Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Don't Pick the Prickly Pear by the Paw

Disney Classic # 19 - The Jungle Book

I got my inspiration for this cake when flicking through a recipe book. I came across the recipe for a mango, banana and coconut cake, and immediately I thought "JUNGLE FRUITS = Jungle Book!" It's amazing actually, I think I'm constantly subconsciously looking for cake ideas, just any old thing can trigger it and make me think of a Disney movie.

I have to admit I was a bit dubious about this weeks cake - somehow the thought of mixing mango, banana and coconut just didn't seem to sit right in my mind. My Mr. agreed, he thought that instead I should make a chocolate cake, as chocolate is brown it could represent the bark of the trees in the jungle. *rolls eyes* If the Mr had a say in it, we'd have chocolate cake every week. However, the purpose of this challenge was to experiment, so experiment I did.

Unfortunately my local grocers was fresh out of paw-paws and prickly pears...

I found the recipe in the old trusty BBC Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes. (Page 54 - Mango, Banana and Coconut Cake). I've never baked a cake with fresh fruit before, but I know that adding fresh fruit to cake mixture can do strange things so I decided to follow the recipe to the letter.

I'd like to make a note here that at various stages this cake mixture looks all kinds of wrong and nasty. Do not despair! Once you've added the flour it will return to something resembling a normal cake mixture, and once baked it tastes delicious and is really very moist!

Prep time: 20 mins     Cook time: 30-35mins      Serves: 10


1 medium sized ripe mango
2 medium sized ripe bananas
1tsp vanilla extract
225g margarine
140g light brown sugar
2 eggs
50g desiccated coconut
225g self raising flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp mixed spice

For the filling:
200g packet soft cheese
2tsp lemon juice
50g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 and grease and line two 8 inch baking tins
  2. Peel, stone and chop the mango, and then puree the flesh. Put the mango to one side for now. Peel the bananas and break these up into a small bowl. Mash the bananas to a pulp using a fork, ensuring that there are no large lumps remaining. Mix half of the mango puree into the mashed banana, and put the other half of the mango puree in the fridge for later. Add the vanilla extract to the banana and mango mixture and mix well. Put this fruit mixture to one side.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs, and then add these to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time. (Note: this is when the cake mixture starts to resemble something not very nice - do not worry, just keep at it and it will taste delicious!)
  4. Stir in the banana and mango mixture, and then add the desiccated coconut.
  5. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice, and fold into the mixture until thoroughly combined. (Note: by now the cake mixture should look fairly normal, if a bit stiff!)
  6. Divide the mixture between the two baking tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm to touch, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once the cakes have baked, leave to cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Once the cakes have cooled, prepare the filling. Beat together the soft cheese, lemon juice,and icing sugar until smooth and glossy. Stir in the reserved mango puree. Spread the filling evenly onto one of the cakes, and then place the other cake on top of that. Dust the cake with icing sugar to decorate, and serve!

Next time round it's the Aristocats, and I'll be making some very yummy millionaire's shortbread.

Happy Thoughts

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