April 16, 2010

Yet Another Mango Episode: Mango-Mascarpone Trifle 芒果芭菲

It’s been pretty bumpy this week. There are so many things going on, and for the most part, they’re pretty disappointing. Didn’t mean to let the pessimist in me bug you, but I’ve been haunted by technical issues with my darling laptop.

The situation is kind of funny, which isn’t making any sense to me. Or, am I too retarded to grasp it!? (Oh, dammit!) Plain oxymora. First, I can use neither Chrome nor Internet Explorer; I can’t sign in to MSN, can’t listen to my favorite station on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and can’t upload photos onto my Flickr page. (Thank, goodness! Luckily, there’s more than one computer within my reach.) But, I still can tweet and be tweeted on Twitter; I still can receive updates on Flickr; I still can check my mails with Gmail; I still can surf the Net with Mozilla Firefox; and, I STILL CAN blog with Blogger. Geez, I hope I’m not counting my chickens before they’re hatched … I’m still in the midst of penning down my thoughts. *Crossing fingers*

On top of being an addict for bakeware, cookware, cookbooks, food, cameras, props, music and any books that catch my fancy, I’m not ashamed of labeling myself an Internet junkie. I can survive without TV – but not without my computer and the Internet. Now that I’m using a malfunctioning computer, my life has turned topsy-turvy. And, I never ever expect myself to excel in everything; otherwise, that will sound a little too ambitious. Ah, I’m still patiently waiting for my technology-savvy brother to be back this weekend to help fix this damn problem!

This may seem like a minor blow. (OK, maybe it ain’t really nothin’ for me after all … I’m literally paralyzed! *Sob*) Nevertheless, through this incident, I’ve gradually come to realize I can get insecure pretty easily. I can get crippled by financial insecurity; I can get irritated by little details. To top it off, I’m an impatient person, too. However, there’s this funny thing about me. I can patiently let my bread dough rise to proof for 1 to 2 hours. I can let my cakes and cookies cool off after baking – but once they’re completely cooled, I can’t stop my itchy hands from inching out to sample a few just to satisfy the nosy parker in me. Hahaha …! Oxymora again! So, another new lesson learned: I’m a person of both contrasts and unpredictability. I do sound scary, eh?

Whilst I can’t do much about the situation with my shallow computer science knowledge, I’ll just have to wait for my savior to be back this weekend to resurrect my computer. So, pardon me for being "less active" lately in visiting food blogs. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been featured on this spanking-new foodie site that’s dedicated to baking, and it’s aptly named “Baking is Hot.” Do hop over there to check out other really cool food blogs and recipes!

To cap it all, here’s another recipe devoted to my love for MANGO and VERRINES. (Oh, did I tell you I’m a verrine aficionado, too?) And since the mango season will be concluding soon, why not?

The story started out with this cookbook I spotted at the Hong Kong book fair organized by Kinokuniya, my favorite bookstore in town. All books displayed were made in Hong Kong, literally. Growing up in Asia and having lived in the States for close to 3 years, my palate is truly East-meets-West. (Is that a lame one or what? Ha!) One way to prove that is compared to almost everyone I’ve met back home in Malaysia, I have an unusually sweet tooth, which is very typical of American and something I’ve acquired during my stay there. (Most Asians have what I'd call “savory tooth.” *LOL* Hope it makes sense to you; otherwise, forget it. Maybe my sense of humor just sucks. *Tsk, tsk*)

My observation tells me that the Asian cookbook publishing industry is getting TOO commercialized. I personally prefer cookbooks published in the West for their detail and meticulousness anytime – though they’re probably a tad too sweet for many “Asia-grown Asian” taste buds. Sorry, no offense. This is just my two cents. For recipes that are supposed to be lengthy at where deemed appropriate, e.g. because they’re formulated for an elaborate dish or cake (l’Opera is a great example), they’re in fact overly brief and summarized. The authors and editors probably assume that most of us cookbook readers are way past the intermediate levels!? Or it’s just another means to be cost- and “energy-efficient!?” This is just sad …

Luckily, this recipe didn’t take me too long to figure out that some things were missing … So, I had to fix it somehow. Boy, glad that I did.

Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe, yea? It’s long simply because it’s VERRINE! Verrine is made up of several components, with each contributing to the symphony orchestra of the end product. Can be either sweet or savory, too! So, the recipe is lengthy but simple! The result is remarkable.

