On the weekend, I bought a beautiful book that I’ve been secretly lusting after for a while, Grand Livre De Cuisine: Desserts: Alain Ducasse’s Desserts and Pastries. It gave me tingles. And inspiration to make a spectacular mango dessert. There was going to be a crispy chocolate layer, macadamia praline, moulded mango jelly shapes, creamy mango centre, maybe a hint of rum, chocolate glaze, and the distinct possibility of gold flecks. I needed the oven to bake my base. I haven’t been allowed near the oven for almost a week because it’s been so hot and humid. There was some debate. I lost. So I ended up making a mango version of a zuppa inglese instead with a packet of savoiardi. I’d already made the mango cream and it was a shame not to use it. Delicious? Well, yes. Spectacular? Hell. No.
And now I’m a little more time poor. My day job kind of gets in the way of important stuff like kitchen lab experiments. I needed something simple and quick but divine. And it had to be mango. Mango season is in full swing and I’m officially mango mad while it lasts. I love mangoes. Doesn’t everyone love mangoes?
Choose your loveliest, sweetest, most perfumed mango for this moist, flourless cake to get the best flavour. The banana adds extra sweetness without being sickly and it doesn’t overpower the mango. It’s very easy to make. I mixed it up in a food processor. You could easily just puree the fruit and toss all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Dead simple.
It’s really good on its own for afternoon tea, dusted with icing sugar. It’s also yummy served with mango slices and cream, ice cream, or yoghurt as a dessert. If you love frosting (I don’t), swirls of mango or rum buttercream might be your thing. Go ahead, layer it with buttercream. It would be fabulous. Otherwise, it’s actually quite a healthy treat. But don’t tell anyone, because it doesn’t taste healthy.
Makes: 1 x 18cm round cake
400 grams diced fresh or frozen mango (OR 1 ripe banana and 1 large mango, diced)
1/2 cup coconut sugar* (OR brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil or coconut oil
250 grams almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
* Coconut sugar is sold in organic or health food stores. Granulated coconut palm sugar is used in this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line the base and sides of a 18cm round cake tin with baking paper (unless using the non-stick variety).
Place the diced mango (or banana and mango combination) in the bowl of a food processor with the sugar, eggs, vanilla paste, and macadamia or coconut oil. Pulse until well mixed.
Add the almond meal and baking powder and pulse again for a few seconds until well mixed and the batter is smooth. Remove the bowl and stir in the chopped macadamia nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake at 180°C, in the centre of the oven, for about 45 – 50 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Place on a serving dish and cool before serving.