Mango Mousse Sheet Cake

 

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This was my first attempt in baking mango mousse cake, and dare I say it, but it’s very successful! I used chiffon cake as a base, and replaced the milk ingredient with mango puree. It’s not the mango season now, but in most Asian grocery stores, you can find packaged mango purees. There’s frozen or unfrozen. The one I used was unfrozen packaged from the Philippines. It was way too sweet for me, so I reduced the sugar to only 1/4 cup for the cake. They did have an unsweetened mango puree, but unfortunately, there was only one on stock and it seemed to have been opened, so I had to settle for the sweetened mango puree. Regular grocery stores may have frozen mango puree from the Latin countries. But Philippine mangoes are more to my liking as I find it more luscious, sweet and less fibrous. If you can avail for fresh mangoes, it’s certainly much better. Yellow food coloring is completely optional. I don’t like to add coloring to my cake if it’s not really necessary, but this cake didn’t have the color of mango. It had a very pale yellow color, that no one would even know it you put mango puree in it just by looking. So, it’s completely preferential.

For the filling, I used mango mousse with mascarpone, so it’s a nice, light and very creamy filling for the cake. I was actually torn between mango mousse or mango pudding. I thought either one would be great on the cake. I went with the mango mousse instead to compliment the lightness of the cake.

I had some leftover egg whites from the flan I had recently made,  so I figured I could use those egg whites for Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This frosting fits nicely to the cake as it’s lighter than American Buttercream, but not too light like the whipped cream frosting.

This recipe can easily be turned into a round cake, if preferred. I actually did both. While I like the traditional round cakes, I prefer the sheet cake as it’s much easier to bring to parties or even storing the leftovers. The size of the sheet pan that I used in this recipe is 18 x 13, so yes, this makes a huge batch of cake!

Ingredients:

Chiffon Cake

  • 7 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil/unrefined coconut oil/canola oil
  • 1/2 cup mango puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon mango extract (optional)
  • yellow food coloring (optional)

Cake Syrup

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

Mango Mousse

  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 or 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup mango puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla/ mango extract

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup mango puree
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (optional, depending on how sweet you want the frosting)

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper or if making a round cake, 3 6-inch round pans, or 2 9-inch round pans. Leave the sides ungreased to help the cake rise even better.

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Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together for about 2-3 times.

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Separate the yolks and whites. Make sure that no yolks fall into the bowl of egg whites; otherwise, the egg whites won’t turn into meringue.

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In a mixing bowl using the whip attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartar/lemon juice/vinegar until stiff peaks form. Gradually, while still whisking on high, add 1/2 cup sugar to the meringue. Once combined, transfer the meringue into another clean bowl. Set aside.

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Using the same bowl where the egg whites were whisked , whisk the egg yolks and the other 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the oil, mango puree and milk, followed by vanilla extract (and mango extract, if using).

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Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture until well incorporated. Add yellow food coloring to the batter, if desired.

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Gently fold in the meringue until well combined. Fold 1/3 of meringue at a time, to make sure that everything remains smooth and airy.

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Pour the cake batter into 2 half sheet pans and spread evenly using a spatula.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. It may not have a completely browned top, but don’t worry.

Let the cakes cool completely.

While the cakes cool, make the cake syrup which is just basically equal amounts of sugar and water heated in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved completely. This syrup just helps the cake to be extremely moist and gives an added sweetness. This especially helps if you happen to over-bake any cakes. This does the trick to bring back the moistness!

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Gently brush the cakes with cake syrup and set aside while making the mango mouse as the cake filling.

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In a mixing bowl using the whip attachment, whip mascarpone and heavy whipping cream together. Start mixing with low as you don’t splash the cream all over you and the counter. Then turn the mixer on high, until stiff peaks form.

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The other way you could do this is by whisking in heavy whipping cream and mascarpone separately, then fold in the mascarpone into heavy cream. I prefer just mixing both together, but it may not work for others.

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Pour in the mango puree into the mixture as well the powdered sugar. Depending on how sweet the mangoes are, you may want to adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar you add into the mixture. I started mine with just 1/2 cup, then once everything is mixed, I tasted the mousse, and the sweetness was just perfect for me. If you like to add more sweetness, just simply add more confectioner’s sugar. Keep the mango mousse in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the cake.

The last part of this cake is the Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. Truly easy to do.

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Place a clean mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl, and whisk immediately. Keep on whisking to prevent scrambling the egg whites.

While doing this, take the butter out of the fridge and let it sit at the counter. You don’t want the butter to sit at room temperature for too long as it could melt once blended with the warm egg whites. You just want the butter to be slightly softened. Letting it sit at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes usually do the trick.

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After about 5-7 minutes and when the sugar has dissolved (the mixture does not feel gritty to touch), remove the bowl from the saucepan and whip the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.

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While the egg whites are whisking, cut the butter into small cubes.

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When the egg whites reach the stiff peak stage, continue whisking on high and throw in the cubed butter one at a time. Don’t hesitate, just throw one in right after another.

It may turn gritty and crumbly, looking like cottage cheese, but just keep on whisking. It will eventually come together.

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It will eventually look fluffy, smooth and velvety. Now to make it truly delicious, mix in the 1/2 cup mango puree. Taste to check if the sweetness is enough. If not, then add confectioner’s sugar. Probably start with 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Make sure to scrape the bowl once in a while.

This is completely optional, but if you like to have a distinct yellow color as a nod for the color of mango, you can add some yellow food coloring into it.

Now for the cake assembly…..

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I used a half sheet cake pan instead of the commonly used 9×13 cake pan to assemble the cake in. If you don’t have a cake pan the size of a half sheet, you can certainly trim the sheet cakes to fit into a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Place the first layer of cake into the cake pan, very gently so as not to break the cake. Spread all of the mango mousse on top of the first layer of the cake that has been brushed with cake syrup. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the mango mousse. Then very carefully layer the other sheet cake on top.

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Then dollop the buttercream frosting all over the top of the cake, and using a spatula, spread it all over until the whole surface is covered. The buttercream frosting in this recipe does not really provide a thick frosting. There’s only barely enough to cover the whole cake pan. If you prefer a much thicker frosting, I suggest to double the buttercream recipe.

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I used a decorating comb for cakes to give it a style, and then I had probably about 4 tbsp of mango puree left that I just spooned and splattered randomly all over the surface.

The cake is good as it already it is and can be served right away. But I highly recommend to let it sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to let everything set (especially the mousse). Before serving, take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature.

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And what you have is a really moist, soft and just over-the-top delicious mango cake. Truly one of the best and delicious cakes I’ve ever made!

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As I said earlier, you can certainly turn this recipe into a round cake. Just double the amount of buttercream frosting for the piping designs, or if you prefer a fully frosted cakes, instead of a semi-naked cake.

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