Monday, 26 April 2010

Tasty Cake Experiment

Ever since I started baking, I have been making birthday cakes for my family, no more store bought ones ;) I used to get a little nervous at the thought of making a cake for a special occasion, but I am now so used to the task that I am using it as an opportunity to hone my baking and cake decorating skills.


This is one good example of my recent cake-making experiment. This 'made-to-order' birthday cake was created based on just one piece of information I gathered, "lots of fruits, no cheese please".


I was in no mood to baked a sponge layered cake so I settled for a no-bake chilled cake. Instead of digestive biscuits, the cake base is made with crushed oreo cookies, to make the oreo-cookie monsters in my house happy. I removed the cream in the oreos...and it became an instant treat for my child...he gathered the cream and rolled it between his hands to form 'candy balls'! It was really an unpleasant sight!!

I have decided on a mango mousse filling since I have been buying mangoes in 'bulk'. However, I wanted to do away with the whipping cream or heavy cream that is called for in every single recipe that I looked up in the internet. I had no luck with whatever cookbooks I have on hand too. Since I was quite determined to make the mousse filling without any heavy cream or whipped cream, I went ahead to create my own recipe.

I blended fresh mangoes, passion fruits and some non-fat yogurt, the blender I borrowed from one of my siblings came in handy :) To help the mixture set, I added some gelatin powder (melted in water). Even though I used a 7" pan, the mousse, or rather pudding-like filling was too little. The filling layer  came up to only 1.5", as a result, I had a very short cake :(

Decorating the cake was easy, I simply loaded it with chunks of fresh fruits...mangoes, strawberries and blueberries. Little did I know the mousse layer was not really firm enough to take the weight of the fruits, and the cake started to 'sink'! I guess if I were to add the whipping cream, the texture would be firmer? So after I was done with the decoration, I had to wrap the sides of the finished cake with a plastic strip (cut out from a cookie bag) in order to hold the mousse layer together. I left it to chill in the fridge again hoping it would firm up.


Despite the flaws and a rather odd combination of flavours (oreo with fruits?!), the cake tasted very refreshing, full of fruity flavours...sweet, juicy, and a slight tang from the passion fruit. The filling tasted just like pudding. With everyone asking for second helpings, our family of four wolfed down the entire cake in one setting. It was the first time we didn't have to have leftover birthday cakes for breakfast the next day ;)



Note*: I have posted the recipe here for my own reference. In case you are interested to try this, do note that the ingredient amount for the filling needs further fine-tuning, unless you don't mind a short cake.


Mango Yogurt Pudding Cake

Ingredients:
(makes one 7" cake)

for the biscuit base:
110g oreo cookies (remove cream and finely crumbled)
40g butter, melted and cool

for the filling*:
300g fresh mangoes (use sweet, ripped fruits)
juice from 1 passion fruit (remove seeds)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200g mango flavoured yogurt (I used peach-mango flavour)
1 tablespoon gelatin powder#
3 tablespoons (45ml) water#

some fruits for decoration

(# I would use 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of gelatin, and 60ml water the next time I were to make this again.)

Method:

to make the biscuit base:
Place oreo crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the base of a 7" round pan (with removable base). Use the back of the spoon, smooth out the crumbs and press firmly. You can also use a glass (with a flat base) to press down firmly. Freeze the base for at least 1 hour.

to make the filling:
Measure water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Blend mangoes, passion fruit juice, sugar, yogurt until the mixture becomes smooth. Add in the gelatin solution to the mixture, mix well. Pour mixture onto the biscuit base. Cover with cling wrap and leave to chill in the fridge over night or for at least 4-6 hours. Remove cake from fridge, unmold and decorate with fruits as desired. Keep the cake in the fridge before serving.

56 comments:

  1. hi!! this cake looks so pretty especially with all the fruits. i had some experience too with oreos when i was little. i would lick off the cream and stick the cookies back in the bag and it would give my sister a surprise when she opened up the package. haha..disgusting i know:P

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  2. If I am not wrong, I dare say you are a mango lover, heehee. I notice most of the fruit desert you made contains mangoes! But lovely pudding ...:)

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  3. WOW! This is definitely a must try recipe on my list. Looks so colorful and yummy! Love all the fruits topping ;)

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  4. Hi HHB,
    You always impress me with all your homemade stuffs! This cake is so refreshing yet lots of vitamin C and very pretty! Your experiment always so successful! Really admire all your works!

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  5. wow the cake is so colorful and pretty, and sound yummy and healthy too, will definately try this recipe.

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  6. Looks beautiful and delicious! Most importantly, it is healthy. Hope to try out for my boys too!
    Mei

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  7. these filling looks so puffy!

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  8. This cake look so colorful, healthy and delicious.

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  9. I don't mind a short cake but I'm a cream freak. I used to hate cream because those they used to cover cakes in bakery suck. Ever since I whipped my own cream with vanilla and sugar, I've come to known of Chantilly Cream. Now, I could even eat it just by itself. I might wanna try this and add cream and see what happens. I think raspberry puree would give it a nice shade of pink with cream added. Thanks! Plus, I don't think oreo with fruits is weird, I like it!

