Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Xmas 2011 and a Mango Mousse Log Cake

Merry Xmas to all of you out there! (I am still bathing in the mood of the Xmas as I am posting this. Hope it is not too late for greetings.) Christmas is one festive holiday in the year which I always look forward to. Somehow, the joy factor rises to an all-time-high and everyone seems to be pretty much hyped up and all ready for the arrival of this great festive season.

When it comes to the month of Dec, my mind would be preoccupied with festive shopping for gifts and not to forget, Xmas bakes! I had a couple of ideas for Xmas bakes this year - brownie cupcakes with chocolate peppermint patty center, mint chocolate cookies, Christmas tree cupcakes; but I decided not to make it an tiring affair. Instead, I made some orange cranberry shortbread and a mango mousse log cake since R2E2 mangoes are in season.



While I was doing grocery shopping for a Xmas potluck, R2E2 mangoes were going on sale (2 for S$6.55). Unable to resist the urge, I picked up two of these cheery-summery looking stone fruits and the idea of making a mango log cake was waving at me.

These days, I am more inclined towards eating mangoes that are plump and have reddish-orange skins. Such mangoes tend to be sweeter and more fragrant than the usual yellow coloured varieties like the Thai honey mangoes, which are a little lacking in fragrance.



It might prove to be tricky for some people when it comes to removing the skin from the flesh, but this can be easily done with some clever manoeuvre of the knife and a spoon. First, slice the mango following the curve of the stone on one side, sticking as close as possible to the stone. Repeat the same for the other side. You will end up with 3 sliced portions of mango, as shown in the first picture above. To remove the skin from the two portions without the stone with ease, simply use a spoon and dig as closely to the skin as possible starting from one end, until a whole chunk of mango is released from the skin. This chunk can then be used for diced easily for use in cooking or baking. I remember watching a chef preparing mangoes and have been using this method ever since. 



Compared to layer cakes, log cakes are much easier to prepare. They are in fact Swiss rolls disguised with an exterior of cream frosting. While I was doing the rolling, it reminded me of a failed attempt of a black forest log cake the year before. Previously, the filling was too runny and it made the rolling difficult to execute, causing the end product to be a mess. 

The same thing happened a second time. The mango mousse filling was a little runny and after rolling the sheet cake, some of the filling were 'pushed out' of the Swiss roll. Luckily, it didn't turn out a big mess and was decent enough to be frosted into a log cake. Next time, I would do the following:
  1. Slope the filling towards the side to be rolled so that there is less filling on the ending side and the mango mousse would not be pushed out after rolling.
  2. Omit the last row of diced mango and  mango puree.
  3. Chill the mango mousse with the sheet cake and toppings so that it would be much easier to roll and the filling would not be so runny.  
 


Since the idea of doing the log cake was a last minute gut-feeling affair, I was unable to grab hold of Christmas log cake toy decorations. I had to borrow a stash of it from my baking buddy. Guess what? I returned her the toy decorations, but on top of the mango log cake. 

I made some observations when frosting the log cake with dairy whipping cream. All along, I have been faithfully using diary cream. When whipped and frosted, the appearance always look somewhat clumpy and un-smooth, unlike the smoothly frosted log cakes/cakes found in bakeries. I have been told that log cakes in bakeries are frosted with fresh cream. However, the so called 'fresh cream' from these cakes taste more like a cross between buttercream and dairy whipped cream, which puzzles me. 

All this while, I have never used non-dairy cream or whip-topping cream which are non-dairy in nature, but my experience tells me that dairy whipping cream taste nothing like buttercream and whipped fresh cream is no where as smooth as buttercream. Hence, I cannot help but suspect that the cream used for giving cakes that smooth appearance is actually non-dairy cream or whip topping cream and nothing like fresh cream as what some bakeries have claimed. Perhaps my dear fellow bakers can share your experience with use of whip topping cream and non-dairy whipping cream.  

Mango Mousse Swiss Roll/Log Cake (Sponge recipe adapted from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷)
Serving size:10-12 slices
Taste and texture: Cake base is soft, moist and fluffy. Mango mousse filling is fruity, smooth and light.
Equipment and materials: 

  • 12 x 12 inch pan or 10 x 14 inch pan
  • Stand electric beater/ handheld electric beater 
  • Spatula
  • Wire whisk/balloon whisk
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wire rack
  • Flour sieve
  • Parchment/baking paper
  • Brush for oiling pan
  • Weighing scale

Separated-egg Sponge Cake Ingredients: 

  • 40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 80g egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 170g egg whites, at room temperature
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 60g cake flour, sifted

Mango Mousse filling:

  • 180g fresh mango puree (Use a good variety of mango for best results)
  • 180ml dairy whipping cream
  • 70g mango, diced
  • 50g fresh mango puree

Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 250ml whipping cream (dairy or non-dairy)

Making the separated-egg sponge:
Prepare Oven and line pan - Preheat oven to 190 degrees C and line tin with baking/parchment paper. 

Preparing the egg yolk mixture - In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 25g castor sugar. Whisk the egg yolks with a beater on high speed until the yolks have increased in volume, are paler looking in colour and thickened. 

Beating egg whites - In a metal bowl, beat eggs whites starting with low speed. When the egg whites turn frothy, slowly increase the speed to high and beat until egg whites are soft peaks (egg whites form peak that is drooping). Add the sugar (75g) slowly at this point and continue beating until egg whites are nearly stiff but still moist and not dry. This is when the bowl is overturned, the egg whites would not budge. Egg whites will form shiny and creamy upright peaks when beater is withdrawn. Take care not to overbeat the egg whites as they will become dry or may water out.

