Monet's Mango Surprise: Lemon Pecan Spice Cake filled with Blueberries and Mango

May 9, 2012
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Author Notes: The basis of this riff on a recipe by the wonderful Maida Heatter came about because I wanted a heavier cake with more texture, the nuttiness of whole wheat and pecans, and significant cardamom and lemon flavors. (To achieve the latter, I used my technique of grinding together the sugar,zest and spice.) I filled the cake with mangoes and blueberries, which remind me of the beautiful blue and yellow breakfast room at Monet's Givergny, where I wish I could have served him this as a breakfast coffee cake!LE BEC FIN

Serves: 8-12

Lemon Pecan Cardamom Cake:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups AP white flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces ( 2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly ground
  1. Spray with non stick spray the bottom and insides of a 9" or 10" x 3" H cake pan with removable bottom. Place a parchment round on the bottom; spray.
  2. Combine the sifted whole wheat and white flours; sift again.Remove 2 cups and sift in baking powder and salt. (Add leftover flour mix back into white flour.)
  3. In a mini processor, grind together 1/2 c. white sugar, zest of 2 lemons, 3 T. freshly ground cardamom, til almost soupy. Transfer from machine to a bowl .
  4. Beat 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter in a mixer w/ a paddle until soft and light. Add above sugar mixture, remaining 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla,1/3 cup packed light brown sugar. Add 2 lg.eggs while beating , just until incorporated. Add 1 c. sour cream and beat til just incorporated.On low speed add the flour mixture and beat just until smooth. Add 2/3 c. roughly ground toasted pecans and mix very briefly.
  5. Turn half the mixture into the pan, smooth the top, spoon the blueberry filling on top of it, keeping it 1/2 to 1 inch away from the pan edges.Repeat with a layer of the chopped mango. Turn the other half of the cake batter onto this. Smooth top.
  6. Bake about 40-60 min. for the 10" pan; more for the 9", til the top of the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. and skewer comes out with no traces of batter . Remove from oven and let the cake stand on a rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Run knife around inside pan edge;push up base to remove cake from pan sides. Place on a rack .Spread glaze over cake and let it drip down the sides. Let it cool and set up. Taste improves overnight.

Blueberry and Mango Fillings; Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • 1 cup ripe mangoes**( about 7 ounces gross weight) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, optional
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • hot water
  1. In a colander, rinse and dry 1 c. fresh blueberries. In a bowl, combine berries, 3 T. granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon ,1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg and 1 tsp lemon juice*. Stir. Let sit. (* Before juicing the lemon, finely grate the peel of 2 lemons for the batter . Rasper/micro plane works best. ) In another bowl, combine the mangoes and sugar; let sit.
  2. While cake bakes, prepare the glaze . In a bowl, combine 1 c. powdered sugar 2 T. lemon juice and just enough hot water til glaze is just thin enough to pour. Set aside.
  3. Note**- If you choose to use only blueberries,you can add another 1/2 cup.

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