The symphony orchestra turned out to be phenomenally scrumptious! This mango-mascarpone trifle won applause from the humble audience of taste testers and me. The enticing sweetness and fruity aroma of juicy mango complement perfectly with the mild tang and luscious softness of Italian mascarpone. This heavenly couple gives off a toothsome experience that simply lingers on your tongue and captures your senses. Finishing up with almond génoise renders the glassed dessert fresh nuttiness. Oh, it’s a glass of sweet memories made with love and passion! Pure enjoyment!

Mango-Mascarpone Trifle 芒果芭菲
Adapted from "Dessert for You," by Rachel Yau    摘自《為您做甜品》。丘桂玲 著

* The number of glasses of verrine you can get out of this recipe varies as it really depends on the size of the serving vessels used. *

For the almond génoise:

110 g almonds
* I used whole almonds, with skin on. *
40 g powdered sugar
124 g egg whites, at room temperature
50 g caster sugar
  1. To toast the almonds, bake the nuts at 150C for 10~15 minutes; remove them from the oven and set aside to let cool completely before using
  2. To get pulverized almonds: place the cooled toasted almonds and powdered sugar together in the food processor, then give the sugar-coated nuts quick and short pulses till you get fine pulverized almonds. Sift the sugar-pulverized almond mixture twice; set aside
    * Sugar helps with absorbing the oil from the nuts and prevents the nuts from clumping together as you pulverize the nuts. *
    ** Alternatively, you can use store-bought almond meal, which will work just as good. But, I think commercial one lacks the fresh nutty flavor that I love. Still, It really is up to you. If you opt for store-bought one, simply combine it together with the powdered sugar, then sift twice and set aside for use in step #4. **
  3. To get the meringue: in a clean grease-free metal mixing bowl, whip the egg whites till they get foamy, then gradually beat in the 50 g caster sugar as you keep whipping the egg whites; keep whipping them up till they have attained stiff peaks and look glossy
  4. Gently fold the almond-powdered sugar mixture to the meringue, in 2~3 batches, till just incorporated -- DON'T overdo this lest deflating the meringue by forcing out the air within
  5. Transfer the batter into a piping bag that's fitted with a plain-tip nozzle. Next, pipe the batter out in a circular motion -- beginning from the center -- to get a big circle, on a parchment-lined baking tray
    * If you're frugal, just spread the batter on a parchment-lined baking tray with help from a rubber spatula -- just gotta make sure that the batter is spread till about 1-inch thick. *
  6. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or till it looks slightly browned and the toothpick comes out clean once taken out after inserting into the center of the cake
  7. Remove the cake from the oven; transfer the cake onto a cooling rack to let cool completely before using
For the mango purée:

500 g mango flesh, puréed
4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
80 g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
  1. Combine (B) together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat over low heat till the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has barely thickened -- keep stirring at all times to prevent burning at the bottom
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely aside
    Remember to pick out and discard the vanilla bean before using. (Or, you may keep it for some other uses.)
For the vanilla mascarpone:

3 egg yolks, at room temperature
25 g caster sugar

1 vanilla bean, split
125 mL  milk

250 g mascarpone
250 mL heavy cream, chilled

6 g powdered gelatine
70 mL water -- at room temperature will do
  1. Heat (D) together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to bring to a boil OR microwave (D) together in a microwaveable vessel on HIGH till they start to boil -- monitor at all times while doing this
    Cover and set the mixture aside to let the flavors infuse for about 1 hour
  2. Meanwhile, cream (C) together till pale, sticky and thick (i.e. the ribbon stage)
  3. Reheat the vanilla milk from step #1 to bring it to a boil again. Next, remove from the heat once the milk starts to boil and discard the vanilla bean (or you can reserve it for some other purposes)
  4. Gradually temper the hot vanilla milk into the beaten yolks, then set the whole deal aside to cool slightly till it's less hot -- well, not too cool either. In the meantime, sprinkle the powdered gelatine from (E) over the 70 mL water to bloom (i.e. soften) it, which should just take around 5 minutes
  5. Once the yolk-milk mixture has gotten slightly cooler, blend in the gelatine and stir to make sure that the gelatine gets dissolved into the warm mixture completely. Next, set the whole deal aside to cool completely
  6. Once the yolk-milk mixture has cooled off, gradually blend it into the mascarpone -- a few tablespoons at a time -- to incorporate them altogether. If this were done all at once, the mixtures will separate!
  7. Now whip the chilled heavy cream till it's looks mousse-like (70-percent stiff); fold the semi-whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture gently till just incorporated, in 2~3 batches
To assemble:
  1. Depending on your serving vessels, use a suitable cookie cutter to cut out the almond génoise so that the cut-out cake fits each serving vessel
  2. Place the cut-out cake at the bottom of the glasses that you're planning to use, then pour over the mango purée till about 1-centimeter thick. Next, pour over some of the mascarpone mixture till about 2-cm thick.
    Repeat step #2 to each of the serving vessels that you're planning to use. After that, send all the glasses to chill in the fridge till the mixtures have set completely
    * But seriously, how you want to divide the mixtures among your serving vessels is clearly a matter of preference. *
  3. Once the first layers of the three components have fully set, repeat the layering and chilling instructions in step #2 to each of the serving vessels -- stop filling them once each is 80-percent full
  4. Once the whole deal has set completely, you may serve the dessert. Garnish as desired; served chilled.


