Paradise At The Top Of The Mark

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - December 06, 2006
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The Top Of The Mark’s exotic mango and coconut mousse cake has an island flair
The Top Of The Mark’s exotic mango and coconut
mousse cake has an island flair

At a recent 40th anniversary getaway with my husband, Gary, at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, we found Hawaii everywhere!

Bridget Ramirez, in guest relations, graduated from Waipahu High School, and her mom still lives in Kapolei. Food and beverage director Sean Olmstead grew up in Hawaii. And director of public relations, Connie Perez, attended the University of Hawaii.

This year, the Mark Hopkins celebrates its 80th birthday. Of course, once I sampled the fabulous Sunday champagne brunch at the Top Of The Mark sky-bar on the 19th floor, and tasted this light-as-air scrumptious cake - also reminiscent of Hawaii - I had to get the recipe. I would like to thank these great chefs for taking the time to meet with me and give me this recipe to share with MidWeek readers:

Executive chef Clayton Van Hooijdonk is responsible for menu and recipe development at the hotel and completed his rigorous training at the Culinary Academy Sittard in the Netherlands.


Pastry chef Phoung Voung started her career at City College where she graduated from the hotel management program. She joined the great team of the Mark Hopkins more than 10 years ago, and loves baking cakes and cookies.

Executive sous chef Christian Pratsch graduated after a three-year apprenticeship in the InterContinental Hamburg Germany, and traveled half the world as a cook on cruise ships. Christian joined the Mark Hopkins team five months ago and really enjoys the people and the Bay Area.

Try this light, moist cake for your holiday parties. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and will get raves.

MANGO AND COCONUT MOUSSE CAKE

* 1/2 quart mango puree
* 6 tablespoons sugar
* 6 sheets gelatin (note 10 sheets equals 1 ounce powdered gelatin)
* 1 quart whipped cream (may use light cream)

Soak gelatin in cold water for five minutes. Heat a little bit of puree to melt the gelatin. Combine the sugar and cream and whip until light. Fold cream into the puree.


For the Coconut Mousse: Use coconut milk (may use low-fat) and same amounts, but add 2 sheets more gelatin.

Have ready 9-inch chiffon or angel food cake, and divide it into two layers. Simply put each mousse on one layer and garnish with some fruit, chocolate shavings or coconut flakes. (See photo). Keep chilled for 2-3 hours.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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