There is no doubt that it is mango season. Everywhere I turn, I see mangoes. In the markets, in supermarkets, in wheel barrows pushed around by fruit vendors – there they are waiting to be poked and prodded and then taken home to be peeled and eaten.
After receiving an obscene number of mangoes from my mother, I had done everything from peeling and eating the fruit straight from the fridge, blending as base for smoothies, putting chunks in plain yogurt, given my 14 month old son spoonfuls several times a day and I still had way too many left and we were getting sick of them. I couldn’t bear to throw them away so I decided to figure out some other way to use the fruits that would exhaust what we had left but be interesting as well. I thought to myself – banana bread is a classic, why not try making mango bread?
When I mentioned it to my husband, he screwed up his face every which way and said he wasn’t going to be a part of that nastiness. However, the idea had taken root. Mangoes are considered a tropical exotic fruit so I could add some warmth with some spices and alcohol and it could just work. I am so happy to say that after a few tweaks, the naughty mango bread is a huge hit with my husband, friends and family with folks even offering to pay for loaves when no freebies are forthcoming. And the best part about it, no mixers needed. Just bowls and a wooden spoon..
To make a 9 inch loaf, you will need:
1 cup of dried mixed fruit (cover the fruit with some brandy, rum or cognac for at least an hour. This is the naughty part of the bread)
2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup of vegetable or canola oil
2 cups diced mango (2 medium sized mangoes or 1 very large mango should give you what you need)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or gas mark 4. Then, spray a 9 inch loaf pan or any baking tin of your choice with baking non stick spray or butter the tin thoroughly, dust with flour and tap out the excess.
In a bowl, sieve and whisk together the flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and oil together and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix the batter well using a wooden spoon or a spatula. The batter will be very thick so don’t panic.
Drain the mixed fruit and add to batter along with the diced mangoes and stir well to be sure everything is properly incorporated. Scrape the batter into the pan and use wooden spoon or spatula to smoothen the top.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted comes out clean. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and let cool thoroughly before slicing.
This naughty mango bread is fantastic warm or cold, with coffee or tea or even with a light smear of butter if you are feeling generous about your calories.
Uzo Orimalade is the head baker at Cupcake Couture – a boutique bakery and creative director of Uzo’s Food Labs – a culinary studio. She also hosts Friday Food on The Spot on EbonyLifeTV. When she isn’t in her food lab, her head is almost always buried in a book. Visit her blog – Uzo’s Food Labs.