For my first blog post I’d like to share a recipe for one of my favourite layer cakes which combines the beautiful and delicate flavours of raspberry, mango and vanilla. It always goes down a treat with family and friends, and is a wonderful way to end a special occasion.
A word of warning, this isn’t a recipe for the faint hearted and takes a lot of patience and chilling time. There are however several bits that can be made in advance like the sponge layers (which can be frozen for up to a month), the simple syrup (which will last 1-2 weeks in the fridge) and the mango glaze (up to a week in the fridge) which can make life a bit easier.
My final bit of advice… make sure you read through the recipes a couple times and take into account the order in which things get assembled and therefore need to be made. Also, it’s definitely worthwhile measuring all your ingredients for each bit upfront, it makes a lot of difference. I’d also recommend investing in a decent extendable stainless steel cake ring, a cooking thermometer and a strip of baking acetate to line the ring with.
Mango and Raspberry Layer Cake
Makes: Roughly 8″ round cake
Time: 5-6 hours + lots of chilling time
This recipe will require the following elements:
- 2 layers of génoise sponge
- Raspberry Jam
- Simple Syrup
- Vanilla Bavarois
- Mango Mousse
- Mango Glaze
- Fruit and or/mini meringues to decorate
- 300g whole eggs
- 300g caster sugar
- 300g plain flour
- 125g unsalted butter melted
Preheat the oven to 190°C and line 2 30 x 40cm flat baking trays/sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Make a sabayon by putting the eggs and sugar in a clean bowl and whisking the mix over a bain-marie to 37°C. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and continue to whisk until it reaches the ribbon stage (lift the whisk and the mix should fall back on itself and a trail will be left across the surface that should hold shape for a moment, before sinking back into the mix).
Carefully fold the sifted flour into the sabayon using a spatula. When it is around three quarters folded through take 2 large scoops of the sabayon and mix it into the melted butter. Then add the butter mix into the sabayon and fold through until fully incorporated. Pour the mix onto the lined baking sheets, spreading evenly with a palette knife and bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 mins. You’ll know when they are done as they’ll be golden brown and spring back when pressed gently. Leave to cool and then use immediately or freeze for up to a month.
- 4-5 Tbsp. of good quality raspberry jam
- 1/4 sheet of leaf gelatine
So a bit of cheat here… but my mum makes the most amazing jam so I haven’t bothered to make one on the occasions I’ve made this cake. It seemed unnecessary at the time given the quantity of work required to make the rest of the cake, especially when I had an opened jar of my mum’s already in the fridge.
On the first occasion (my daughter’s 3rd birthday) I didn’t bother adding gelatine and as you can see from the photo the jam didn’t very well and seeped out of the sides. For my friend’s hen do I decided it needed a helping hand and added some gelatine:
Put 1/4 leaf of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 3-4 minutes until it softens. Warm the jam over a low-medium heat (you don’t want it boiling hot or else the gelatine won’t set the jam). Then squeeze out the water from the gelatine and mix into the jam with a whisk until fully incorporated. Leave to cool and put aside until assembly time.
- 62ml water
- 47g caster sugar
- 1/2 peel of lemon zest
- 1/4 vanilla pod split lengthways
Put water, caster sugar, lemon peel, seeds from the vanilla pod and the pod into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 mins, take off the heat and leave to cool. This should make 100ml of simple syrup of which you will need to set aside 50ml for the glaze.
- 250ml milk
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 40g egg yolks
- 40g caster sugar
- 6g of leaf gelatine
- 225ml whipping cream
Start by making a custard: Put the milk into a saucepan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and then put this as well as the pod into the pan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl start whisking together the egg yolks and sugar until they are well combined and light in colour. Pour half of the boiled milk mix onto the eggs and mix well. Return this back to the saucepan of milk and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until it thickens (coats the back of a spoon) and reaches a temp of 82-84 °C.
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until it softens. Squeeze out excess water and add to custard. Strain the custard into a bowl set in an ice bain marie (once the custard is cool take it out of the ice otherwise it will set). In a separate bowl whip the cream to ribbon stage and fold this into the cooled custard. Use immediately.
250g mango chunks
5g gelatine leaves
150g whipping cream
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cool water for 3-4 minutes to soften. Blitz the mango chunks in a blender and then place in a saucepan with the sugar and bring to a boil. Pass the pureed mango through a sieve and leave to cool for a couple minutes. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine and then whisk this into 150g of sieved puree and leave to cool. The remaining 100g of puree will be used in the mango glaze.
Whisk the whipping cream until ribbon stage and then fold into the cold puree mix. Use immediately.
- 4g gelatine leaves
- 90g mango puree (leftover from making the mango mousse)
- 50g simple syrup
- 1/4 vanilla pod
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cool water for 3-4 minutes to soften. Place mango puree, scraped vanilla seeds and vanilla pod in a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the gelatine (excess water squeezed out of it first). Strain the glaze through a fine sieve and leave to cool in an airtight container. This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- Cut the 2 génoise sponges into 2 x 8″ rounds using the cake ring as a guide.
- Put one layer of cake within the ring and brush over with the simple syrup.
- Spread a thin layer of the raspberry jam over the sponge.
- Pour the vanilla bavarois on top of the jam and ensure an even layer by using a palette knife.
- Add the second layer of génoise sponge on top of the bavarois and brush with simple syrup.
- Cover the cake with Clingfilm and leave in the fridge to set whilst you make the mousse.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the mango mousse on top, using a palette knife to spread the mix evenly.
- Cover with Clingfilm and place in freezer for minimum 4 hours.
- Pour the mango glaze over the frozen mango mousse and leave in the fridge to set. Please note the glaze will need to be at room temperature before use so if you’ve made this in advance and stored in the fridge you’ll need to melt it down again in a saucepan on low heat and leave to cool on the side.
- Leave in the fridge to defrost for 6-8 hours and decorate with fresh fruit/mini meringues just before serving.