Keren Ruth said...

Those look sooo yummy. :)
and about your computer... Have you tried deleting cookies? Mine was giving me problems so I did that and it helped quite a bit.

Tuty @Scentofspice said...

I love the pictures and the recipe too. Mango is my number one favorite fruit.
Thanks for sharing and congrats for the press in Baking is Hot!

Kitchen Corner said...

Your mango trifle looks very elegant! Nicely presented! PRETTY!

faithy, the baker said...

I love mango too! Looks so yummy..your mango-mascarpone trifle is to do for.. love how you present it in the tiny little cups too! so pretty!

Anncoo said...

I love mango and I love this beautiful dessert. Gonna bookmark this.

Elin said...

Wow..so many cookbooks!!! Thanks for sharing this mango mascarpone Trifle :) looks delish!

tigerfish said...

Oh, I am having a hang on mangoes in my recent postings - your dessert is just in time to make my meal - everything mango.

I believe I am addicted to the Internet too. :O

hey, 芭菲 sounds like 怕肥 ?? ;p

baobabs said...

Stunning photo and I LOVE trifles!!!!

MaryMoh said...

Mango trifle...anytime! :D Looks very delicious.

Cara said...

Love these little verrines! Really, anything with almond cake sounds perfect to me, and the mango and marscapone sound delicious. nicely done!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Mmmm...can almost imagine the creamy and mango sweetness in this desert. ;) Thanks for sharing this lovely desert. ;)

Angie's Recipes said...

Mango parfait looks fascinating! Gotta check the site out.

Swee San said...

hey dear ... good luck with your wired internet connection. AND hope u're not too caught up with work ey? Love the mango trifle. Everything I see now has mascarpone in it. Looks like I HAVE to try making my own mascarpone :) Hey we should have pot luck ! :O

petite nyonya said...

That mango trifle look so so so luscious! I want!!!

Patty said...

I love your East meets West styles. I love mangoes too - we live in the tropics and just bought a bag of fresh juicy mangoes that will probably disappear before I get a chance to make something with them. Thanks for the write-up too - you're one hot baker! ;)

daphne said...

that looks super yummy! and worth all the time it takes to make it. Very pretty as well! We can't find anymore mangos now..season officially over :(

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I love mangoes and using them for trifle is a fantastic idea! Looks very appetizing.

Jo said...

Ooh the verrines look delicious. I love mangoes and I've been getting the Thai honey ones lately (must be in season). I too made a mango dessert yesterday, which I'll post at a later date. Love the pictures.

WizzyTheStick said...

I know exactly how you feel. It's frustrating when you can't get technology to work for you.

noobcook said...

I love mango, and your mango dessert looks really nice and refreshing. hope your computer probs are resolved soon, and congrats on being featured!

Judy said...

Pei Lin, instead of the split vanilla bean (I don't know where to source it), can I use vanilla essence? Is it the same?

homeladychef said...

Hmmm...this one looks too sophisticated to me. Anyway, I like fireflies!!!!

Anna said...

That sounds very yummy!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@Keren: Hello from Malaysia! How are the folks back in Bemidji? Thanks for the encouragement. Wish you guys could have had some of this verrine. =( ... Well, according to my brother, cookies were part of the problem. But it was all my fault because I didn't do disk clean-up after each use, which cluttered up the computer's internal memory with all the trash. From now on, I'm gonna be better caretaker of my darling computer ... I know what to do now! Hahaha ...! Thanks for the tips though! Love y'all!

@Tuty: Thanks for the encouraging words! I heart mangoes, too, despite their high sugar content. Oh, who cares!? They are fibrous!

@Grace: Thanks a million! =D

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@Faithy: Hahaha ...! Actually, those are plastic vessels and sorta huge, too! Cheaper alternative, that was why I got them -- I lugged them all the way back from the U.S.! And, the wooden spoon is relatively huge, too, which has made the vessels look so small. *LOL* Ah, visual deception! Thank you for the kind words, buddy!

@Anncoo: Thank you, dear! Do lemme know how it turns out for you, yea?

