MANGO LIME COCONUT CAKE by Jerrelle Guy
Egg-free, vegan option, whole wheat
Makes a three-layered 8-inch (20-cm) cake
I miss the tropical flavours of Florida, the tangy Key limes, the fallen coconuts drying out underneath our neighbour’s palm trees and the saccharine smell of overripe mangoes. We’d buy a couple of containers of mango meat from the 45th Street flea market and they’d be soaked in lime juice and coated in cayenne pepper. Munching on the marinated spears, we’d stroll through the market staring up at the hanging mannequins dressed in FUBU and all the latest trends, and pass by all the men and women gathering inside the open barbershops and braiding salons. That was usually how we’d spend a Saturday.
Mango Lime Cake
1 1⁄3 cups (305 ml) nut or grain milk
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 cup (225 g) softened unsalted butter, or room temperature virgin coconut oil
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla extract
1½ cups (355 g) mango puree, at room temperature
3 cups (360 g) white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp (8 g) baking soda
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups (120 g) shredded coconut
Mango Mousse Icing
½ cup (120 g) mango puree
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp (16 g) tapioca flour
2½ cups (588 ml) cold heavy cream
Fresh mango slices, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or gas mark 4) and position 2 racks in the centre of the oven. Have three 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans oiled and their bases lined with parchment nearby.
To make the cake, in a small bowl, combine the milk, lime zest and lime juice and let it sit until curdled, about 3 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl with a handheld beater or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add the room temperature mango puree, ¼ cup (60 g) at a time, continuing to mix until it’s completely combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into to the mango mixture in 2 batches, alternating with half the milk, being careful not to overmix (a few clumps of flour in the batter is fine). Fold in the coconut. Divide the batter among the 3 cake pans, smoothing out the top, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven, transfer them to a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before icing, at least 1 hour. If you are making this a day in advance, let the cake come to room temperature, then wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it on the counter until you’re ready to ice it.
To make the mango mousse icing, combine the mango puree, sugar, salt and lime zest in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves, then whisk in the tapioca. Cook, whisking constantly so the bottom doesn’t burn, until the mixture is very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and place it in the fridge to allow it to cool completely so it doesn’t heat the whipped cream.
When it’s time to assemble the cake, finish the mousse: in a large mixing bowl, beat the whipped cream until soft peaks form, then slowly drizzle in the cooled mango mixture, and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
For a multilayered cake, slice the cooled cakes through the centre before icing, otherwise place one cake upside down on a cake stand, add one-fourth of the whipped mousse on top, smooth it out almost to the edges with an offset spatula and then top with another mango cake turned upside down. Add another one-fourth of the mousse and smooth to the edges. Add the final cake on top and add the rest of the whipped mousse on top, creating divots and peaks with the back of the spatula. Garnish with the mango slices and serve.
VEGAN OPTION: Replace the heavy cream by chilling two 15-ounce (420-g) cans of full-fat coconut milk (preferably Thai Kitchen brand) overnight, then open the cans upside down and drain away the coconut water that has separated from the cream. Scoop out the coconut cream and proceed with the recipe.
Jerrelle writes, cooks and photographs for her blog Chocolate for Basil, for baking inspiration follow her on Instagram @chocolateforbasil or check out her recently published cookbook Black Girl Baking (Page Street Publishing).