Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Mango Bravo Challenge: Part 3 (of 3) - the Whipped Cream frosting and Final Assembly

I don't think a lot of people realize that it is not even mango season at this time in Australia.  In a couple of months, mangoes will start appearing in the supermarkets but they will still be extremely expensive.  Prices do not go lower until around December and January.

I couldn't wait to get this Mango Bravo experiment over and done with, so I settled for the next best thing.


These frozen mangoes are actually surprisingly good.  The cake was going to be frozen anyway so I figured, using frozen mangoes won't really be an issue here.  Besides, they are already cubed which makes it all the more convenient for me.

Okey, so now we have to make the whipped cream frosting.  I had a few choices for this - whipped cream and sugar only, whipped cream and sugar stabilized with gelatin, non-dairy whipped cream OR the whipped cream/cream cheese combination I always make.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe most commercial bakeries probably use the first three options, especially the non-dairy which is more stable in warm weather.  For me, if it were only for a topping or filling, these options would have been fine but since the whole cake will be covered with it, there was really no question as to which I would rather eat.

Of course, it's the whipped cream/cream cheese frosting!  I use this frosting in a lot of my cakes - examples here, here, and here.  Apart from being the most yummy, I find it really stable and stiff enough for piping. 

I did not take step by step photos anymore but here is the recipe.

STABLE WHIPPED CREAM (more than enough to fill and cover the cake)

Ingredients:

3 cups whipping or thickened cream, very cold
1 1/2 bars (375g) of cream cheese, cold
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Procedure:

Cut up the cream cheese into small cubes.  In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Set aside.

In your chilled bowl and using clean beaters, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is quite stiff. Gently fold in the cream cheese then beat again at high speed for about a minute or until everything is well combined.  Be careful not to overbeat.

To fill the cake:

Dab some whipped cream onto your cake board then center the bottom meringue layer (with the chocolate mousse) on top.

Place a meringue wafer on top of the chocolate mousse.

Fit a large piping bag with a coupler then fill it with the whipped cream.  Pipe a dam around the cake edge then spread some whipped cream inside the dam.


Fill the center generously with mango cubes.


Spread more whipped cream until the mangoes are fully covered.


Top with the last meringue wafer.


Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of whipped cream.  Chill this for a bit if you think your whipped cream is getting softer.


Use a 6" round cake pan or a bowl to create a mark at the cake top.  This is just to serve as a guide when you start piping the ridges on the cake sides.


Fit the same piping bag you used earlier with a star tip.  I used a tip #21 which is small.  Just remember that the bigger your piping tip is (like if you use say, a 1M or a 2D), the more frosting you will use and the thicker it will be.

Starting from the bottom, pipe a straight vertical line going up the cake top edge and finishing off where the marked guide is.  Do the ridges side by side, with no gap in between.  Refill piping bag with more whipped cream as needed.


Go all the way around until you cover the entire cake side.


Pipe a shell border around the top, again using the circle mark as a guide.


Fill the space in the center with more mangoes!  Yay, we're nearly done...


To make the chocolate drizzle:

In a mug or any microwaveable container, melt 100g of dark chocolate with about 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening.  Microwave this for 1 minute first, then stir.  


After that, microwave for 15 second intervals only until the chocolate is fully melted.  Stir after each interval.


Let the chocolate cool slightly then transfer to a small piping bag.  Snip a little bit off the end, then drizzle away!  First at the top, where the mangoes are....


Then around the sides.

I must admit that my drizzles are horrible!  I wished I had done it differently :((.

My cake ended up to be about 5 1/2" tall only.  I really didn't mind that it didn't reach the targetted 7" height because it was still pretty big as it was.

You want to see what it looked like inside?


What do you think?  Does it resemble a Mango Bravo slice?


The cake was really delicious but I couldn't finish this slice in one sitting as it was big.  I don't think there is anything on this cake that one can actually dislike.  The meringue was really crispy so I was happy with that.  The chocolate mousse was firm and held up really nicely even though it was at the bottom of the cake. After it was frozen, the cake was a breeze to cut.  Serving this cake frozen is really essential and also, using a sharp, serrated knife to slice it (in a sewing motion).

Impressive as this cake may seem, there is a downside too.  Meringue's enemy is moisture and so the more it is exposed, the softer it becomes.  To enjoy this cake the way it should be, it is best consumed immediately after it is taken out of the freezer and sliced.  The longer it is exposed, the harder it will also be to slice properly.

