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  • Writer's pictureNava

Mango spiral cake

 My birthday 2023

Cakes for the It Girl.


Tomorrow is my birthday and my body gave me an early gift for my birthday: a hair on my chin! You can imagine the joy I experienced when I discovered this single long shimmering silver hair. When I was young, I thought I might be an it girl. Now I’m afraid of becoming Cousin It. Not that I’m one to overdramatise, but what if the thing starts to multiply?


Anyway, rather than wailing into the sink, I girded myself and plucked that sucker with my bare hands, before anyone else could lay eyes on it …  

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to grow older and do feel lucky to be alive, healthy(ish) and happy, just not sure about the side effects… 

Anyway, while some things definitely become, shall we say a challenge, over time, cake only gets better (though resisting it only becomes harder). For my birthday, I decided to make two cakes. The first is a mango roulade on its side, because it reminds me that we can look at things (like aging) in a creative and fresh way; so while the roulade, like me, has been around forever I decided to make it sideways.  The second cake I made, is a recipe by yours truly, with my flavours which are embedded in the culture of my motherland, to remind me where I came from and who I am.


Why two cakes? you ask. 1. Because I can and 2. Both of them, put together, represent where I am right now.


My children haven’t lived with me for two years now and I finished with my day care business two years ago and I’m in a phase in my life where I have been exploring and experimenting without feeling guilty or neglecting anyone. On the other hand, the scattered pistachio nuts on my orange blossom cake reminds me not to expect smooth sailing whatever changes I make, and there will always be something challenging if not downright nuts to deal with.


But I’m determined. I am the (wo)man in the arena, of whom it has been said (pronouns notwithstanding) “there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Teddy Roosevelt) 


I highly recommend preparing these two cakes for your upcoming dinner party, brunch, or celebration.

I will share the recipe for the spiral (roulade) mango cake with you first.

This cake boasts just the right balance of lightness, fluffiness, and moisture, harmonised with a subtle sweetness and a gentle zing. The glorious combination of flavours creates a truly delectable experience.


Have a glorious day

Important tips:

1. Assembly on the Serving Dish: This cake is delicate and should be assembled directly on your serving dish. It's not designed for transfer.

2. Two Separate Cakes: You'll need to prepare two individual cakes for this recipe.  

3. Mango Coulis Preparation: Start by making the mango coulis. It's essential to chill it before spreading it on the cake to prevent the cream from melting. You can prepare it a day ahead. For a textured variation, blend the mango in a blender, or not, leaving some bits for a robust mango flavour.

4. Orange Juice: Incorporating orange juice not only enhances the flavour but also adds colour and reduces thickness.

5. Chilled Cream for Better Whipping: Keep the cream refrigerated until ready to use. Chilled cream whips more effectively.

6. Allow Cake to Cool: Let the cakes cool to room temperature before flipping them upside down for assembly.

I've had this roulade recipe for over 30 years,  given to me by @Erica Katlav, my cake guru and an exceptional baker. This cake is fail-proof, perhaps the easiest you'll ever make.

7. whisking the egg whites:  Separate the eggs when they are cold. Whisk them when they are at room temperature.

8. You can bake the two cakes at the same time or one after the other, I prefere one after the other so thats the method I used.


Ingredients for mango couluis

  • 2 large mangoes (approximately 500g each), peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)


1.In a saucepan set over medium to high heat, combine the chopped mangoes, sugar, and lemon juice.

2.Stir the ingredients occasionally until the mangoes become very soft and easily squashed when pressed, approximately 10 minutes.

3.Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

4.Once cooled, incorporate the optional orange juice, then transfer the coulis to a container and refrigerate until needed.

5.Begin to prepare the cream.


Chantilly cream


600mls thickened cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons custard powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1.Using either a hand-held mixer or a standalone mixer, whisk all ingredients together until firm peaks form.

2. Transfer the whipped cream to the refrigerator for chilling until ready to use.


Ingredients ( per cake )

4 large eggs at room temp

½ cup castor sugar

1/3 cups cornflour (40g)

1/3 cup plain flour (65g)



1.    Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).

2.    Begin by separating the eggs.  Whisk the egg whites with sugar, gradually adding sugar one spoonful at a time until soft peaks form.

3.    Sift the cornflour and plain flour together, then gently fold them into the egg mixture. Using a hand-held mixer whisk for an additional minute, ensuring thorough incorporation of ingredients.

4.    Pour the cake batter into a flat baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper, greased with oil and lightly dusted with flour.

5.    Bake for 15 minutes until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6.    Remove the cake from the oven and set it aside to cool.

7.    While the first cake is cooling, repeat the baking process to prepare the second cake using the same method.

8.    Once both cakes are cooled, sprinkle soft icing sugar over the surface of one cake, this will prevent the cake from sticking to the baking/parchment paper. Place a piece of baking/parchment paper over the cake, making sure it covers the entire surface. Then, place another cake tin, slightly larger, over the baking/ parchment paper and flip it upside down.

9.    Carefully remove the baking/parchment paper that the cake was baked on and begin to assemble the cake.

 Assembly Process:

1.    Retrieve the mango coulis from the refrigerator. Measure out ¼ cup of coulis and return to the fridge. Divide the remaining coulis into two equal batches.

2.    Cut the cooled cake into even strips. Spread one batch of the coulis evenly over the surface of the cake.

3.    Remove the whipped cream from the fridge. Take out ¾ cup of cream and return to the fridge. Divide the remaining cream into two equal batches. Spread one batch of whipped cream evenly over the layer of mango coulis.

4.    Begin assembling the cake by rolling one cake strip into a tight coil (snail shape) and place it on your chosen serving dish.

5.    wrap second strip around the snail-shaped cake, continuing to wrap strips around the previous ones, creating a spiral shape until all strips are used.

6.    Once the second cake has cooled to room temperature, repeat the assembly method, using the second batch of coulis and the second batch of cream.  Continue to wrap the strips from the second cake in the same manner.

7.    Use the ¾ cup of cream to spread a layer of cream around the assembled cake. (see reel)

8.    Using a spoon, drizzle the remaining mango coulis in a circular pattern on top of the cake to create a bright contrast.

9.    Refrigerate the assembled cake and serve it straight from the fridge for freshness and presentation.

 And enjoy

With love and gratitude








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