Category Archives: Mango

Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}

Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Everyday Cakes are probably my favorite desserts to make and eat. I’m sure I’ve said that about at least one other category of dessert, but I promise it’s true.

Like their name implies, these are cakes that can be made any ol’ day with limited fuss. Theyre single layer, have short ingredient lists and can almost always be adapted to work with whatever you have on hand. They’re the sort of thing you can bake on the fly when you need to let out some stress after work, or want to make a cake on a Saturday afternoon but don’t want to deal with frosting and layering. Even better, they’re the kind of super-classy-but-still-low-maintenance dinner party dessert that will make you look like Ina Garten (hydrangeas optional, but recommended). Their versatility simply cannot be matched.

It will come as no surprise that I have tons of Everyday Cakes in my archives—too many for one post—so this is my spring Everyday Cake round-up. Five cakes that are far more than the sum of their parts. Try out one or two before summer’s here and it’s too hot to bake!Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

My friend, David, introduced me to this Dutch dessert a few years ago and it’s quickly become one of my favorite cakes of all time. With plenty of butter, bits of ginger strewn throughout and a signature golden lid, it might just become your favorite too!

Ginger not your thing? Feel free to leave it out, or make my almond variation.Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Flourless Almond Cake

The nectarines in this picture won’t be in season for a few more months, but don’t let that stop you from making this dreamy Flourless Almond Cake! It’s perfect for eating with your fingers as a mid-afternoon snack, but it can also be dressed up with berries or chocolate or whatever for post-vaccine get-togethers.Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Blueberry Torte

A torte is just a low maintenance cake by another name. This one is super easy to make, tender and buttery and chockablock with fresh blueberries.Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Mango Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple is the reigning queen of upside-down cakes, but I’d like to make a petition for this mango number to be a princess or a duchess or something. The combination of brown sugar cake and fresh mango baked in caramel is absolutely divine.Friday Favorites: Everyday Cakes {Spring Edition}Winning Hearts & Minds Cake

Everyone needs a good flourless chocolate cake recipe in their back pocket. This one is the slightest take on Molly Wizenberg-Choi’s gem of a recipe. I’ve made it approximately a thousand times—I’ve got the recipe memorized—and am still not over the crackly top and dense chocolaty middle. Consider my heart and mind won.

Have you made these or any of my other everyday cakes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Easiest Ever Mango SherbetI saw a two-ingredient sherbet recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it rocked my world. Did you know that sherbet could be made by blending a couple of frozen fresh mangoes with a can of sweetened condensed milk and freezing it? Because I did not. I had no idea! But indeed it can and you should make some immediately, if not sooner.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetSherbet is a frozen dessert made of fruit and dairy. It’s the best parts of ice cream and sorbet (no-dairy) blitzed into one cold, creamy, vibrant treat! Traditionally, you need an ice cream maker for sherbet, but this no-churn method works incredibly well if you (like me) don’t have one.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetYes, this really is as simple as it sounds—two ingredients, no-churn, easy easy easy. And you can make it with any fruit you want! Peaches, cherries, berries, pineapple, whatever. I went for mango because that’s what my little heart desired on the day I made this batch.

If you want to use fresh fruit, you’ll need to freeze it first. I’ve included a painstaking tutorial on how to slice a mango in the recipe, but the general gist is to cut whatever fruit you’re using (berries excepted) in 3/4”-ish pieces and freeze them until they’re…frozen. You can also just use bagged unsweetened frozen fruit (20-24 ounces), but there’s so much great fresh fruit right now that you may as well take advantage. With an ingredient list this short, quality is key. Easiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetAs far as actually making the sherbet, it’s as simple as blending the frozen mango with a can of sweetened condensed milk. You can eat it immediately, but I prefer to freeze it so that it’s scoopable.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetRegarding flavor, it’s exactly as you’d expect. The mango is super prominent and the sweetened condensed milk gives it a smooth, sweet finish. I was initially concerned that the natural water in the fruit would cause the sherbet to be icy, but sweetened condensed milk continues to be the no-churn MVP, always producing perfect creamy results. And I do mean perfect.Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet
makes about 1 quart

2 lbs fresh ripe whole mangos* (about 2 large mangos)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Stand one mango, stem end-down, on a cutting board, Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice down one side of the long, wide center pit. Slice down the other side of the pit. You should now have 2 halves and the center pit section.