Although I would say this first attempt was a huge success, there are still a few things I would like to do differently if I were to do this cake again:

1. I will try grinding my cashews into a fine meal, leaving only about 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped pieces.  I think this will make the meringue less tight and give it a finer texture.  

2. I will use fresh mangoes!

3. I will make a different chocolate sauce.  I would have liked it more if the drizzle remained soft.  Maybe a thinned ganache would do or even a store-bought chocolate sauce or chocolate shell topping.

Other than that, I believe all you Mango Bravo lovers out there will be happy with this copycat!  Give it a go sometime.  If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to improve this cake further, please let us know in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

32 comments:

  1. I just can't admire you enough for your utmost perseverance and tenacity. I will surely give this a go as I have been waiting for the code to be unleashed. Thank you, my dear friend. May your blessing multiply even more as you continue to be a blessing to your thousand followers and friends.

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  2. i say bravo to you for pulling this off successfully! i personally would stop at two layers of meringue wafers if i were to do this myself. i find the third layer a bit threatening to the stability of the cake based on my experience. also, i would replace the chocolate mousse with good chocolate ice cream if i were being lazy (hehe).
    mango bravo from conti's is a bit difficult to slice properly even with a serrated knife. a lot of my friends and relatives actually ask someone else to slice for them or they give up entirely because when they drive the knife into the cake and begin slicing, they end up dragging the entire cake down. and once the cake is sliced, it begins to tilt on the side where the slice was taken. because of that too, it is very difficult to store leftovers. and alas! i've never had a slice with crisp meringue wafers. every single one i've tried was like a dacquoise.
    with all those things said, i can say that mango bravo isn't my favorite cake from conti's. i don't find it really special--it's just meringue, mangoes and whipped cream with a bit of chocolate--especially with the price they're selling it for. maybe yours is different, so i'll give it a try soon. :)
    anyhoo, that's just me and i just base everything on my experience. i'm sure others have other things to say.

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    1. Unfortunately, that is the nature of meringue - once it's exposed to air and moisture, it begins to soften. So my advice really is to slice the cake while it is frozen, serve it immediately and consume everything as soon as possible! :)

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    2. true. but that's the problem--based on my experience, it has always been too late because the meringue has already been exposed to moisture for a long time by the time we got our hands on the cake. [-:

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  3. Oh Corinne! you are really a genius when it comes to cloning things :) I bet this is really a good cake after the long process of making it. I hope you will never get tired of sharing new recipes. I want to try this but maybe just half of the recipe is it possible? Anyway , could you try making Goldilocks Custard Mamon and maybe you could share the best ,fluffiest,moist chocolate cake ever :)

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    Replies
    1. Isn't custard mamon just like leche flan cake but baked in a mamon tin?

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    2. Try halving the recipe then use 6" cake pans instead of 8".

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  4. i've been waiting and craving for this cake, i know one day you will make one! will definitely give this recipe of yours a try...im scheduled for a short visit to philippines soon, i will try conti's one and when i come back to oz, will give your recipe a try! sooo glad im gonna have the best of both world, more power to you corinne!

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  5. As always, all I have are praises to your good work and patience, Corinne. That Mango Bravo looks yummy! Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial. Great job!

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  6. Hi again!

    This recipe worked out great! I fed it to some people who have tried Conti's Mango Bravo and they complimented that it was better than the original! I strayed from your recipe a little bit though. I used Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen version of chocolate mousse from their recipe for Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. (Same concept, no gelatin. Google the recipe if you want it. It makes a lot so you'll have some to snack on.) I also changed the chocolate drizzle by adding butter with a touch of heavy cream instead of shortening to the chocolate and melted the mixture over a double boiler. (Your remarks about changing the texture of the drizzle prompted me to do so.)

    Thanks again for all your hard work and kindness in sharing your recipes!

    P.S.
    I too had to use frozen mangoes because mango season ended in August here in the U.S. I find that the flavor in frozen mangoes chunks to be not uniform; some chunks are sweeter than others. I find that adding 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar per cup of defrosted mango chunks and letting them macerate for a few hours in the fridge helps even out and improve the flavor. Then, strain them overnight in a strainer so that they're not too wet to put into the cake.

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    1. Thank you once again for trying out the recipe and for all the feedback and suggestions. Actually, my chocolate mousse recipe was based on ATK's. I just scaled it down to make just enough for this cake.