@Elin: Thanks to you, too! Wow, seems like you've been churning out stuff in your own kitchen lately. Well, keep it up! Better do so before Joanna leaves you guys for the U.K.!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@tigerfish: Oh, I need to check out yours! Sorry for my lack of presence lately due to my hectic schedule. Darn! Thank goodness, I'm not the only weirdo here! Hahaha ...! But, but ... eating too much 芭菲 will make you 發肥! *LOL*

@baobabs: Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I'll try to outdo myself as life goes on ... Have a great one!

@MaryMoh: Thanks a lot!!!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@Cara: Just gotta say that almonds, mango and mascarpone really come together well! A heavenly combo I'd say ... Oh, AND REALLY THANK YOU for the encouraging words!

@Bee Bee: Hope you could have had some of this ... Thanks a lot for the kind words. Take care till then!

@Angie: Thanks for the lovely words! You have a good one!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@Swee San: Thanks! Hmmm ... Given my tight schedule, I doubt I'll make my own mascarpone, like you and Quinn, till I've moved out of the city and relive my simple rural life again! Hahaha ...! I love being a country girl. ;) Yeap! Gotta have a potluck! I'd love to try all your yummy food!

@Joslynn: Thanks! Will make some for you the next time we meet, hopefully.

@Patty: Aww ... Thank you so much for featuring me on your site! It was ton of fun! Yes, mangoes are good enough on their own actually ... So, go ahead and enjoy them fresh! You two deserve it after all the hard work!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@Daphne: Oh, sorry to learn about the end of mango season Down Under! Well, let's wait till the next summer ... It's worth the wait y'know ... And thanks a million for the feedback. ;) Will visit yours when given time.

@Ellie: Well, seems like mango is a fave amongst us all! Besides trifle, it's good in other things baked or cooked, too! Will try making mango chicken the next time I buy some mangoes ... Thanks a lot for the encouraging words!

@Jo: Oh, loving Thai honey mangoes, too! Gonna check out your mango dessert post probably tomorrow. Thanks for the heads-up! Can't wait! Thank you for the encouragement!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@WizzyTheStick: Well, it's nice to find someone like you who can empathize with my situation ... Glad that it's fixed, as of now. =)

@noobcook: THANK YOU! You've made my day! Well, what I do know is I can't resist anything mango, I've got weak spot for this sexy fruit ... Mmm, mmm ...

@Judy: Are you Fourth Aunt!!?? Hahaha ...! Just sounds familiar ... Yeap! But with ONLY PURE VANILLA EXTRACT, in my opinion. VANILLA PASTE works great, too! Imitation vanilla tastes funny to me, like medicine ... =S ... 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract/paste for 1 vanilla bean. If you're in Malaysia, you can find some vanilla beans at Cold Storage. But I doubt that's the most economical choice. I suppose you can source it elsewhere ... I'm gonna do so once my stock of vanilla beans has been exhausted.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry all for such late reply! Hope I'm staying sane despite my crazily hectic schedule ... Bah ... Thanks a million for dropping by! You've made my week!! I can take a good-night's sleep after a long tiring day at work. =D

@ladyhomechef: Hahaha ...! Shall treat you to some verrine when we get to meet up ... OH, YOU LOVE "FIREFLIES" TOO!!?? I'm so obsessed with that song! Adam Young, too!

@Anna: Hello from Malaysia! How's everyone in the Twin Cities? Hope everything is going well there ... Thank you so much on the encouraging words! I promise I'll cook and bake for you guys when I visit Minnesota again in the future ... Been missing y'all a lot ... Ah, Minnesota, my second home on planet Earth. Take care till then, K? Will catch up with you soon. Love, from Pei-Lin.

Quinn said...

Pei Lin!!!!

That looks amazingly gorgeous! I love mango too and verrines but unfortunately, I think I'm starting to understand how you feel even more. I have no time for anything!!!! My life now everyday is about job interviews and assessments! It's making me both physically and mentally exhausting! Come on MSN and say hi to me! If you're free of course!

Happy Homebaker said...

Your mango dessert is excellent, maybe you should publish your own cookbook some day. I'm sure it will change my impression of those cookbooks published in our region.

I prefer to follow baking books written by Japanese authors/chefs (translated to Chinese). I must say I learn all my baking thru these books. So far I have only bought one Asian published cookbook and it has since been collecting dust on my bookshelf. I love cookbooks from the west too...they are informative and come with beautiful illustrations, yet I hardly follow the recipes as their portions are way too big for my small family!

Juliana said...

What a beautiful dessert! Love the way you presented...must taste delicious :-)

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