I don't think a lot of people realize that it is not even mango season at this time in Australia. In a couple of months, mangoes will start appearing in the supermarkets but they will still be extremely expensive. Prices do not go lower until around December and January.
I couldn't wait to get this Mango Bravo experiment over and done with, so I settled for the next best thing.
These frozen mangoes are actually surprisingly good. The cake was going to be frozen anyway so I figured, using frozen mangoes won't really be an issue here. Besides, they are already cubed which makes it all the more convenient for me.
Okey, so now we have to make the whipped cream frosting. I had a few choices for this - whipped cream and sugar only, whipped cream and sugar stabilized with gelatin, non-dairy whipped cream OR the whipped cream/cream cheese combination I always make.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe most commercial bakeries probably use the first three options, especially the non-dairy which is more stable in warm weather. For me, if it were only for a topping or filling, these options would have been fine but since the whole cake will be covered with it, there was really no question as to which I would rather eat.
Of course, it's the whipped cream/cream cheese frosting! I use this frosting in a lot of my cakes - examples here, here, and here. Apart from being the most yummy, I find it really stable and stiff enough for piping.
I did not take step by step photos anymore but here is the recipe.
STABLE WHIPPED CREAM (more than enough to fill and cover the cake)
3 cups whipping or thickened cream, very cold
1 1/2 bars (375g) of cream cheese, cold
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cut up the cream cheese into small cubes. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Set aside.
In your chilled bowl and using clean beaters, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is quite stiff. Gently fold in the cream cheese then beat again at high speed for about a minute or until everything is well combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
To fill the cake:
Dab some whipped cream onto your cake board then center the bottom meringue layer (with the chocolate mousse) on top.
Place a meringue wafer on top of the chocolate mousse.
Fit a large piping bag with a coupler then fill it with the whipped cream. Pipe a dam around the cake edge then spread some whipped cream inside the dam.
Fill the center generously with mango cubes.
Spread more whipped cream until the mangoes are fully covered.
Top with the last meringue wafer.
Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of whipped cream. Chill this for a bit if you think your whipped cream is getting softer.
Use a 6" round cake pan or a bowl to create a mark at the cake top. This is just to serve as a guide when you start piping the ridges on the cake sides.
Fit the same piping bag you used earlier with a star tip. I used a tip #21 which is small. Just remember that the bigger your piping tip is (like if you use say, a 1M or a 2D), the more frosting you will use and the thicker it will be.
Starting from the bottom, pipe a straight vertical line going up the cake top edge and finishing off where the marked guide is. Do the ridges side by side, with no gap in between. Refill piping bag with more whipped cream as needed.
Go all the way around until you cover the entire cake side.
Pipe a shell border around the top, again using the circle mark as a guide.
Fill the space in the center with more mangoes! Yay, we're nearly done...
To make the chocolate drizzle:
In a mug or any microwaveable container, melt 100g of dark chocolate with about 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening. Microwave this for 1 minute first, then stir.
After that, microwave for 15 second intervals only until the chocolate is fully melted. Stir after each interval.
Let the chocolate cool slightly then transfer to a small piping bag. Snip a little bit off the end, then drizzle away! First at the top, where the mangoes are....
Then around the sides.
|I must admit that my drizzles are horrible! I wished I had done it differently :((.|
My cake ended up to be about 5 1/2" tall only. I really didn't mind that it didn't reach the targetted 7" height because it was still pretty big as it was.
You want to see what it looked like inside?
What do you think? Does it resemble a Mango Bravo slice?
The cake was really delicious but I couldn't finish this slice in one sitting as it was big. I don't think there is anything on this cake that one can actually dislike. The meringue was really crispy so I was happy with that. The chocolate mousse was firm and held up really nicely even though it was at the bottom of the cake. After it was frozen, the cake was a breeze to cut. Serving this cake frozen is really essential and also, using a sharp, serrated knife to slice it (in a sewing motion).
Impressive as this cake may seem, there is a downside too. Meringue's enemy is moisture and so the more it is exposed, the softer it becomes. To enjoy this cake the way it should be, it is best consumed immediately after it is taken out of the freezer and sliced. The longer it is exposed, the harder it will also be to slice properly.
Although I would say this first attempt was a huge success, there are still a few things I would like to do differently if I were to do this cake again:
1. I will try grinding my cashews into a fine meal, leaving only about 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped pieces. I think this will make the meringue less tight and give it a finer texture.
2. I will use fresh mangoes!
3. I will make a different chocolate sauce. I would have liked it more if the drizzle remained soft. Maybe a thinned ganache would do or even a store-bought chocolate sauce or chocolate shell topping.
Other than that, I believe all you Mango Bravo lovers out there will be happy with this copycat! Give it a go sometime. If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to improve this cake further, please let us know in the comments section below.