with some whipped cream and fresh mangoes. Easy!
I made this cake three times before I was totally satisfied with the result. I tried different recipes for the sponge and different cream toppings as well. Initially, while the cake tasted great, I felt the sponge was a little dense. A few tweaks and tons of research later – voila! Melt in the mouth, light as air, mildly sweet, divine vanilla sponge! This base sponge can be used as a base for so many flavours. Or just had as is. It works superbly with the sweet mango and cream. YUM.
The other thing I struggled with was the cream. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get whipping cream here. None of grocery stores near here had it, neither was Big Basket stocking it 😦 I tried this twice with plain, fresh cream. While the cream doesn’t whip up and hold its shape, it does sort of get absorbed into the cake which gives the cake a nice moist texture (the husband liked these versions) but isn’t what I was looking for. I finally found some whipping cream in Nature’s Basket. Third time lucky! Makes such a difference – the cream sits as a nice little base for the mangoes and helps to just marry the flavours and textures of the cake and the mangoes. Please try to find whipping cream for this recipe.
The mangoes have been chopped by my amaze sous chef K. Also known as the husband 🙂 His knife skills are pretty epic. I have much to learn. I also didn’t really cut the layers well in this cake, so there shall be a round 4 to perfect that. What you could do is not cut layers at all, and just put the cream and mangoes on top. Or, level the top of the cake so that it is flat and then cut it into two layers, so they are equal.
Mango season is almost over! Buy the last few good ones and make this cake. You will not regret it. It is like little clouds of deliciousness in your mouth. Promise.
Vanilla sponge with mangoes and cream
2 mangoes – peeled and cubed
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
100g butter – softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (room temperature)
100ml whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Peel and cube the mangoes and keep them in the fridge to cool
- Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan. Pre heat the oven to 175C
- Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder
- Cream together the butter and sugar, with an electric whisk/stand mixer. The mixture should become light, fluffy (around 2-3 minutes)
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with flour. Make sure to fold the flour in and mix till just combined. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes till the tester comes out clean.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it come to room temperature.
- In the mean time, whip the cream till it thickens and has soft peaks. Don’t overwhip or it will split. Gently mix in the sugar and vanilla.
- Cut the cake in two layers. On the bottom layer, add 1/2 the cream and spread. Top it with 1/2 the mangoes. Place the top layer on and repeat the process. Your cake is ready 🙂 [/recipe-directions]