Mango Sandwich Cake

Mango Marathon comes to an end today. A short and sweet (quite literally so) series that has made me feel thankful that there are so many different ways to enjoy this tropical fruit than just slicing and having it! This post is my most favourite in this entire season and is possibly long overdue.
Whenever any fruit hits the market, my first tendency is to bake a cake with it, notwithstanding whether I at all like the fruit or not. Last year too when mangoes were raining in abundance I had taken a meek try to bake a butter cake out of it. But it was for my Pishai's birthday and since she's a vegetarian, I had to go eggless. The result wasn't what I had expected but had a slightly pudding-y consistency which everybody loved. So I named it Mango Pudding Cake. My butter cake was still eluding me.
Last month when we had a grand feast of Paratha and this Mutton Do-Pyaaza I decided to give the Mango Butter Cake another shot. It came out soft, moist and gooey — a perfect Mango Mousse Cake — but still not the butter cake I was looking for. I was adamant by now. I have baked cakes by the dozens, with different ingredients and following different methods everytime. Never for once has anything tormented me the way this Mango Butter Cake was doing. I guess mangoes were just taking their sweet revenge on me for my love-hate relationship with them.
Last week I was determined. This had to be it. I couldn't possibly let these mangoes win over my baking "skills". So this time I made enough batter for two cakes, lest one comes out unsatisfactory. And lo and behold, my prayers were answered. By the end of a couple of hours I had two perfectly soft, spongy and delicately flavoured mango cakes sitting on my dining table. I was ecstatic. It was like inventing Newton's laws of motion! Now that I had two cakes I obviously decided to go overboard. I whipped up some heavy cream to soft peaks, lathered it on top of one cake, scattered chunks of mangoes and sandwiched it with the other one. Some amateurish attempt with my piping bag and a sprinkling of icing sugar later my Mango Sandwich Cake was standing in majestic glory. You, my friend, have given me sleepless nights, have made me question my baking abilities and have made me toil for over a year to get you perfect. You had to be the fitting finale of my Mango Marathon! :)
Serves: 8
Ingredients:

Flour: 300 gm
Butter: 200 gm
Olive oil/Vegetable oil: 100 ml
Sugar: 250 gm
Eggs: 6
Baking powder: 3 tsp
Baking soda: 1 tsp
Mangoes, peeled and diced: 3
Lime juice: 2 tbsp
Vanilla bean paste: 2 tsp (you can substitute this with vanilla essence)

For filling:

Heavy cream: 300 ml
Vanilla bean paste: 2 tsp
Caster Sugar: 2 tbsp
Mangoes, peeled and diced: 2

Method:

1. In a blender puree the mangoes. No problem if a few chunks remain. That will give a good bite to the cake. Set aside.

2. In a big bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Line a round spring form tin with baking parchment and oil/butter the sides.

4. Now get started with your batter. In a big bowl (that can take the entire volume of flour, eggs and puree later) start creaming your butter and sugar till soft and fluffy. You can use a hand blender or a whisk. I did it by manually whisking it. Now add the oil and whisk some more. Now add the eggs one by one and continue blending after each addition. Add the vanilla bean paste and whisk again. (You can do this entire step in your mixer/blender as well. Pour the batter into a big bowl before you fold in the flour.)

5. Now gradually fold in the sifter flour mixture into you batter, one third at a time,  making sure that the trapped air doesn't escape. Add the mango puree and lime juice and fold that in as well.

6. Pour the batter in 2 cake tins and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester inserted at the centre of the cakes come out clean. Once done, wait for the cakes to cool on the rack and then take them out.

7. While the cake is cooling, whip your cream over an ice bath (you can check here how to whip cream) till soft peaks form, say 8-10 minutes. Now add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time and the vanilla bean paste and whip for 3-4 minutes more.

8. Once the cakes cool down, take the less attractive one and lather its top with the whipped cream (reserve some for piping). Scatter the mango slices on the cream and sandwich it with the second cake. Some whipped cream may ooze out from the centre, but don't worry, nobody's vying for an award here. Slide the remaining whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle and decorate the surface of the cake on top with designs of your choice. I'm a complete amateur when it comes to piping, so I didn't risk ruining the cake and stuck to a basic design. Shower some icing sugar through a sieve.

9. Cut into giant sizes and serve. This one's truly a mango fiesta.
It's Raining Mangoes: Day 10
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