Mother's day for my family usually means a big gathering of at least 20 people. I have stopped counting how many mothers there are in my family. My mother, my parents' mothers, mom's sister and sister-in-laws, etc, etc.
Being in such a big family it usually calls for a big cake for the celebration. It usually starts with my mom baking a basic sponge cake (hey she needs to do something for her mother too!) while I put the rest of the cake together. This year, since I moved out and my mom sort of abandoned baking ever since, it's my job to put together the mother's day cake this year.
Personally I dislike the big cakes. It is not architecturally proportional. I prefer smaller cakes with proper heights.
I end up making 2 7-inch cakes: a mango yogurt mousse and a roasted chestnut mont blanc.
And of course, since it's mother's day, I have to use mom's favourite sponge cake for the base. She got the recipe years ago from a chinese baking book, which she perfected over the years. I didn't like the recipe before, not because I don't like the texture of it, but because I don't like to measure in ounzes. Now that most of the scales are digital and most of them can convert the units with a click of a button, I don't mind the recipe at all. I call it 5-4-3 sponge cake.
To make my life easier, both cakes use the same sponge cake. One recipe of cake yields half a 7-inch and half a 5-inch cake, which is perfect in size with no leftover.
Comments from the mom's: mango took the vote. Personally I like mont blanc better simply because I like a more complex texture of the chocolate cookie crust with cake and creamy mousse. There is room for improvement for the chestnut cream as well.
So shall we move on to the mango yogurt mousse cake recipe?
5-4-3 Sponge Cake
4 oz. sugar
3 oz. plain flour, sifted
1.5 oz. melted butter, cooled
- Separate the eggs into whites and yolks. Turn on the oven to 325 F. Line the bottom of baking sheet/springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and keep whisking until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the yolks into the mixture while mixing at low speed.
- Lightly fold in sifted flour. (Or alternatively, if you are using a standmixer, switch the machine to stir while adding in sifted flour. Stir until just incorporated.
- Fold in melted butter. Immediately pour in baking pan/sheet and bake 40 to 60 mins, depending on size.
- This recipe should yield 1 30x40cm sheet pan, or 1 8-inch round spring form pan, or in my case, ½ 7-inch plus ½ 5-inch pan to be used for mousse cakes.
- Doubling the recipe should yield a 10-inch cake.
- If mixed perfectly, the top of the cake should be flat after baking so there's not much need for trimming.
Mango Yogurt Mousse
(recipe from “French Dessert” by Mr. Yian Ben Xhu in chinese)
250g mango puree
125g cream cheese
20g lemon juice
20g cointreau (optional)
120g Italian meringue (recipe to follow)
375g whipping cream, 70% whipped (before soft peaks form)
- On top of a double boiler, melt cream cheese together with mango puree and lemon juice to 37C to 45C, set aside.
- Soften gelatine with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Add cointreau (if used) and heat until gelatine has melted. Set aside to slightly cool down to 27C.
- Add gelatine mixture to the cream cheese mango mixture and continue to fold in Italian meringue. After Italian mergine has been incorporated, fold in whipped whipping cream.
Italian meringueIngredients:50g egg white (about 1 egg)60g sugar30g water
- Heat up water and sugar in a small pan to 118C to 121C (turn down the heat when it's close to 100C). Do not over cook.
- Whisk egg white until it resembles foamy milk.
- While whisking, drizzle 118C sugar syrup gradually. Do not pour in the same spot or else the egg white will curdle.
- Continue to whisk until stiff peak forms, about 5 minutes.
100g mango puree
20g sugar (taste test! It depends on the sweetness of your mango)
8g cointreau (optional)
1 gelatine sheet
- Heat up mango puree and sugar until sugar dissolves.
- Soften gelatine with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Add cointreau (if used) and heat until gelatine has melted.
- Add gelatine mixture to the mango mixture.