so apparently june was peak mango “season” (don’t worry, july is still nearly-peak season!). i always struggle to know when things that never grow near me are in season (not too many mango trees here in massachusetts…) but after scoring a crate of mangoes on the cheap at costco, i was curious and google confirmed my hunch that it was mango season… somewhere.
to celebrate, i decided to bake the mangoes a cake. errr, bake a cake made of mangoes, that is. i had recently come across a mango cake recipe that looked great and figured this was a sign that i was meant to try it. the recipe called for finishing the cake by broiling sugar on top and i was a bit nervous about this, as my broiler basically takes food from raw to charred black in the blink of an eye.
right, so, for my second attempt, i decided to nix the broiling of the sugar and put the batter in a muffin tin in hopes of avoiding another raw-in-the-middle, burned-on-top cake. round two was much better (read: edible) but still not quite what i was after. the muffins were, to borrow a term from my friend, “squidgy”. moist baked goods = good, slimy wet sponge baked goods = not so good.
by this time, i was making a serious dent in my costco-sized pile of mangoes and wanted some delicious muffins already! i decided to start over with a muffin batter that i had made successfully in the past, then modify from there. whereas the not-so-successful recipe had me puree the mangoes, this time i decided to dice them into small bits instead. this turned out to be the key: the muffins were waaaaay better with small mango dice studded throughout, rather than pureed mangoes blended into the base. finally, yummy mango muffins! and bonus: you don’t even have to wash the food processor!
- 4 oz. (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 4 1/4 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 2 t ground ginger
- 4 oz. (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 oz. (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 8 oz. (1 cup) plain fat-free yogurt or 6 oz. (3/4 cup) plain fat-free greek yogurt + 2 oz. (1/4 cup) skim milk
- 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into small (1/4″) dice
- preheat the oven to 450° F. if you have a well-behaved nonstick muffin tin and promise to take the muffins out of the tin after they cool for 5 minutes, then you can skip to the next step. if you don’t, then i’m sorry but you have to grease and flour 12 individual muffin cups (or line them with muffin papers).
- in a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and ginger. set aside.
- in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter. add the sugars and beat until fluffy.
- add the egg and mix until everything is combined, including the bits that stick to the side (unless you have one of these brilliant little guys). with the mixer turned off, add the yogurt/milk. if you have a splash guard, now is the time to use it. either way, run the mixer on the lowest speed and just for a few seconds until everything is combined. don’t run the mixer too long or too fast to avoid curdling the batter.
- stir in the dry ingredients until just barely combined then gently fold in the mango dice.
- divide the batter even among the cups. the batter should be stiff enough that you can overfill the cups slightly and the batter will just stay in a dome shape.
- if you have a dark colored muffin tin, bake for 9 minutes at 450° F. if your tin is light colored, bake for 10 minutes at 450° F. after 9 – 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400° F, open the oven door for 10 seconds to let the oven cool down to that temperature, then close the door and bake for 5 – 10 more minutes. the muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
- cool the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before using a rubber spatula to coax them out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
the muffins are best the day they are made or the day after. beyond that, they are best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator because they get increasingly moist from the mango.
adapted from smitten kitchen’s whole wheat apple muffins, who adapted them from king arthur flour.
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