Mango-lime trifle with brown butter cake

By • May 8, 2012 • 2 Comments

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Author Notes: Trifles are, in my opinion, the perfect dessert for a summer party. Cool, creamy, and with the addition of mango--just perfect! I love adding the lime to make it even more refreshing and the brown butter cake and toasted coconut to add extra depth of flavor and nuttiness. I also like adding raspberries because they go so well with the other flavors.

This trifle is inspired, like many of my desserts, by Tartine Bakery's, and the brown butter cake is inspired by Food & Wine's recent recipe.

Makes 1 large trifle

Brown butter cake

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Fruit puree, pastry cream, and assembly

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds and pod saved
  • pinches salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh mango, chopped into 1" chunks and, if you want, raspberries
  • 2 1/2 cups mango puree
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup champagne (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring once in a while until foamy, then continue to cook stirring more frequently until you are seeing small brown bits in the butter and it smells nutty. This whole process takes 10-15 minutes. Scrape your butter and any browned bits into the bowl of your stand mixer, then put that bowl into an ice bath in the fridge. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until the butter along the outside of the bowl starts to set and turn opaque. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Put the bowl with the butter (once ready) onto the mixer, and beat until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Then add the egg yolks, beating to combine, followed by the whole eggs, beating to combine again, then the vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 alternating additions, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Pour the batter evenly into the 3 prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans once while baking, for about 30 minutes. A toothpick or cake tester should come out clean or with a couple dry crumbs. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then allow them to cool completely on racks while you work on the rest of the trifle. Once cool, chop the cake up into 1-2" square pieces.
  2. Pastry cream: Heat the milk, vanilla seeds and pod and salt in a pan and put over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan with some water to a boil. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs until smooth. Don't let these items sit together because the sugar can "cook" the yolks and make them grainy. Slowly add 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk constantly to temper them. Add the remaining milk. Place this bowl over the saucepan of boiling water. Whisk constantly until you get a thick consistency and the mixture registers 180 degrees, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes, until it registers 140 degrees, and then incorporate the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, directly touching the cream, let cool completely in the fridge.
  3. Fruit puree: puree the mango puree, lime juice, lime zest and 1/2 cup sugar in a blender or food processor. Add the champagne to taste, if using. Set aside.
  4. Assembly: Whip the whipping cream and tablespoon of sugar in a mixer until it holds medium peaks. Then begin putting the trifle together... Begin with 1 pan's worth of the cut up cake squares, scattered along the bottom of your trifle dish. Cover the cake with 1/3 of your fruit puree, then 1/3 of your mango (and raspberries, if using), 1/3 of the toasted coconut, 1/3 of the pastry cream, and finally 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat 2 more times. Smooth out the top of your last layer of whipped cream. The trifle can keep, in the fridge, for a day, and I prefer to wait at least a couple hours before serving so the fruit puree cake seep into the cake a little. - add whipped cream here

Comments (2) Questions (0)


almost 2 years ago Midge

Oh yum, this sounds like a winner to me.


almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds great Jessica, I love trifle and this is amazing, the brown butter cake with the mango, pastry cream and whipped cream is decadent and delicious.