Mango Loaf with NO ADDED SUGAR

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Mangoes. I guess we are so busy enjoying the fruit on its own when it is in season, that we forget that mangoes make for a great fruit to cook with. In keeping with the same aim, I tried to bake a mango loaf, just like a banana bread.

Why a mango loaf, because I thought that it can be a great base for stone fruit and yogurt or mascarpone , just like or better than a typical pound cake. And its true. Freshly pureed mango is airy and hence the cake is surprisingly light without any egg white whipping involved.

I served these with honey and fresh mangoes. You can choose any fruit and greek yogurt or whipped cream or better still mascarpone cheese. I was skeptical about using or not using vanilla extract in this recipe, worried that the cake will turn out to be more eggy than mongo-ey. But thankfully, they turned out to have only delicate mango flavour
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Ingredients
125 gms butter
2 eggs
1 cup mango puree
100 gms all purpose flour
155 gms fine polenta
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp whole oats for garnishing on top of the loaf

  1. Cream the butter and the mango puree. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk through.
  2. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and fold the cake. Be careful to do this delicately so that the air incorporated in the mixture is not released.
  3. Pour the mixture in a parchment paper lined loaf tin of 10 inch length. Sprinkle the whole oats on top and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 45 minute or till a poked skewer comes out clean.
  4. The loaf will rise and tends to split down the middle. Don’t worry about that.
  5. Serve with fruit of choice and cream/ icecream/ cheese.
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    P.S.
    Watch
    Netflix – Ranch http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4998212/
    Movie – Binge watch all the LOTR series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings_(film_series)

Listen
John Mayer – Love on the weekend – John Mayer – Love on the Weekend (Audio) – YouTube
Gary BB Coleman – The sky is crying – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71Gt46aX9Z4
Caught a Ghost – Time Co – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_LqBYI10fM
The Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yCIDkFI7ew

Read
Blog – Urban outfitter and the content on the blog is ever illuminating. http://blog.urbanoutfitters.com

Book – The Glass Castle by Jeannette https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7445.The_Glass_Castle

Poem:

Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

– Maya Angelou

Dunked Plums with Rosemary

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Every summer we have a family ritual, one to go to the hills and two to stay at an orchard. The Himalayan foothills are resplendent with stone fruit at this time of the year, mostly July to August. Great yellow peaches, brilliant nectarines, wild plums, golden yellow apricots and lovely berries, wild golden raspberries included.

This recipe is a tribute to the plums. The colour, flavour and aroma are all celebrated in this cake, dotted with little moorish, squishy, jammy pools of plum, on a bed of crumbly butter cake.

This is a season repeat for me, time after time and is a no fail recipe. It marries plums with rosemary which is an excellent herb for desserts as well. This makes for a great tea cake and a tray cake. What I mean is that I have used a 10 inch cake tin for this cake and its best to use bigger cake tins/trays to ensure that there is just the right amount of cake and plum.
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Ingredients:
Rosemary Sugar
135 gms regular sugar
5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Dunked Plums
4 large plums cut into thick slices
150 ml plum liqueur
2-3 tbsp dark brown sugar

Cake
125 gms salted butter
2 large eggs
180 gms flour
2 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Blitz together the sugar and fresh dry rosemary leaves. Ensure that the rosemary is fresh, green and absolutely dry. You can make more of this sugar and use it for lemonades. It gives a definite zing to them
2. Stone and slice the plums. Add sugar and the liqueur and toss them together. Let this sit for atlas 1 hour.
3. Use 125 gas of the rosemary sugar (save the rest for dusting) the butter and cream it with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Then add one egg at a time and whisk again. Now add the water and whisk. Do not whisk too much as it might result in a flat cake. Fold the sifted flour and baking powder and pour the mixture in a ten inch circular cake tin. (I used a teflon coated non stick cake tin and covered its bottom with baking paper)
4. Flatten and even out the cake batter with a spatula. Now the the plum chunks and arrange them on the batter, however tidily you can. Try not to eat any o =f the succulent, fragrant slippery pieces of plum while you are at it.
Place the cake in a 190 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes or thill the to is golden.
5. Take you time to cool the cake and a warm one while very aromatic, is quite delicate for slicing.
6. Enjoy with a cup of Darjeeling’s finest.
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P.S.
Watch
Netflix – I am looking for recommendations. I have spent this week watching trailers of some of the new stuff on Netflix, Bloodline, Ozark, 13 reasons why, etc.
Movie – Dunkirk Catch it while it is still in the cinemas. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5013056/

