The weather has cooled down considerably, thanks to the rains. The ground seems to be quenched of its thirst, it was becoming quite parched.
The kids have got just one more week of school before their summer holidays, and we are really looking forward to it. It’s been a long and busy term, with a few more activities still to go before next week. So, we are eagerly looking forward to a break in the routine.
The cooking, baking continues on the kitchen front. The gorgeous mangoes are going to be with us for a couple of weeks more. We basically ration our supply of mangoes, as it is not found in as much abundance as in India. Here, we are at the mercy of the local Asian grocery shops, and if we cannot make it on the due day, we miss our chance for the whole week. We are quite good at making the most of local ingredients, but mangoes are different. There are so many memories attached to them, that we can’t stop ourselves from making that trip to the Asian grocers and getting our hands on those precious boxes.
So different to the days back in Assam where they are found in plenty. Some people even have mango trees in their backyard. I remember the trips to my oldest aunt’s place and squinting up at the large mango tree in their backyard, laden with the fruits. My uncle would pluck them from the tree and we would sit around as my aunt readied them for us, cousins, to enjoy. What sweetness! I called them sometime back, and, across the thousands of miles that separated us, the talk came to mangoes and we fondly remembered those days. They still have the mango tree, and it still bears them loads of fruit, but, as my aunt said, ” iman bur aam, khaboloi manuhei nai” ( so many mangoes, and hardly anyone to eat them ). Her sons have flown the nest in search of greener pastures and so has her dear nephews and neices. So, the birds have free reign to their mango tree now. Where, once they would be shooed away to save the mangoes, now, no one cares anymore.
Again, when I was in Kolkata, just before Rengoni was born, mangoes and yogurt are what saw me through those months of pregnancy. I remember those trips to the market, a bit self conscious as I was new to the place and didn’t know the local language very well at that time. I still remember that particular fruit seller, who, thankfully spoke in Hindi, which I understood, and from whose stall I would walk away happily with my bags full of luscious mangoes.
Usually, we have the mangoes as they are. But I couldn’t resist adding some to a mango and coconut cake. A thin and light coconut cake topped with lots of mango cream is a great summery delight. Fresh, sweet mangoes work best in this recipe. I used honey mangoes which are very sweet, so no additional sugar is needed for the topping.
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C whole wheat flour (atta)
5 tblsp of dessicated coconut+ 1 tblsp extra for sprinkling on the top
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tblsp sunflower/vegetable oil
For the topping-
2and 1/2 c of mango puree ( preferably made from fresh mangoes)
3 tblsp soured cream/whipped cream
- Mix together the mango puree and soured cream and chill in the refrigerator.
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line an 8 inch baking pan with foil.
- Beat together the eggs and sugar till pale and fluffy ( at least 6-8 minutes, depending on your beaters). When the beaters are lifted, they should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
- Mix together the flour, coconut and baking powder.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, in three batches and fold in very gently.
- Fold in the oil and tip the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes or till the top is golden and the centre springs back when pressed gently.
- Peel away the foil and cool the cake completely on a rack.
- Place the cake on a serving plate and spread the mango cream over the top of the cooled cake, keeping it quite rough looking( doesn’t matter if you spread it smoothly, I just the like the look of it more when it’s not)
- Sprinkle the rest of the coconut on top and chill the cake for few hours for the flavours to mature before cutting into wedges and serving.
This cake is good, very good. If you are a fan of mangoes just like us, then this cake is definitely for you. The smoothness of the mangoes and the bite from the coconut paired very well. In fact, I had a hard time keeping myself away from the fridge as I was writing this post. The mangoes retain their sweet flavour too. You know what? I just might have to make that trip to the fridge again; naughty me!