Take one half and lay it flesh-side-up on the cutting board. Carefully (!!!) slice it in 3/4-1-inch intervals lengthwise, being sure not to slice through the skin. Then slice it in 3/4-1-inch intervals widthwise, again not slicing through the skin. Repeat with remaining mango half.

Use a spoon to scoop mango flesh onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your fingers to separate the pieces. Repeat process with remaining mango. Freeze mango on the baking sheet for 3-4 hours, or until frozen.

(Trim skin from pit pieces and eat the fruit off of them as a snack/cook’s treat.)

Combine frozen mango and sweetened condensed milk in a high-powered blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth and thick. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the carafe as necessary. You may eat the sherbet mixture immediately, but it will be soft.

For the scoopable texture pictured above, transfer sherbet mixture to a loaf pan or other vessel. Press a sheet of plastic wrap to the top and cover with aluminum foil. Freeze 4-6 hours before scooping and enjoying.

Mango Sherbet will keep covered in the freezer for up to a month.

Note:

You may make this with store-bought frozen mango. Use 20-24 ounces frozen mango chunks, and start the recipe at the paragraphs beginning “combine frozen mango and sweetened condensed milk.”Easiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Mango Granita

Mango GranitaI first came across a granita recipe in the summer of 2009 and thought “That looks easy and delicious. I’m going to make that.” And then ten years passed.

But I did make granita, and it was/is easy and delicious, and now I’m here to tell you to do the same. Maybe skip the ten years of procrastination though.Mango GranitaMango GranitaIf you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, granita is a semi-frozen Sicilian dessert–basically a classy snow cone. The texture is fluffy and snowy, but instead of being ice flavored with brightly-colored syrup, it’s made from real fruit with very limited added sugar, and you don’t need a special machine to make it.Mango GranitaTo make this Mango Granita, you’ll need:

  • a few pounds of fresh mango. You could probably use thawed frozen if that’s all you can find.
  • lime juice for brightness. Lime and mango are great together.
  • the tiniest amount of sugar to round things out. Yes, ripe mango is already very sweet, but cold temperatures mean that flavor doesn’t always shine through the way it does at room temperature. I like to add two tablespoons of sugar to the entire recipe. That small amount makes a big difference!
  • a pinch of salt for balance. You can leave this out if you want to, but salt is rarely a bad idea.
  • a blender (or food processor), a dish, a fork, and time.

Mango GranitaMango GranitaThe process is simple. Blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour the purée into a large dish and put it in the freezer for an hour.Mango GranitaWhen that time is up, remove the dish from the freezer. Starting at the outer edge, use a fork to drag the frozen purée into the looser center. This will begin the process of making fluffy, snowy ice crystals. At first, you may feel like you’re dragging a fork through soup, but an hour later, it’ll be a different story.Mango GranitaAnd then, thirty more minutes will go by and crystals will really begin to form! The grainy texture is the “gran-” in granita.Mango GranitaYou’ll know it’s ready when it looks like this:Mango GranitaMango GranitaMango GranitaMango Granita is as delicious as it is beautiful—light and refreshing and perfect for these sweltering last few weeks of summer! The texture is somewhere between a snow cone and a sorbet. Where you might think this would be icy, it’s super smooth and surprisingly creamy. This is the sort of dessert that is great for any occasion from watching Netflix in your PJs to a cookout to a dinner party. It’s vegan, nut-free, low calorie and low sugar–a wonderful option for a crowd!Mango GranitaMango GranitaBefore I get to the recipe, here are a few more tips for granita success:

  • use the largest dish you can. The shallower the layer of purée, the faster it will freeze.
  • you can use any fruit you like! I love mango, but peaches, melon or berries would be magnificent here!
  • make granita on a day you’ll be spending a lot of time at home. This recipe is low maintenance, but the ice crystals need to be scraped every hour at first and then every half-hour. Give ‘em one final scrape before serving.
  • for the love of everything, don’t wait ten years to make this. Ideally, you should make Mango Granita as soon as possible. Like tomorrow.

