Sunday, 17 February 2013

Something for the weekend: mango and lime loaf

Ever since The Guardian published the Dan Lepard recipe for olive oil cake I have been a woman somewhat obsessed with exploring the possibilities of this dairy-free cake. It have tried it with orange and cinnamon, with walnuts and coffee, with Earl Grey tea and lemon, with just mixed spice. I find the recipe incredibly versatile and as far as cakes go it is also towards the less unhealthy end of the spectrum. Please do note that I’m not trying to make this into something healthy. It’s just somewhat less bad for you than some other cakes.

In a lot of my cooking endeavours I am steered by what I happen to have in the house. This time it was a mango so ripe that it practically begged on its somewhat wrinkly knees to be used up. Next to it perched a lime whose zest had started to dry just a little. My trusted guide to many matters culinary, The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, did remind me of the magic potency of mixing mango and lime. In light of that, it simply had to be done. The result is a moist cake with a very mild flavour and a tiny bit of crunch to the top.

Mango and lime loaf. Photo: Helene Frossling

Mango and lime loaf

1 VERY ripe mango
1 lime
135g light muscovado
4 large free range eggs
150 ml vegetable oil
200g wholemeal spelt flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper.

Peel the mango, and chop the flesh into small pieces. Zest the lime, then squeeze out the juice. Using a hand blender or a food processor pulp the mango with the zest and a tablespoon of lime juice. 

In a large bowl and using an electric hand mixer (or, if you feel strong, just a whisk), whisk up the eggs and the sugar. You are looking for a frothy mixture which is lighter in colour than what you started with – 2-3 minutes with the electric mixer should do it. If you are feeling strong and going for it with a whisk, you’re looking at far longer; just focus on the cake and the bulging biceps to come. Mix in the oil, followed by the mashed-up mango.

In a small bowl mix the spelt flour and the baking powder well. Gently fold this into the egg mixture, trying to loose as little air as possible.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before lifting out. Store wrapped in greaseproof paper in a tin or tupperware box. Stored like this it will keep well for a couple of days, although my boyfriend would probaly let it stretch to a slice per day for up to a week - or until I have to try out the Lepard recipe again.  

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