Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mango Carrot Cake with Mango Ginger Pastry Cream and Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

A friend of ours was celebrating her birthday, and the spouse and I wanted to make her a cake. The spouse had found a recipe for a mango carrot cake in the April 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. We followed the cake recipe, but I came up with my own filling and icing recipes. We coated the outside with toasted walnuts.

For the filling, the spouse and I collaborated on a mango ginger pastry cream. It came out very nice. It had a nice light mango and ginger flavor, and wasn't too sweet.

For the icing, I pulverized some candied ginger in my spice grinder, and added that to a cream cheese frosting. It was tangy, with a little ginger bite.

The original recipe had ribbons of plain old carrot piled on the cake by way of decoration. That seemed both lacking in flavor and messy to me. I candied ribbons of carrot in a simple syrup that had candied ginger and orange zest in it. While still warm, I rolled them up. I think it added color to finish the cake, and gave the cake a more professional appearance. And, they were tasty too.

The cake came out a little dense and gummy for my taste. Although, the person we made it for liked the texture. I think it is a fine idea, and some combination of more leavening, less liquid, or more cooking time should result in a better cake. Also considering moving from all purpose to cake flour.


Mango Carrot Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups shredded carrots
3/4 cups mango nectar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour two eight inch cake pans.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well each time.

Alternate flour mixture and mango, mix on low after each addition, just until mixed.

Stir in carrots. Divide evenly between pans. Bake 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(Update: Note that the recipe above should work fine. The original recipe  said 1 1/4 cup juice in the ingredients list, but buried in the text said to add 3/4 cup to the cake. The spouse added the full 1 1/4 cup to the cake.)

Mango Ginger Pastry Cream

2 cups milk
2 2/3 oz. by wt. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger
1/4 cup mango nectar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch kosher salt

In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine milk, sugar, vanilla, ginger, salt, and juice. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Add mixture back to pot, return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain mixture, cover directly with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool.

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. by wt. cream cheese
3 oz. by wt. room temperature butter
6 oz. by wt. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger
1 tsp. vanilla

Pulverize ginger in a spice grinder. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer. Cream with a paddle until smooth.

Candied Carrot Curls

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 large carrot, peeled
zest of 1 orange
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger

Use a vegetable peeler to make long carrot strips. Set aside.

Place sugar, water, zest, and ginger in a small pan over medium low heat. When syrup comes to a simmer, add carrot strips. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until carrots are translucent. Remove from heat. Spread carrot strips out on wax paper. Let cool just enough to be handled. Roll up strips  to make a cylinder. Place on end on wax paper to cool.

To Assemble Cake:

Put one cake on a cake round. Place a 1/2 inch layer of pastry on top. Add the second cake. Using a spatula, place a thin layer of frosting on sides and top of cakes. Refrigerate twenty minutes to set coat. Add a top coat of frosting. Coat outside of cake with ground toasted walnuts. Pipe a ring of rosettes of frosting, add an inner ring of candied carrot curls.

Happy Eating!


No comments:

Post a Comment