Have a great weekend, y’all!Mango Granita

Mango Granita
makes about a quart

3 large ripe mangoes (about 3 pounds), pits & skin removed, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Combine mango, lime juice, sugar and salt in a high-powered blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into a large shallow dish (I used a 9×13-inch casserole). Freeze for 60 minutes.

Remove cold mixture from freezer. Starting at the outer edge, use a fork to scrape/drag the icier edges of the mixture into the center of the dish. Mixture will still be quite loose. Return dish to the freezer for 45-60 minutes before repeating scraping. Continue to scrape every 30 minutes for the next 1-2 hours, or until the texture is fluffy and snow-like.

Freeze until ready to serve. Give one last scrape before serving in small bowls.

Leftover granita will keep in the freezer for about a week. Scrape before serving.Mango GranitaMango GranitaMango Granita

Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas

Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasNew York City has reached a level of heat and humidity that can only be solved with one big cleansing thunderstorm. The trouble is, we don’t really get thunderstorms in New York City—maybe three times a year, and they’re never as spectacular as the storms in Texas.

I recall many times over the course of my childhood where my whole family would gather on our covered porch to watch the rain. Sounds dull, but when you live in a place that’s almost always teetering on the edge of drought, heavy thunder-and-lightning temperature-dropping rain is a thing to see.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasI had forgotten all about watching thunderstorms until I visited my older sister last summer. We had spent all morning boating on Lake Austin, where it was sunny and very hot (because Texas). By time we all got home and cleaned up though, the skies were ominous and the air was so thick, walking outside was more akin to swimming than anything else (because Texas).Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasSpicy Mango Aguas FrescasWhen thunder started cracking, my sister broke out the blender, made some watermelon aguas frescas, and shuffled us all (three geriatric dogs included) out onto the covered porch to watch the storm. I don’t remember what we talked about out there, but I know I’ll remember watching that storm with (almost) all my favorite people and those cool lime-scented watermelon aguas frescas for a long time.

And also how my sister and I put on head lamps and took jigsaw puzzling to a new level as the storms continued and the electricity went out three hours later.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasBut back to aguas frescas. I should probably explain what they are. That’s a good place to start, right? Aguas frescas are a blended beverage made of water, ripe fresh fruit, and sugar, that are popular in Mexico and parts of the U.S. They’re super refreshing and make for a great non-alcoholic option on hot summer days.

I love my sister’s watermelon version, but I got the idea for these Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas last weekend and just had to figure them out. It only took one try—when you’re blending mango, lime, and jalapeño, you’re all but guaranteed to have great results.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasSpicy Mango Aguas Frescas begin with a jalapeño simple syrup. This is the most difficult part of the entire process. Heat equal parts sugar and water with two split jalapeños until the sugar has dissolved.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasLet it steep until the syrup has a good amount of heat…Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas…and strain it out.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasSo, yeah, not difficult at all. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for aguas frescas, but you can keep jalapeño simple syrup in the fridge for weeks on end. It goes well in cocktails and mocktails too—you won’t have any trouble finding excuses to use this combination of sweetness and heat, I promise.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasPour 1/2 cup of your jalapeño simple syrup into a blender, along with some fresh lime juice, water, and 3 cups of fresh mango chunks.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasBlitz it all until smooth…Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasSpicy Mango Aguas Frescas…and strain out the pulp.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasPour it over ice and garnish with lime slices. And maybe some of those paper straws you bought at Target four years ago and keep forgetting about.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasIf you love mango and sweet heat, this is the drink for you. Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas have a rich, sweet mango flavor and a bit of a kick from the jalapeño simple syrup, while the lime and water balance it all out. This is what summer tastes like. For me, anyway.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasWe have storms in the forecast later this week. I’d love to invite you all over to watch them and drink some Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas on a covered porch, but this is New York and nobody watches storms. Also, I don’t have a covered porch.

