Yesterday I found myself needing to produce a cake fairly quickly and at short notice. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not much of a one for baking, and as usual I spent far too long leafing through cookery books and magazines, only to find that I couldn’t find a recipe that I really fancied and that matched the ingredients I had. The one “must-use” ingredient was a very ripe mango that was getting dangerously close to the point at which it would suddenly become not very appetising any more, but all of the (not very many) mango baking recipes I could find were either very complicated, too rich for my taste, or a bit odd sounding (mango and chilli cake, anyone?).
I ended up having to improvise on both the recipe and the final list of ingredients, though the final result was a great success. And now it’s time to write it down before I forget…
Ingredients1 ripe mango 1tbsp cornflour a handful of raisins a dash of lemon or lime juice 150g self-raising flour (or plain flour with a generous teaspoonful of baking powder) 150g soft butter or margarine 125g sugar (I used fine light cane sugar) 150g ground nuts (I used half almonds, half hazelnuts) 1tsp ground cinnamon ½tsp ground nutmeg ½tsp ground allspice 1 egg zest of 1 lemon
1. Peel and dice the mango, mix with the raisins, cornflour, lemon or lime juice and set aside.
2. Mix the other ingredients thoroughly and divide this mixture roughly in two.
3. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of a greased, loose-bottomed 18cm diameter cake tin.
4. Pour the mango mixture in on top of this, and spread it around a bit.
5. Add the other half of the cake mixture on top of the mango, distributing it as best you can. I put it on in small clumps, and the finished cake had quite a pleasant bumpy look to it – like a thick, almost solid sticky streusel topping.
6. Bake at 180°C (fan 160°C) for about 50 minutes. Check it after about 30 minutes, and if it is looking too brown, cover in foil.
7. I left the cake in the tin to cool, which probably helped to conserve some moisture. It was certainly easy enough to remove it from the tin.
Variations on a theme
- I love the combination of mango and root ginger, so next time I might add some finely grated ginger either to the cake batter or to the fruit mixture. Having said that, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a cake recipe that asked for fresh root ginger (instead of stem ginger or ground ginger) – is there a good reason for that, I wonder?!
- The cake would probably work well with any softish fruit; I might use a bit more sugar (say, 150g total) for the cake mixture if using a fruit that was more acidic than mango.
- I’d love to try the recipe with a fresh dark cherry filling, and grated dark chocolate instead of the spices.