What is a Pinoy party without a towering Mango Bravo standing front and center? The cake has been a go-to for many Filipino families since a small home-based business introduced it some years ago. Conti’s eventually opened more branches and became a well-established chain, causing the dessert’s popularity to skyrocket. Kids request it for their birthdays, couples choose it as their wedding cake, and balikbayans look for it upon arrival – the cake is that special.
But have you thought about taking things up a notch and making a Mango Bravo cake yourself? The task may seem daunting, but it is not impossible. Multiple recipe hacks and online videos already show how to do it. Their main requirements? Time and patience to prepare every component and assemble every layer with precision. That sounds like an exciting weekend project to conquer, but if you’re not ready for that, here’s another option: dessert cups.
Elements of a Mango Bravo Cake
The same components, the same layers but prepared in individual servings! Sounds more fun, right? Plus, you don't need to bake anything, and you might already have most ingredients. Consumption will also be a breeze because there’s nothing to slice. Quick, easy, fuss-free! Get started by looking at the original cake’s elements:
1. Crunchy wafers
Both Mango Bravo sizes feature three crunchy wafer layers. They take up more than half the height of the cake, keeping the whole dessert stable. Made by whipping egg whites with cream of tartar, sugar, and ground cashews, these layers are baked until crisp and golden, just like sans rival.
For a no-bake version of this element, you can use store-bought meringue, wafer biscuits, toasted mamon cubes, or broas.
2. Chocolate mousse
Nope, that’s not chocolate cake. It’s a simple mousse made by gently folding three ingredients together–melted semisweet chocolate chips, whipped cream, and sugar. You want this as smooth and creamy as possible to contrast the crunchy meringue layers.
But making chocolate mousse can also be tiresome. Instead, you can use some grocery items, like chocolate pudding, chocolate yogurt, or Selecta Super Thick Super Chocolate Ice Cream.
3. Whipped cream
This, you will find between layers, around the entire cake, and all over the top. There’s a lot of whipped cream needed to make this dessert! While the commercial variety requires mixing the cream with gelatin and icing sugar for stability, you can skip that by making a simple whipped cream.
Before starting, make sure your cream is fully chilled. If it’s at room temperature, your cream won’t whip and double in size. No need for special appliances for this task; a hand whisk and a strong arm will do. You can also add vanilla extract or mango essence to your cream for more flavor.
4. Mango cubes
Of course, you can’t make this cake without mangoes. Inside the original cake, you will find a layer of whipped cream studded with cubed mangoes. You can recreate this and customize the size and shape of mangoes according to your preference. Try them balled, sliced into strips, or even mashed.
Make sure you use the sweetest ripe mangoes you can find. If they’re not in season, you can cook the mangoes with some sugar to make a compote. Alternatively, you can use store-bought mango jam, jellies, or Selecta Super Thick Mango Ice Cream.
5. Chocolate sauce
Dripping down the sides of the cake is rich chocolate sauce. This element is difficult to remove as it serves a function beyond mere garnish. The chocolate ties all the flavors together, giving depth to the cream and highlighting the mangoes’ sweetness.
You can make a homemade chocolate hard-shell sauce by microwaving semisweet chocolate and coconut oil until smooth. But you can also already find some bottles in the grocery. Or you can swap it for regular hot fudge sauce, salted caramel, or fruit-based syrups.
6. Toasted cashews
Finish your cake with a generous sprinkling of cashews on top. To get them crunchy, toast them in a dry pan or the toaster oven until their aroma fills the air. Chop them up if you want, but whole nuts provide a crunchy counterpoint to all the smooth elements.
Don’t have cashews? Work with any nuts you already have, including cracker nuts, roasted macadamias, and unshelled pistachios. Other crunchy ingredients like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and granola work just as well.
Assembling Your Mango Bravo Cups
The best vessel for this dessert is a tall glass that offers an undisturbed view of every layer. Shot glasses are also an option for parties with many guests. For a disposable alternative, you can fill cupcake pans with liners and fill them with the elements.
Who needs a full Mango Bravo recipe if you have this guide? It’s as easy as gathering your elements, making layers, and chilling or freezing until ready to serve. For a version close to the classic, you can combine broas, chocolate pudding, vanilla whipped cream, fresh mango cubes, hard-shell chocolate, and cashews. Make it more indulgent with ice cream and multiple toppings.
You can even change the fruit and use strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, and grapes. Customize it as much as you want– this is the kind of dessert that allows you to break the rules. You can even make a healthy Mango Bravo cup with chilled yoghurt, chia pudding, and granola. The point is to have as much fun as the original cake but sans the stress and the mess.