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!

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My Favorite Carrot Cake

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There are gazillion recipes for a carrot cake in the internet, and I’ve tried many. But this recipe is my favorite among them all! It’s moist but not too oily, the spices are spot on and the frosting is just plain delicious. This recipe uses crushed pineapple which makes the cake really moist, with the help of the other ingredients.

My sister once told me that it is the cream cheese frosting that makes the carrot cake really good. In this recipe, instead of using the classic butter and cream cheese combination, I used softened cream cheese and whipped topping. No, not whipped heavy cream, but the commercial whipped topping (i.e. CoolWhip). I used to think that both of them are the same. Actually, they’re not. Whipped topping resembles whipped heavy cream, but it’s “almost” non-dairy. It’s mostly made of sugar, oil and other stabilizers. When I tried whipped topping for the first time, it somehow reminded me of marshmallow, and not of cream. And as most of you know, marshmallow is basically made up of whipping warm sugar. In this case, I chose whipped topping over heavy cream as it’s more stable to use when it comes to frosting cakes. Additionally, the light, and airy marshmallow flavor from the whipped topping combining it with cream cheese just truly appeals to me.

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Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Cake

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When I saw the video of Ina Garten making the chocolate buttercream frosting, I was immediately sold! I was like, this is it! This will be the next cake I’ll be making. And I never regretted it. The cake is moist and has deep chocolate flavor. Not too mention, quite easy to make. The frosting, however, is the kicker. Instead of American buttercream, which oftentimes only has butter, melted chocolate and powdered sugar into it, the frosting has meringue incorporated into it (Swiss Buttercream) which makes the frosting much lighter and I think more flavorful.

This recipe makes a lot of cakes and a lot of frosting. You won’t have to fear if you have enough frosting for the layers and the pipings, as I guarantee you that you’ll have enough. I ended up with 3 6-inch round cakes and about 30 mini cupcakes. The frosting is enough to frost both the cake and the cupcakes. I guess you can halved this, but I dare not try yet.

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Mini Blueberry Cupcakes

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I adore anything minis, so when I was asked to make something with blueberries, I immediately jumped into action and baked these mini blueberry cupcakes. These are moist and tender, and just the perfect amount of sweetness. The recipe is based from Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins, although I did make some small changes into it. The recipe calls this as muffins, but I think the recipe is more of for cupcakes. I excluded the mashing of blueberries and added a little bit of cinnamon into the batter. I reduced the amount of sugar, and added a couple of tablespoons of sour cream for that extra tenderness. I was contemplating whether to frost this mini cupcakes, but I think that these are already good as it is, so I didn’t bother with frosting. This has become one of my favorite on-the-go snacks at work!

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Ginger Cake/ Gingerbread Cake

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I’ve never had ginger cake before. I often read it in historical books and I wondered, what does a ginger cake taste like? I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to find in any bakeries around my area. I did my research on this, and most of the time, the recipes I saw are gingerbread cakes. I’m still not sure what’s the difference between the two, as they both almost have the same ingredients.

The recipe I have is adapted from April Bloomfield’s recipe, although I tweaked it a little bit. The cake is moist and flavorful. It’s not overly spiced and ginger-y. Just the perfect amount that I like. No frosting needed, although it’ll be a good addition indeed. As I said earlier, I’ve never had ginger cake before, so I can’t really make a comparison. But if a ginger cake is this good, no wonder that this is one of the cake that’s still eaten for decades.

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Strawberry Ricotta Cake

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This isn’t the traditional Italian ricotta cake. This is more like a chiffon or a sponge cake mixed with ricotta cheese. The ricotta cheese helps to make this cake more flavorful, moist and rich. Actually, this idea came from having a ricotta pancake which tasted so good. Then, I thought why not add ricotta cheese in my regular chiffon cake?

As for the strawberry, we adore strawberry syrup on our pancakes, so I made strawberry mousse and it turned out a great flavor to match with this fluffy ricotta cake.

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Red Wine Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Definitely not a cake for kids!!

The idea of adding red wine into a basic chocolate cake recipe took hold when my father threw in that suggestion to me. Red wine and dark chocolate…what could ever go wrong with that combination? I’m not a wine lover, but my dad is a connoisseur. We’ve got plenty of wine bottles in the house, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.

The recipe that I used is my basic chocolate sheet cake recipe on which I replaced milk with red wine. I think the red wine actually gave the chocolate cake a much beautiful, darker color than usual. Frosting is a must for any chocolate sheet cake. So, please don’t skip that. I added wine both to the cake and the frosting. I initially thought that the red wine would cook off at the end of baking, but I was wrong. The alcohol flavor is still there. So, this cake is only for adults!

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Warm Chocolate Melting Cake (Lava Cake)

 

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I first had the chance of feasting on this decadent and luscious dessert on a Carnival cruise to Mexico. It was just a pure, unadulterated, and chocolatey deliciousness! It was paired with a good vanilla ice cream. The combination of warm chocolate cake and cold vanilla ice cream is one of the best in my vocabulary! Carnival Cruise Lines is willing to share the recipe to everyone, and it’s easy to find online as well. The caveat? The recipe that was given to me by a cruise staff is a recipe for a huge batch of this dessert (not surprisingly, I guess). As much as I like to devour this, I don’t think my family and I can eat that much. So, here’s my take on their warm chocolate melting cake. I tweaked some changes, reduce the amounts of ingredients (especially the sweetness), and it came out soooo delicious!!

Not to mention that you can make this in advance. Yes! I’ve experimented on this during the weekend and I was very successful. Initially, I had thought that the batter has to be cooked almost immediately as there could be some textural changes and such. Additionally, you can only serve this warm, meaning you have to make this just minutes before serving, which may not be ideal at times. However, after last weekend, I found out I was wrong on both accounts. No changes in the batter as long as it’s kept in the fridge, and even though it’s no longer served warm, it’s still quite delicious!!

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Tres Leches Bundt Cake

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This is probably the second time I’ve made a Tres Leches Cake. The first Tres Leches cake I made was when I was still in my teens. After that, for some reason, I never made it again until last weekend. Such a shame, as this is one of the most delicious, moistest, one of the easiest and probably the milkiest cake you’ll ever have! Before, I had baked this in a rectangular pan, topped it with whipped frosting and sifted cinnamon. It had turned out awesome and delicious! One of my most successful cakes I had made back then, despite it’s plain appearance. Recently, I acquired a medium-sized bundt cake pan that looked like new from a thrift store. I was itching to use it, but I just couldn’t think of what cake should I make that would entice my family. And then my brother came to me and asked if I could bake a Tres Leches cake for him. He told me one of his co-workers made one for everybody and he totally loved it. Hence the idea of baking a Tres Leches in a bundt cake!

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