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  10. Looks delicious. I have two boys and really hope to get brave enough to make their cakes one day!

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  11. this cake look so refreshing with all the fresh fruits! well done.

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  12. Sounds like it was a really successful cake experiment! I love how pretty the cake looks with all the fruits piled on top. So pleased it's berry season once again! :)

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  13. Oh my! HHB, you just created something that would probably be my favourite favourite cake in the world.

    I love mango, yogurt, fruits and oreos! I am determine to try this out even though you say it needs some fine tuning. i'll tell you about it when i've tried it :D

    Thanks for the post!

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  14. Ooo..I like your cake! The colours and the fresh fruits already made my saliva dripping..;p I'm trying to bake cakes for my family for all occasions but still have a lot to learn though. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe..:)

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  15. You are doing such a great job with all your fruity cakes =) I actually kinda like my cakes a little flatter so the portions aren't so overwhelming...

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  16. Your cake looks beautiful! And the mango yogurt pudding mousse sounds refreshing and healthy!

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  17. i know what you mean when you say no mood.
    haha no bake-cakes are awesome too!
    mango+passion fruit sounds divine.
    reminds me of mango pudding!
    have a feeling i'll love this one.

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  18. thanks for the recipe!! this cake is so appetizing... making me drool over it :-)

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  19. dear all, thanks for all your kind words of encouragement, you are the ones who keep me going :):)

    joyceyvonna, thanks for sharing your childhood happy moments :) but won't tell my kids, otherwise they will sure to pull this prank ;)

    HBS, yes, you are right, we love anything mangoes! I don't mind dried mangoes too ;p

    Quinn, the dairy cream we have over here (ie, those easily available at local supermarts) doesn't taste that fantastic, I find them too creamy and heavy to use for desserts. I would try to get one pack of those from Japan, I think it should taste lighter, but I have to find time to go to the Japanese supermarket :(

    Sweeter side of life: do adjust the ingredients amount accordingly, and I hope yours will turn up flawless :D

    ReeseKitchen, I am sure you have no problem making a birthday cake for your family :)

    Clare: I am the greedy sort who likes to have a tall cake...the taller the better!

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  20. I'm impressed that you can create your own recipe! I'd prefer a more healthy cake without cream but I still prefer to go through the safer route by following recipes. ;) The cake looks so good, no wonder there's none left for the next day. :)

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  21. I really won't mind the short cake.
    Looks like a pudding fruit pie :)

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  22. Hi HBB,
    I started baking last year and the first cake I made was your beautiful Mango & Peach Charlotte cake, for a friend's birtday.
    She was so impressed and thought it was a stored bought cake!

    One year has passed and soon it will be her birthday again!
    Looking at this sooooooo beautiful cake here, i know what to make for her this year.

    Thank you!!

    Regards,
    Wong

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  23. Hi,

    planning to try this one out for my mango-crazy daughter. Do you think it might work if I add a sponge layer to it? Would the pudding layer hold up?

    Thanks,
    HL

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  24. HL, I am not sure, but yet I dont see a problem, however you have to adjust the ingredient amount and adjust the gelatin amount accordingly too.

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  25. Hi HBB

    This is the easiest cake I have ever made. I follow your suggestion and the cake set beautifully, going to bring it to a MD celebration tomorrow for the taste test. Definitely going to make more of this again. Thanks for the wonderful post and really professional looking photos.

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  26. Hi Boringtazz, I am so glad that yours turn out well :):) I am quite hesitant to post the recipe as it really needs fine tuning.

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  27. After reading yr blog. Oh My! How can someone out there have similar traits like me. I'm also a home maker with two kids. Love to bake, starts from scratch. Did not believe in attending class to bake well. Tools used are very down to earth RM80 hand mixer with simple oven. You are lucky to have bread machine. Mine is manual.

    Me too, love to bake own cake for birthday, parties especially little ones. But very terrible decorating skills. But family says it taste so much better than the shops.

    Hope to share some simple recipes on birthday cakes decoration. Should I buy a bread machine? How useful is it? What is the best brand?
    Will try ur recipes real soon.
    Jen with 2 beautiful kids
    Kuala Lumpur

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  28. Hi Jen, thanks for visiting :)
    I used to have a bread machine, but it broke down, so I am back to manual. I got it from carrefour, it was a cheap house brand which I got it for under S$70 three years ago. I used it only for kneading, as I prefer to shape the buns and bake them with my oven.

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  29. hi,

    I have tried the the above recipe. My cake turned soggy and doesn't firm up. How come? Is it that the gelatin was not enuf to hold the cake? MusT poured the gelatin (after 10mins swell)onto a pot of simmering hot water and let it cool down before mixing to the mixture? Need urgent help as i have to back the cake inside the freezer.

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  30. Hi, I think you may have mis-read the instructions?
    To prepare the gelatin solution, you need to first place the gelatin in the required amount of water (use 60ml water for 1 tbs + 2 tsp gelatin powder), let it swell for 10mins. Then, set the bowl (containing the gelatin powder and water), OVER a pot of simmering hot water, ie like a double boil. The pot should be placed over your stove (turn to medium to low heat) to let the water inside the pot to simmer gently...this is to allow the gelatin to dissolve completely. Once dissolved, remove the bowl from the pot and leave it to cool before adding to the mixture. Did you do it this way? If yes, maybe you should let your cake set further in the fridge, the best is to let it set over night. Hope this helps.

