Many varieties of mangoes exist, however the king of mangoes is the Alphonso. No other mango compares to this wonderful mango, which is also known as an Indian mango. They are large, yellow, juicy, sweet and not at all stringy. They are the type of mangoes that you have to devour over the sink because they are so juicy.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a multi-cultural society in England, where Alphonso mangoes were sold in boxes of 6-8. America has been starved of this wonderful mango for 18 years, until the ban of its importation was lifted in 2007. However, I still have not seen a fresh Alphonso mango in the shops. I haven’t eaten one of these delicious mangoes for over 6-7 years!
The closest variety that I’ve come across is known as the honey (champagne) mango, but this does not really compare to the real thing.
Tinned (canned) Alphonso mango pulp can be purchased in Indian (Asian) shops. I often buy a few tins (cans) when I visit, so I can make mango lassi. I used to make mango lassi with cardamom quite often, but when I purchased these tins (cans), I totally forgot that I can’t use yoghurt anymore (due to our allergies to American dairy – watch this space for the vegan version). The tins (cans) sat in my cupboards for a few months, until I was thinking about mango quick bread or cake.
My thoughts were, if you can make cakes with pumpkin puree, why not from mango pulp? It’s sweetened, and thus will need less sugar in the mix, but the recipe would be about the same. I could switch the pumpkin spice with cardamom for the delicious Indian influence. I was going to adapt my pumpkin muffin recipe, but I found Vaishali had already done all the hard work for me. I added a little less cardamom and sugar and the results were absolutely fantastic. This cardamom-spiced cake is moist and tender. It’s made with 100 % wholemeal (whole wheat) flour and incredibly moreish. It tastes like a mango lassi in cake form. I may make them into muffins next time and sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
This cake freezes well, simple cool, slice, then wrap each slice in a piece of cling film (plastic wrap). Freeze. When needed, thaw at room temperature for 2 hours. I pop them into J’s packed lunch in the morning, and by the time it’s lunch – it’s nicely thawed.
MOIST VEGAN MANGO AND CARDAMOM CAKE
Makes one 20 x 10 cm (8 x 4 inch) loaf (12 slices)
Adapted from Holy Cow Vegan – Mango Bread
- 300 g (2 c) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom
- 520 g (2 c) sweetened mango pulp*
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 50 g (¼ c) unrefined cane (turbinado) sugar** or to taste
- 2 tablespoons ground linseed (flax seed meal)
* Available in tins (cans) at your local Indian store. I know that die-hard vegans out there would not consider this ingredient as vegan-friendly, as there is no indication of whether the added sugar is processed with bone meal or not. If this concerns you, use fresh mango pulp and add more vegan-friendly sugar to the recipe.
** The original recipe called for 150 g (¾ c) sugar. Please add as much or as little as you prefer. I simply tasted the batter before adding any more.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Grease or line one 20 x 10 cm (8 x 4 inch) loaf tin (pan) with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, stir flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), salt and cardamom together.
4. In another bowl, beat together mango pulp, olive oil, sugar and ground linseed (flax seed meal) together.
5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
6. Pour into prepared tin (pan) and pop into preheated oven.
7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
8. Let cool on a wire rack, before turning out, slicing and enjoying.