Friday, May 30, 2008

Mango Cake with Streusel Topping

mango cake with streusel toppingOne of the best ways to flavor cakes is by using seasonal fruits, and when you are thinking about fruits and cakes in this warm summer, you cannot dare to ignore a delicious Mango Cake! They are not called the king of fruits for no reason; with a lovely shape and smell, a juicy and fibrous interior, mangoes lend a wonderful texture, sweetness and softness to cakes. So intending to use my indian mangoes, I had been planning to bake a Mango Streusel Cake for quite some time now. Trying to choose healthier options, I opted for a crumb streusel topping for my cake rather than the regular frosting. Plus, a streusel cake can be really versatile; serve it with coffee for a filling breakfast, or top it with whipped cream or ice cream for a luscious dessert. The nuts in the streusel topping give it a nice crunchy layer, making it a great recipe for Mango coffee cake; but you can opt to replace it with any other icing or frosting of your choice to suit your taste and occasion. But no matter how you choose to relish it, this Mango Cake is sure to leave an impression!

The term "Streusel" is a German word meaning "something scattered or sprinkled"; in terms of cooking and baking, it refers to a crumb topping of butter, flour, and sugar (traditionally German) that is baked on top of muffins, breads, and cakes. Slowly over time, this German recipe evolved with addition of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom and finely-ground nuts. I've always enjoyed coffee cakes with streusel topping, and have been wanting to bake one at home. Finally I got to bake this Mango Cake with Streusel Topping and it was wonderful.

Ingredients

Mango Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
** I used 1 cup wheat and 1 cup AP flour for a healthier option
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh mango puree (thick puree, no water added)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup chopped mango or 8-10 slices
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup walnuts- finely ground
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cardamom (optional)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

Method

To make the Streusel Topping, combine all the ingredients listed above with hand until it forms a crumbly mixture. Make sure you rub the butter evenly into the mixture for even texture.

Heat the oven to 350° F. Lightly coat a 9" x 9" cake pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour, or use non-stick cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Now beat in the eggs, one at a time, whipping a lot after each addition. Mix till soft peaks form.

Now slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating continuously as you combine the two. If you are using a large spoon or hand beater, make sure you are always stirring in the SAME direction (clockwise or anticlockwise).

Finally add in the vanilla essence and mango puree and blend everything together.

You can choose to add the chopped mangoes in the batter or use them as a top layer, as I did. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; top with the mango slices and then cover completely with the streusel mixture.

Now bake for 35-40 mins at 350 degrees, or until the edges have separated from the sides of the mould and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool on the wire rack fr at least 15-20 mins.

For a breakfast option, slice your Mango Cake and serve with tea or coffee. To enjoy as a dessert, cut into wedges, top with vanilla ice cream, and garnish with more mango slices!

I served this Mango Streusel Cake to friends last weekend and it was a great treat indeed! Find more German recipes.

Tip: Just like any other fruit-based cakes, this Mango Cake tastes better after 12-24 hours as the flavor of mango seeps in. So try baking it ahead to save time and get more flavor!

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