      By the way, how was your meringue? How long did it take to bake?

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    2. Also, if you want to share photos of your cake, kindly email them to me. Would love to see what you did!

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    3. Using the cake ring method, my meringues took about 4 hours to dry at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Just a little shorter than the 6 hours it took you. I actually tried a baking a batch using the convection setting on my oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and it was disastrous. The outside was really dark brown and the insides weren't completely dry after 2.5 hours. I sacrificed that batch to the trash can. Don't use convection.

      Thanks for telling me that you used a scaled-down version of the ATK chocolate mousse. Now, I won't have to eat the extra mousse when I make this cake again. I was just weary because I didn't want my mousse to get watery and I knew that ATK's recipe was tried and tested because I've made the cake it came from. (Speaking of ATK, they're recipe for the "Ultimate Chocolate Ganache Cupcake" is superb. Try it if you get a chance.)

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  7. Exquisite! Tha'ts all I can say about the cake. And to you, pure genius! :)

    I guess the challenge on my part is the last part, since I live in the Philippines, i can now imagine putting my cake and whipping cream back and forth on the fridge. Another problem is my oven can only accomodate two 8 or 9 inch pan... :( im still trying to figure out
    how to bake the three in one batch since 6 hours is too long to bake it in two batch plus 6 inch cake is not an option to me.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe corrine. God Bless!

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    1. I have a small oven too and had to bake the third meringue in the bottom rack. Switched pan positions a few times.

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  8. I was just wondering if you put any syrup on your frozen mango. I never tried Contis mango bravo but I always see it in my friends fb post and it really looks yummy. Its hard to find fresh mango here but frozen mangoes are usually sour. Im thinking to make it anytime soon. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Please see Pinoybaker's comment above for tips on how to sweeten frozen mango.

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  9. BRAVO indeed, thank you so much for sharing this,
    I wish i know how or if can post a picture here,
    I baked the base cake last Sunday ,, cling wrapped and freezed 2 layers,,the 3rd in a foil lined pan mousse on top chilled same day..then prayed for cooler weather..(my kitchen is literally "isang dipa" in width 2.5 in length...too little kitchen...too hot...cooking/baking and decorating not advisable on same day)
    Yesterday dark clouds formed around 11am..so i just worked on it...
    I still took it back in and out the freezer inbetween steps all through out the whole process of assembling and decorating coz it softens, finished at 3pm on the dot, at the same time the heavens rejoiced when i pulled it off and finally rain poured.
    It was a hit,,family loved it!
    And planning on doing it again to get my closure and forgive myself on some mistakes I did hahaha..my wafer sunk a bit in the middle,filled it up to level with whipped c/creamcheese..and fo better in piping.
    All in all the recipe and your generousity is amazing.
    God bless you more😊

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  10. Hi, just thinking what kind of cake is this, frozen cake, or ice cream cake :)

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  11. First time visitor to your blog. I was searching for Conti's Mango Bravo after my mom keeps bragging about it to me. I'm excited to try this, thanks for providing this tutorial! I'm sure she'll be amazed.

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  12. Hi I just want to ask what brand of cream din you used? Thank you

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    1. I just use supermarket brand thickened cream. As long as it's 30% or more milk fat content, it's ok.

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  13. Hi, Corinne. I was just wondering if the Conti's version really uses cream cheese with the whipped cream frosting. Thanks! :)

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    1. I don't really know but most likely not.

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  14. Hi! Do you think this could work for a smaller version, like cupcakes maybe?

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    1. You want to make them as small as cupcakes? Can you imagine how much work that will take to assemble them individually?

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  15. Thanks to this recipe! I really love the mango bravo of contis but want to lessen the cream that covers the cake..... Its soooo thick! I probably be copying your recipe and style! Thanks!

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  16. Just want to thank you for this recipe! Was able to make it three times now and everyone really likes it all the time. I usually use 1.5 times your ingredients to make the meringue thicker (used 9in pans baked for around 6hrs and left inside the oven to cool). I also double the mousse layer to distribute the chocolate flavor. I top it differently with fresh mango rosettes. Wish i could show you the outcome! Continue baking and thanks again!

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  17. what brand you used on whipped cream which is also available in the Philippines?

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    1. I normally just use a supermarket brand so I'm sure it won't be available in the Philippines.

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