But my birthday has long gone and this post isn't about my birthday, but my dad's.
Ever since I'd developed an interest in baking, we'd stopped buying cakes as I like to take the chance to make my own (and it costs less too! haha). Unlike me, my dad makes the same request every year- for a simple sponge cake, filled and topped with whipped cream and covered in fruit. Just like the ones you get from Asian bakeries. Yup. The very ones I didn't want for my birthday. I do find them quite boring to decorate- there's only a certain number of ways in which I can arrange fruit on a cake. Last year, I made a 'face' with with the fruit.......as you might be able to see in that tiny picture (aka my display pic) over there ---------->
My dad's birthday was actually more than a month earlier. There were several reasons why I still had not made the cake yet:
1. The usual excuse- too much school work!
2. I was yet to find a good sponge cake recipe- I usually use my swiss roll recipe which is really good, but I wanted to find a better one =]
3. I HAD tried to make a sponge cake already, which turned out not very spongy as I forgot I was making a sponge cake and didn't 'fold' the mixture.
4. Strawberries were too expensive- fresh cream cakes don't look good without that little bit of red!
Since the price of strawberries didn't seem to be going down any time soon and we had a box of fresh mangoes in the house, I decided to make a mango sponge cake instead. This is another a common cream cake found in most asian bakeries. I'd tried making this before, only my lack of knife skills meant that the slices were WAY too thick and they didn't bend over the cake nicely so we ended up piling all the mangoes on the sponge cake. With some experience this time, I cut the mango thinly, only to realise that the mango was too ripe- and ended up with a pile of wet, squishy, mashed up mango. Luckily, my mum came to the rescue and help me cut the second mango (which was much firmer than the first). Her better knife skills meant that she was able to cut the mango into thinner and better looking slices.
With a bit of simple piling of fruits, the cake turned out looking beautiful! I think I was more happy about the cake than my dad......! The mango ripened on the cake really quickly (it had browned by the next day) which meant that it tasted ever sweeter but was not as aesthetically pleasing. The sponge itself was not too successful (probably because I tried to combine a couple of recipes into one....) but the fruits stole the show so it didn't really matter! I'll definitely make this again- it's so fun!
Mango and Cream Sponge Cake
1 20cm round sponge cake (recipe I used is below but it's not the best sponge cake recipe I've used)
300mL thickened cream
Icing sugar (to taste)
1 can of mixed fruits (I used Del Monte fruit
cocktail as it has interesting fruits in it.....)
1 can of peaches
1 large, not-quite-ripe mango
* Using an electric mixer, whip the thickened cream until stiff peaks are almost formed. Add icing sugar a little at a time, until it is sweetened and stiff peaks have formed.
* Cut the sponge cake horizontally in half
* Drain the can of mixed fruit (make sure that the fruits are dry!) and mix half of it with half of the whipped cream. Spread it over the bottom half of the cake
* Place the top half of the cake over it, and spread the remaining whipped cream all over the cake.
* Cut the mangoes into thin slices and arrange them over the cake- cover the edges with the larger slices and then arrange the rest of the slices in the middle.
* Drain the can of peaches and arrange over the top of the cake along with the remainder of the mixed fruits.
4 eggs (at room temp)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
50mL fresh milk
120g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
50mL cooking oil
1. Separate the egg white and the yolks
2. Add vanilla essence to the egg yolk. Then add the fresh milk, half of the sugar and oil into the mixture
3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture
4. In a separate bowl, add cream of tartar to the egg white and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Then slowly add caster sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form.
5. Slowly fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture (approx 1/4 at a time)
6. Pour mixture into a 20cm round tin. Gently tap the mixture on the counter (to remove any large air bubbles) and put into a preheated 180 degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Unmould and allow to cool completely.