It’s the thought that counts though, right?Spicy Mango Aguas Frescas

Spicy Mango Aguas Fresca
makes about 6 servings

3 cups fresh mango chunks (about 2 large mangos)
1/2 cup jalapeño simple syrup (recipe below)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2-3 cups water
ice, for serving
lime slices, for serving (optional)

Combine mango chunks, simple syrup, lime juice, and 2 cups of water in a high-powered blender. Put on the lid and blend on medium speed until smooth. Taste for sweetness and heat, and add another cup of water, if desired (I did).

Place a mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl. Pour mixture through the strainer, pressing the pulp to get as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp.

To serve, place a few ice cubes in each of 6 small glasses. Divide aguas frescas among glasses. Garnish with lime slices.

Leftover agua fresca may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Mixture will separate over time; stir before serving.

Jalapeño Simple Syrup
makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2-3 fresh jalapeños, stemmed and halved

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Let cool for 45-60 minutes, or until the concentration of flavor/heat is to your liking. Strain out jalapeño halves and any seeds. Store simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Spicy Mango Aguas FrescasSpicy Mango Aguas Frescas

Mango Upside-Down Cake

I know I just posted a mango recipe yesterday, but the universe seriously wants me to eat all the mangoes right now. Trader Joe’s has mango everything (even Joe-Joe’s!) and my beloved green market is positively bursting at the seams with them! And when they’re two for $3, how can I resist?!

I’ve been eating them with strawberries and lime, blitzing them into smoothies, making salsa, throwing dried mango into my granola and eating it with the fresh stuff. If there’s a way to eat a mango, I am doing it. I’m like Bubba in Forrest Gump…but with mango.

I usually enjoy my mangoes raw, but today I’m switching it up a little bit with this Mango Upside-Down Cake! It’s a soft brown sugar cake topped with thinly sliced mango and a simple brown sugar caramel. It’s super easy and perfect for entertaining this summer.

Since this cake is served upside-down, the mangoes are baked underneath the cake batter. This recipe starts with melting butter and dark brown sugar together until the sugar is no longer grainy. Once this happens, take the mixture off the heat, stir in some salt, and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Top the mixture with an even layer of thinly-sliced mango, cutting small pieces to fill in any large gaps.

Next comes the cake batter, which is basically my Vanilla Layer Cake batter with more brown sugar and the tiniest bit less vanilla extract. It’s a moist, soft, slightly dense cake that pairs perfectly with the juicy mango and caramel. Bake it all together for about 35 minutes, or until the smell of brown butter and caramelized mango makes you totally insane!
Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting it onto a cake stand or large serving plate. Don’t worry if a few pieces of mango stick to the pan–just use your fingers to nudge them back into place. Nobody will ever know it didn’t come out in one fell swoop.

 My favorite thing about this cake is that you don’t need to wait forever to serve it. There’s no worrying about melting buttercream or fretting over your piping skills. Nope. Mango Upside-Down Cake doesn’t require any decorating and can be served warm, room temperature, or cold! The cake pictured here was still slightly warm from the oven, and was amazing with a little scoop of coconut gelato.

Mango Upside-Down Cake is perfect for any occasion this summer, whether it’s Fourth of July, or that you came home from Trader Joe’s with eleven mangoes 😊

 Mango Upside-Down Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake

Mango Layer:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 small (or 1 1/2 large) mangoes, thinly sliced

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk,* room temperature

For Serving:
Vanilla or Coconut Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightlu grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter.

Make the mango layer. In a small saucepan, combine butter and dark brown sugar. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly until butter and sugar are melted and no longer grainy, 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt. Pour mixture into prepared pan, using a silicone spatula to spread it over the entire bottom of the pan. Top the brown sugar mixture with one even layer of mango slices. Set aside.

Make the cake batter. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in dark brown and granulated sugars. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. With the mixer on low, mix in vanilla and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Pour batter over mango layer, and spread with a silicone spatula to even out to top. Tap pan on the counter two or three times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan a couple of times before inverting onto a cake stand or large serving plate mango layer-up.

Serve cake warm, room temperature, or cold.

Cake is best the day it’s baked, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Note:

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, make your own! Pour one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk up to the 1 cup mark. Let sit five minutes before using as instructed in the recipe. I do not recommend using skim or fat free milk.

Mango Upside-Down Cake