Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mango Charlotte (My Version of Mango Ice Box Cake)

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
One of my favorite desserts to make growing up is the Mango Ice Box Cake. Not really sure how this name came about other than it is usually made in a square baking dish and is refrigerated for hours and hours (some even freeze them) before serving. The premise is simple: layer ladyfingers, whipped cream and/or condensed milk, mango slices and repeat until you have filled your baking pan. There were no set recipes and the cake varied depending on who was in charge of making it. I've had my fill of this cake that varied from the uber sweet to the mildly sweet which is my preference. When I did make this cake, I only added enough condensed milk to sweeten the cream without overpowering the sugary sweetness of the fresh mangoes. One thing I do remember is that the cream I used back home solidifies to an almost yogurt texture when kept in the fridge for hours without having to whip them. All I had to do was add the condensed milk. It also already had the vanilla taste to it which is another good thing. Magnolia heavy cream does kick butt. Not sure if they are still as good though since my memory dates back over 10 years.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Here in the US where fresh mangoes are available but are of the wrong variety, it has been hard to recreate this dessert. If you are lucky and mangoes from Manila are available where you live, then you better grab them and make this cake. The regular mangoes in the grocery stores are very hairy even when fully ripe and are best when used to make a mango salsa. Out of necessity, I had to substitute with canned peaches which is how my Peach Charlotte was born and have become a favorite amongst my friends. It was the closest thing I could get to the Mango Ice Box cake but however good my Charlotte is, the mango version is still the one to beat. Now, I'm a bit slow but I did manage to find canned mangoes a few months ago that had the texture of the mangoes back home which is what I'm after. It may not taste as good as the fresh ones but it is close enough. When I say I am slow, it has to do with the fact that I never managed to put two and two together and made this dessert a long time ago instead of just now. Still, you can say that it is better late than never. Anyway, here it is, my Mango Ice Box Cake made in the style of a Charlotte.

Mango Charlotte

3 15oz mangoes, canned

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
4 extra large eggs,
2/3 cup white sugar
7/8 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to
    350°F. In your mixer
    bowl, beat the egg
    whites at high speed
    until soft peaks form.
    Gradually add 2 tbsp
    of the white sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another
    bowl and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside.

3. In the same mixer bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar
    and beat at high speed until triple in volume. Fold in a third of the egg
    white mixture.

4. Add half the flour mixture and fold alternately with the egg white mixture.
    Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

5. Pipe the batter into 2-3 inch long tubes on a baking sheet lined with
    parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a
    wire rack. You will need to double this recipe.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Charlotte Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
4 extra large eggs,
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a heat-proof bowl,
    soften the gelatin in
    the milk and let warm
    on top of a double
    broiler. Once the gelatin had dissolved, add 1/4 cup sugar and whisk to

2. In a glass bowl, temper the egg yolks with a few tablespoons of the warm
    milk mixture. Add to the milk mixture and whisk well until thickened. Add
    the salt and the vanilla extract. Mix well and cool. Stir occasionally to
    avoid forming a skin at the top.

3. Whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the
    sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a clean

4. In the same mixer bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff. Set aside.

5. Fold the beaten egg whites into the custard mixture until evenly
    incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream. Set aside.

Sugar Syrup:
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 water
2 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar with the water over high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
To assemble the cake, spread a thin layer of the Charlotte cream onto a 9x13 baking pan. Arrange a layer of ladyfingers on the pan and brush with the sugar syrup. Spoon a good amount of the Charlotte cream over the ladyfingers and top this with sliced mangoes. Repeat the process until you end up with two layers. You can arrange the mango slices over the second layer just prior to serving the cake to avoid them from drying up. You can however prevent this by wrapping the cake in clingfilm before storing in the fridge. The cake is best served cold and a dollop of whipped cream takes this simple dessert to the next level.

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