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  31. Hi HHB,

    Yeah i have followed the instruction however i did not manage to leave it over night. Just for 4-5hrs.is still melt. Very sad.. :(, Anyway tks.

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  32. Can I do without gelatine cuz I am Muslim :s

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  33. Hi, you need to use gelatin to set the cake, you can try using agar agar, but I do not know the amount to use.

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  34. hi,how much whip cream i need if i chose to use whip cream instead of yogurt?because the 1st time i made,it turned out soft

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  35. yan, did you whip the whipping cream? if not it will be too soft. I am sorry I do not know how much whipping cream to use in place of yoghurt, maybe you can try 200ml?

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  36. hi hhb.the 1st time i followed ur receipe using yogurt..its abit too soft,like pudding!!so i am thinking to use whip cream this time round,so if i put whip cream i can omit the yogurt?sorry to ask so much..really thanks!

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  37. Hi yan, yes exactly, this cake is soft like pudding. if you use whipping cream, then omit the yogurt, and you may want to increase the amount of gelatin powder if you want a firm cake.

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  38. what is the purpose of the passion fruit juice? Can i substitute with juice from 2 small limes? If i use a 6 inch pan (to make cake taller), do u think i need to change any parts of your recipe? thks alot, HHB.
    Your blog is really awesome n i hv recommend it to many friends, even strangers i met while buying stuff from PH :)))
    May

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  39. Hi May, I used passion fruit juice just for flavour, you can replace it with other fruit juices, but I won't suggest lime as it may be a little too sour? You can use a 6" pan, but do remember to increase the amount of gelatin powder in order to get a firmer cake. Thanks for recommending my blog to your friends and even strangers :):)

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  40. my HTB birthday was coming soon & I was searching for no bake cake as my build in oven was spoilt. I chance upon your blog & saw your no bake cake. it reli look tasty & apptizing.

    I would like to ask if there's any suggstion to replace Mango? As I cant really take mango.. :(

    I will definately try it cos i believe the colorful cake sure brightn his day...

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  41. Hi, I am sorry I am not sure whether you can replace the Mango with other fruits...as I have not tried other version. The ingredient amount may have to adjusted if you replace it with other fruits...

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  42. Hi HHM,

    I am going to start doing it this Sunday. Can I confirm what is pan with removable base?

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  43. Hi, it refers to baking pan with a loose base which can be removed not fixed, like a chiffon pan but without the tube. Happy baking :)

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  44. i'm considering to make a cake for my husband's bday with 1 of ur 3 recipes: this one, tiramisu charlotte cake & Strawberry Jellyhearts Cheesecake. All of them look great, thank you so much for sharing the recipes.

    With this cake, i just wonder if i use gelatine leaf instead of powder, what would the amount be?

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  45. Hi, I am sorry I have not used gelatine sheets, I do not know the amount to replace.

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  46. I've tried ur recipe n everyone loved it!! Only problem is the fruits start to fall everywhere and it turned out pretty messy when I cut the cake. Do u have any recommendation on how to hold the fruits together? Like a jelly glaze or something? Do u have a recipe of that which i can follow? Thanks!!

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  47. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe :) I guess a jelly layer would hold the fruit together, but I am sorry I have not tried it.

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  48. Hi, I used agar-agar powder, but it starts to harden once i add it into water and it forms clumps upon double boiling :( Is that normal?
    Ying

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  49. Hi Ying, I used gelatin powder. I think agar agar powder works differently.

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  50. Yeah now that I have gave it a try, I think it works differently, though research on some websites said gelatin can be substituted with agar-agar by equal amount. My "cake" ended up collapsing in the end (still semi-liquid form after 7+ hours chilling), but it was great fun trying out the recipe. Was making it for Mother's Day by the way. Thanks a lot :D
    Ying

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  51. Hi! Can i know if i can use those passionfruit jucie bought from supermarket? In that case, do i lessen the amount of sugar?

    Thank you! :)

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  52. Hi Xinyi, you can use ready made passionfruit juice...but the amount used is not much. You may want to skip it. Dont think it is necessary to reduce the sugar...As this is really experimental, I can't guarantee a 100% success rate. If you are not a seasoned home baker, you may want to look for other recipes in order to avoid any unsatisfactory results ^_^"

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  53. Hi, like to check how do I make the passion fruit juice??? Do I scoop it fresh in to blender n add in water??

    Can I replace with orange juice??

    Thank u :)

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  54. Hi Nicole, simply scoop the pulps from the fruit, and discard the seeds, no need to use blender or add water. Yes, u can replace with orange juice.

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  55. Hi

    I m gg to try tis recipe with passion fruit juice (packet form). May I no how much quantity is needed to blend in with the mango and yoghurt??

    Thank you!!

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  56. Sherron Poh, I passion fruit will yield about 20ml of juice. hope this helps.

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