Listen
Ben Lee – Gamble everything for love – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reIDepQzVJY
Don Browningg – How are you supposed to know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmV40wxr8gY
Pearl Jam – Just Breathe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5bAawsa7_s

Read
Blog – AM taking you away from food this time to promote pointless, yet strangely cool, time-killing things on the internet. boingboing.net

Book – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52036.Siddhartha

Poem – [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

– E. E. Cummings

There ain’t no such thing as too much fruit

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Banana Fruit Cake

I have forever had the 5 O’Clock hunger. PM of course! Always. Whether as a child when this was around the evening play time or now when its time to slow down in the day over a cup of tea or coffee.

Most of the times I reach for the usual almonds, fruits, rice crisps, chips, the works. but there are times when I crave Cake. For me though its never, ever, very very rarely about the creamed cakes. Its usually about a flavourful tea cake. Barely sweet and usually resounding with the season’s fruit.

And top among the list of loves is the banana bread. Almost fool proof and always perfuming the house with the most splendid aroma of cinnamon, banana and vanilla. Sometimes an added touch of coconut.

The more stale it goes, the crumblier it gets. I think I could say that its different in flavour when sliced through warm straight out of the oven, different if had cold with warm coffee or milk, very different when slightly toasted through with a dollop of butter as morning breakfast, great as a post work out energy slab (of cake of course, why else do we work out, to eventually indulge ourselves).

So here is the version that I make and it is basically to reduce all guilt, the flour is blended with whole wheat flour, the sugar is packed brown and very less making the most of the natural sweetness of the bananas. For this specific time I also made some cherry compote to go with it, probably because i wanted to just try out my new cherry pitter, or for want of a tart contrast the cake. If you have the cherry compote left over, use it on toast, pancakes, crepes etc. I finished mine on the cheese board, served with some crackers and Camembert.

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Banana Bread:

125 gms butter
150 gms dark brown sugar (if you like yours sweeter make that 200gms)
2 eggs
6 mashed bananas
100 gms all purpose flour
155 gms whole wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract
100 ml thinned yoghurt (whisk a little water, about 20ml to 80ml yogurt)
150 gms dry coconut powder (optional)

Cherry Compote:

250 gms pitted cherries
50 gms sugar
1 lime (zest and juice)

  • Mash bananas. Thats simple, peal and use a fork to break the bananas. Line a 3 inch deep 10X3 inch loaf tin with parchment paper. and preheat the oven at 180 degrees centigrade.
  • The wet ingredients first. Cream the butter and sugar, which is about a 2 minute whisk job. Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk again. Add the vanilla extract and the thinned yoghurt and whisk again.
  • The dry ingredients. Run everything through a sieve. Both the flours, the baking powder and the baking soda along with the cinnamon.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Do not whisk too much but ensure that you combine thoroughly. As we have added yoghurt to the cake batter, it will immediately activate the baking powder and backing soda. So we will have to work quickly without over working the mixture. Use a spatula and pour the mixture in the lined loaf tin.
  • If you are using the coconut powder then sprinkle it on the top after you have evened the cake mix in the tin with the spatula. This coconut forms a heady aromatic flavourful crust on to of the cake.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in a 180 degree centigrade oven. Ensure it is cooked through by checking if a knife passes through the cake and comes out clean with no ingredients sticking to it.

Enjoy the smells wafting in the house and take out your favourite tea and china for the afternoon treat if you will. And while you are at it

  • Macerate the cherry. Add the sugar to the cherries and let it sit for an hour or so.
  • Gently cook. In a heavy bottomed pan, tumble the sugared cherries. Add zest of the lime. Simmer. Cover. And allow the fruit to release its juices and bubble away. Cook for about 10 minutes or so and then add the juice of 1 lime and let it simmer for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat but continue stirring till the pot starts to cool down. The compote is ready.

Once the cake is done. Let it rest and cool off slightly. Thats the toughest part though but don’t loose patience, you don’t want to break the cake so wait for 15 minutes.

Serve. There are many ways. But best thing, serve warm with butter and the cherry compote. Coconut cream works well too.

Enjoy!

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