Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Retro Redone

Mango Cardamom Icebox Cake

An icebox cake is a dessert consisting of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. The wafers are stacked with whipped cream cementing them together, and then left overnight in the refrigerator. The wafers absorb moisture from the whipped cream and the cake can be served in slices. This retro dessert is redone with Italian ladyfingers and a mango mousse with a hint of cardamom.

Stress relief tip of the week:
Make time for relaxation.  Go for a walk. Spend time in nature. Call a good friend. Sweat out tension with a good workout. Write in your journal. Take a long bath. Light scented candles.  Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea. Play with a pet. Work in your garden. Get a massage. Curl up with a good book. Listen to music. Watch a comedy.  

Mango Cardamom Icebox Cake Recipe

For the Cake
1 (.25-ounce) package unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 cup water
3 medium-sized, ripe but firm mangos, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 1/4 cups (about 8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
44 savoiardi Italian ladyfingers 

For the Topping
2 medium-sized, ripe but firm mangos
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar


For the Cake: Combine gelatin, cardamom, and 1/4 cup water in small bowl and allow to soften, about 5 minutes. Microwave 45 seconds and allow to cool to room temperature, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse 1 cup diced mango, 1/4 cup sugar, and lime juice in food processor until completely puréed. Reserve.

Stir remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup in heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil syrup until it registers 238°F on candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.

While syrup boils, with electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites, vanilla bean seeds, and salt with whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.

When syrup reaches temperature, with mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly and carefully pour into egg whites. Beat until outside of bowl is cool to the touch and whites are thick and glossy, about 7 minutes. Add gelatin mixture and beat just to combine.

Whisk mascarpone, sweetened condensed milk, and pureed mango mixture together in large bowl. Mix in 1/3 of meringue. With rubber spatula, fold in remaining meringue. Fold in remaining 2 cups mango.

To Assemble: Line bottom of 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper round. Reserve 24 of the best looking ladyfingers and, with serrated knife, gently cut each into 3 1/4 inches long. Break remaining 20 cookies into 1/2-inch pieces.

Cover bottom of pan with half of the cookie pieces. Scrape half the mango mixture (about 4 1/2 cups) into pan over cookies. With rubber spatula, spread out over cookies, leaving a 1-inch gap between mixture and edge of pan. Tuck the 24 whole ladyfingers into the gap vertically; this will help keep them standing up straight. Once finished, spread the mango filling all the way to touch the cookies.

Top filling with remaining half of cookie pieces, pressing gently in with fingertips. Spread remaining half of mango mixture over cookies, smoothing top.

Peel mangos and discard skin. Peel mango flesh into thin strips and place in bowl. Toss with lime juice, then, wrap strips into flower-like rolls and arrange on top of cake.

Whip heavy cream in a stand mixer with powdered sugar until it can hold its shape.  Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip to decorate the top of the cake.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

Release cake from springform mold and, leaving it on parchment round, gently slide onto a serving plate or cake stand. Slice and serve chilled.

Recipe from María del Mar Sacasa

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