Folding egg whites into egg yolk mixture - Fold one third of beaten egg whites with a balloon whisk into egg yolk mixture to lighten and mix well. Incorporate another one third of the whites. Lastly, add the rest of the egg whites and fold gently to obtain a smooth uniformly coloured foamy batter. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula to ensure batter is well mixed. 

Adding flour and butter - Fold flour gently into the whites-yolk mixture in 3 batches with a balloon whisk, turning the bowl as you fold. Ensure that there are no visible traces of flour before adding the next batch. 

Once the flour has been incorporated, scoop a portion of the mixture into a small mixing bowl and combine with the melted butter. Fold this mixture back with the bulk of the flour-white-yolk batter to obtain the final batter. 

Baking the cake - Pour batter into a 12 x 12 inch tin or 10 x 14 inch lined swiss roll tin. Level the batter and bake for about 12 minutes. Start checking for done-ness at 9 mins. Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow sheet cake to cool. 

Preparing Mango Mousse:
Whip180ml of dairy cream until is reaches mousse state, about 70% stiff (before soft peak stage). Fold the  whipped cream into 180g of mango puree until well combined. Set mango mousse aside. 


Preparing whipped cream frosting: 
Before whipping the cream, chill the mixing bowl and beaters. In a chilled mixing bowl, whip 250ml of whipping cream on medium speed until it becomes mousse-like. Turn the speed to low and beat until it produce soft peaks. Do not beat it too stiff as the whipped cream will turn grainy when frosted.  

Assembly:
Turning the cake out - Carefully turn the cooled sheet cake onto a piece of baking/parchment paper. Slowly peel off the attached baking/parchment paper from the cake. Place a new piece of baking/parchment paper over the sponge. Invert the sponge again, carefully. Now, peel of the top piece of baking/parchment paper. The skin would be stuck to the baking/parchment paper and would be removed. 

Applying the filling - Dab a layer of mango mousse onto the cooled sponge sheet. Ensure the starting end has a thicker layer of mousse and the ending side has a thinner layer of mousse. 

Place a row of diced mango onto the mousse layer near the starting end and another row in the middle. 

Using a spoon, scoop the mango puree and form a stream of puree between the two rows diced mangoes. Add another stream of mango puree further down the second row of diced mangoes. It will look something similar to that as shown in the 6th picture above, without a 3rd row of diced mango and 3rd stream of mango puree. 

Rolling the cake - With the shorter side/breadth facing you (if using 10 x 14 inch pan), roll the cake up tightly to form a swiss roll. Allow swiss roll to chill in the refrigerator until mousse filling is set. 

Frosting the log cake: Place swiss roll on a 10 x 10 inch square cake board. Slice one-fifth of the log and position this sliced portion at the side of the main roll. This is to give the log cake a branched shape. Chuck rectangular slips of baking paper under the log cake. 

Apply a thin layer of whipped cream over the swiss roll, ensuring all sides are covered with cream. Use the tines of a fork to scratch along the surface of the whipped cream frosting to create a 'tree bark' effect. For a snowy effect, dust with snow powder/icing sugar and decorate as desired. Carefully remove the rectangular slips of paper. 

Notes:
  1. Serve log cake chilled. Mango mousse filling would not hold its shape well at warm room temperature for long. 
  2. Dairy or non-dairy cream may be used. 
  3. Whipped cream will continue to firm up when frosted, hence take care not to whip the cream too stiff. A softly whipped cream, slightly flowy with soft peaks (about 70% stiff) is ideal. 


12 comments:

  1. Hi,I purchase this mango from NTUC, very sweet, may I know how many above mango to bake this swiss roll?
    Thank you
    Soh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy Holidays to you ZY, the log cake looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was a really nice and refreshing logcake! It's also nicely decorated! Btw, you need some of these X'mas decorations, I can give you some next year! LOL! Kept them after the logcakes we had from previous years, to recycle. Very useful for internal consumption.
    Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, ZY!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Soh,

    You will need 2 mangoes. Try using R2E2, Indian or Pakistan mangoes.

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    Hi Shirley,

    Merry Xmas and happy new year!

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    Hi Jane,

    That's very kind of you. Thanks in advance. I'm sure they will come in handy for me. Merry Xmas and have a great year ahead =]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Non-dairy Cream or whip-topping cream is also known as 'fresh cream' over here in Malaysia. It's more stable, whip up very firm and don't melt easily. Hence it is more suitable for covering and decorating cakes. It's a lot cheaper too. But taste wise, it cannot compare to dairy cream. Dairy cream is waaaay tastier!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ZY, you are getting better and better each day in your baking. THis roll looks really pro!

    Blessed Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gorgeous log cakes! Happy New Year 2012 to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, I baked this log cake and turn out nice, only thing I notice, the texture of the cake is a bit rush, not sure where gone wrong? is it over mix or ... is there any advice?
    Thank you for all your sharing and advice.
    "Happy New Year 2012"
    soh

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Sotong,

    Thanks for sharing these useful bits of info.Over here, dairy and non-dairy cream cost about the same. I always swear by dairy cream just like i swear by butter.

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    Edith,

    Thank you for the encouragement.

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    Doris,

    Happy 2012 and have a blessed year =]

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    Hi Soh,

    What do you mean by the cake texture is a bit rush?

    ReplyDelete
  10. CZ, Happy New Year and I will be expecting more beautiful cakes from you in 2012. Amazing log cake!

    ReplyDelete
  11. awesome! i also own "孟老师的美味蛋糕卷," but i haven't made anything from the book. i have to make a cake sometime soon!
    http://sugarpuffpuff.blogspot.com/
    enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. such a refreshing change from the usual chocolate log cakes!

    i do find non-dairy whipping cream to be more stable and it does pipe out better - but taste wise it pales to real dairy cream!

    ReplyDelete

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