I mentioned a while back that some friends and I had started a supper club in my small town. We started with Italian and then most recently, with me hosting, we did Caribbean. I immediately volunteered for dessert because I saw a great opportunity to give Krystina Castella’s A World of Cake a test spin with a Cuban mango cake.
Castella’s book is absolutely comprehensive in its treatment of cake–countries, cultures and cuisines that you never associated with cake are all represented here, as well as those places you do associate with cake. Some are familiar, such as Bûche de Noël from French Canada and German Chocolate Cake from the southern United States. Some are completely exotic, such as Taiwan’s Sou Tao (Longevity Peach Buns). Most are somewhere in between, a little familiar but maybe not something those of us in the States bake or eat that often. I am suspecting all are delicious. Goodness knows this Cuban Mango Cake with Coconut was.
I purchased this book at the beginning of the year and about a month later was contacted by the publisher offering me a copy to review. Ack! Too late! But I did promise them a 100% honest review in exchange for a book for one of you, my lucky readers. (Speaking of which, congrats to Cheryl, the lucky winner of the World Kitchen saffron giveaway!)
There are 5 ways to win, and I need you to leave a comment for each method that you use. I will draw a winner on Saturday, midnight EST, May 14 (so technically the very early morning of the 15th). (This giveaway is now closed.)
- Leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favorite cake it.
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So about the recipe. I chose the mango cake and then needed to narrow it down further–one of the great things about this book is that after each recipe she lists variations on it. In the case of mango cake, I was choosing between mango buttercream, coconut, lemon or pineapple. I quickly rejected mango buttercream because I sometimes find mango too overwhelmingly sweet and I also rejected the pineapple on personal preference. After realizing that the lemon variation also called for making a true buttercream with eggs I reluctantly-because the lemon sounded oh so good-decided to try the coconut. I am glad now that I did because as I say I loved it and I am hoping that in the future I could try making this cake with coconut oil and coconut yogurt instead of butter or sour cream (because of my dairy woes for those of you who have not heard).
My icing turned out delicious but runny–and after pondering and overthinking and generally wanting to scream I realized that I had left out 1/4 cup of flour. Ooops. But it was delicious anyway and I would gladly do it the same way again. It was just more of a glaze. I used toasted coconut flakes instead of shreds out of personal preference. They did not stick as well but were scrumptious so I didn’t care!
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 7 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 mangoes peeled and chopped
- 1-2 mangoes thinly sliced
- 1 recipe coconut icing see other recipe
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray 2 9-inch pans with a grease/flour combo such as Baker's Joy. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each one. Stir in the vanilla, mangoes and half of the sour cream. Stir in half of the flour mixture. Stir in the rest of the sour cream and then stir in the rest of the flour mixture.
Scrape half of the batter into one pan and the remaining half into the other pan. Smooth the tops.
Bake the cakes for approximately 45 minutes, start checking on them at the 40 minute mark (Castella's instructions are for cupcakes, she does not give times for the 9 inch pans and I confess I cannot remember exactly how long they took). A cake tester inserted into the middle of the cakes should come out clean or with a little mango attached.
Let the cakes cool on a rack in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert and let finish cooling on parchment paper on a cooling rack.
Make the coconut icing (see other recipe). Use about 1 cup of it to frost the bottom cake (leave the cakes inverted and the tops will be more level) and then place the second cake on top of the frosted first. Let cool completely.
Ice or glaze the entire cake with the coconut icing and then lightly press shredded unsweetened coconut or toasted unsweetened coconut flakes into the cake. Arrange the mango slices on the top to form a concentric circle.
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 t almond extract I dislike so I left out
- 1 t vanilla
Combine everything but the extracts in a small saucepan. Whisk constantly on medium heat, for 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir the extracts in.
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