Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mango Charlotte

Cake of the Month
As the family marks my third child’s progress onto her first year, I will be celebrating her monthly birth day in this blog by featuring a cake. Lined up for the next twelve months, and hopefully on afterwards, are old-time favorites, reliable standards, as well as new discoveries, as I go on a quest for the best cakes around the country.

I love mangoes.

Filipinos love mangoes.

We eat it as is, which is the best way to have it. Nowadays, though, with the explosion of the restaurant scene, mangoes are incorporated into a lot of desserts and pastries.

One very popular way of using mangoes is in cakes, as I've mentioned in an earlier post. But due to mangoes not taking to cooking/baking real well, mangoes are used fresh. This limitation delegates mangoes to just being cake topping, and/or as filling in tortes and other layered, cream-based cakes. And even then, these desserts only last a day or so, as mangoes tend to spoil easily.

My problem with these cakes, though, is they tend to be very sweet, the highlight being the nougatine/caramel layers, not the fruit. Good mangoes are honey-sweet, and they are more than enough to sweeten cakes. Caramel overpowers this sweetness.

For me, the best accompaniment to mangoes is chocolate, preferably dark, because the bitterness of the beans brings out and enhances the sweetness of the mangoes. Finished with slightly sweetened whipped cream, it should be the perfect cake for me.

But alas, for this series, I source my cakes from bakers who accept orders, or from commercial bakeshops, as I don't have the time to make one. And so far, I haven't been successful in sourcing a mango-chocolate cake in Metro Manila. So for the meantime I had to be contented with this Mango Charlotte (Php1,100 for an 8" round cake) by Sweet Bella. The baker's charlotte is better known with strawberry topping, but at this time strawberries are not in season.

I haven't tasted the strawberry variant, but this is a good showcase for mangoes, although it has the same defect as with all other mango floats and tortes and trifles I've tried - the nougatine layer is overly sweet. Perhaps the nougatine was tailor-made for strawberries, but it doesn't work very well with mangoes. Or at least with the mangoes on the cake I had.

[In a freeze - the day after]

The mangoes were prettily arranged enough as topping. It wasn't strictly a charlotte - it only had layers of nougatine, with crunch provided by cashew nuts, and sweetened whipped cream, which was also used as "icing." It was more of a torte, or a free-standing mango float.

Sweet Bella
  • 1730 Banyan Street
    Dasmariñas Village, Makati City
  • Sweet Bella Cafe
    Burgos Circle, The Fort
    Taguig City

  • Tel. Nos. (63-928) 5025027, (632) 844-0680/392-7571

    Cakes of the Month
    Divine Chocolate Cake, by Divine Sweets (Puerto Princesa, Palawan)
    Cakelines, by Jon-Rhiz (Cavite City)
    Dayap Chiffon Cake, by Kiss Cafe (UP Diliman, Quezon City)
    Belgian Chocolate Cake, by a La Creme (City of San Fernando, Pampanga)
    White Chocolate Mousse, by Gateau de Manille (Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City)
    Mango Cake, by Red Ribbon (with outlets all across the country)
    Ube Cake, by Goodies N' Sweets (several locations across Metro Manila)
    Strawberry Shortcake by Vizco's (Baguio City)
    Almond Chocolate Fudge Cake by Malen's (Noveleta, Cavite)
    Caramel Cake by Estrel's (Quezon City)
    Marshmallow Birthday Cake by Estrel's (Quezon City)

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    That mango cake looks absolutely delicious. I love mangoes and they're so nutritious. In fact, they're a superfruit.