Mango Muffin Apocalypse – The Mango Challenge.

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…Did I mention…Mango…? Because seriously. These are all Mango, all of the time. There’s mango in the cake batter, mango in the curd filling and mango in the butter meringue icing. You may, at this point, have realised that I have a serious problem with mango. I just think it’s the best thing in the world.

Before I get into things: A note on mangoes for the Irish and/or the Dublin & Wicklow folk. Don’t go getting what are (in my student-income-biased opinion) the undersized, overpriced fruits seen in some of our more upscale supermarkets and chains. If you’re making this recipe (or planning anything that uses fresh mango at all) the highest recommendation I can offer is to go get ’em from Lidl. They’re never more than about €1.30 there (in my experience) and are generally of good size (250g – 500g of fruit off ’em) and quality (save the odd bad ‘un that you can avoid by checking thoroughly for discolouration, uneven softness, or excessive hardness).

If you live somewhere it’s easy to find amazing mangoes all the time (I’m remembering King’s Cross street fruit markets & shops in Upper Haight) then…pffff. This is so easy for you. Please let me come live with you. I’ll make you things.

The recipe that inspired me can be found here. Thankyou, Hungry Rabbit! I adapted for measures and to make things a little easier to follow. As forewarned is forearmed – this will take you two days to make and it is as finicky as jaysus. You’ll feel like you earned it by the time you get around to eating one of these amazing things. Recipe makes twelve to fourteen cakes (I made twelve. I am not sparing with my batter).

Directions and Ingredients will be written up in a step by step fashion. It’s just easier like that. Put this music on. You’ll get there. Honest.

Day One

Mango Puree 

700g Fresh Cubed Mango (you can make this from about two and a half medium mangoes).

125g White Sugar

A Goddamned Blender, F’reals

Doing things

I’m going to be honest and admit that I had to borrow my mam’s blender in order to be able to do this. I never bought one of my own. I don’t do smoothies very often. The thought of attacking that much mango with a hand mixer was frankly terrifying. So yes. Beg, borrow or steal a blender. Or, you know, use yours if you were smart enough to buy one in the first place. Tip the mango and sugar in there and puree until relatively smooth and fully combined. Put it to one side.

Mango Curd 

350g Mango Puree (i.e. half of the mixture you just made, above).

75g Golden Sugar

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Pinch Fine Salt

4 Large Egg Yolks

75g Butter, cubed

Doing Things

Place everything except the butter into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high (depends on the strength of your stovetop, but we like to avoid burning things). The entire time it’s on the heat, stir/whisk/annoy the mix constantly until you see thickening happening. This should take between eight and ten minutes.

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Done? Now remove from the heat, and throw in the cubed butter. Whisk the mix so that everything incorporates. Voila! You have the beginnings of your curd. Cover the curd directly with saran wrap, so that the wrap is touching over the curd. Stick it into the fridge. You need to leave it there, overnight. Yup, that’s day one done. Go to bed.

Day Two 

Cupcakes 

50g Mango Puree

2 Large Egg Whites

60 ml Coconut Milk

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Tiny, tiny pinch Almond Extract

145g Plain Flour

175g Golden Sugar

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt

100g Butter, room temperature, cubed

Doing Things

1. Preheat that oven. 160 for the fan takers, 180 for the fan haters. Line a twelve-cup muffin pan. Ohmygosh, I want these for the next time. Combine puree, egg whites, coconut milk, oil & extracts in a mixing bowl. Go at ’em with a spoon, it’s simple enough. If you find, like me, baking in a cold winter kitchen, that your coconut oil is too hard to combine, stick the mix in a microwave for no longer than forty seconds, then remix to help you achieve even consistency.

2. Play this. Put flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and mix together with a simple spoon. Toss in the butter, plug in your electric hand mix (or use a blender if  you’re smarter than me and own one) and blitz the mix. You’ll end up with a pretty uneven mix that has loads of pea-sized crumbles and uneven clumps. That’s fine! Add in the mango mix and keep going with the blender. See? Problem solved.

3. Combine the flour-butter mix with the egg-coconut mix. Go at ’em with that blender. You’ll get a very pretty, slightly runny batter. This produces an extremely light, super unusual cake that is worth the trouble. Trust me on this! Spoon into muffin liners (take pictures and send them to me if you find pretty liners. No, seriously). Bake for 19 minutes (well, that’s how long mine took) or until golden on top and a cake poke stuck in the centre comes out clean.

Mango Buttercream 

250g White Sugar

5 Large Egg Whites

Pinch Salt

420g Butter (I know, I know…) cubed

2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Mango Puree (what’s left from everything else)

50g Mango Curd

Doing Things

1. Sugar, egg white & salt into a large mixing bowl. Oh! Now put this on. Yes, seriously. This is hard bleedin’ work and we need to feel like put-upon teenagers for a bit. Ready? Get a medium size saucepan, low-fill it with boiled water from the kettle and turn on the heat underneath. When it’s simmering away, put your mixing bowl onto the saucepan (it should sit on the rim quite happily). Stir the mix consistently, persistently and faithfully for about five minutes. This allows the sugar to dissolve.

2. Take it off the heat when the sugar has completely dissolved (you’ll notice it’s gotten much easier to stir). Sit your mixing bowl back on your countertop and go at the mix with your handheld. This is the point at which you’ll start to realize why this music is vital. Because you’ll be standing there for at least eight minutes beating at a high speed til your mix is stiff and forms peaks when you pull out the mixers.

3. Once stiffness has happened, add in your cubed up, soft butter and keep beating to incorporate it. What’s worth noting is that there is so much butter to add, it makes your mix get all piece-y. It looks distressing, but don’t worry – it goes away, keep working.

4. Add in the vanilla and finally add in your remaining puree & curd. Yay, mangoes! Keep beating, seriously. Combine that stuff.

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Final Assembly 

(I suggest using cute little fruit jellies like these as toppers)

Doing Things

1. You don’t need horrible terrible amazing music anymore, but I’m on a roll now, so I suggest this. I’m sorry! Blame my goth phase. It just worked so well with the beating, and now I’ve gotten all nostalgic. Grab an apple-corer, or a knife, and hollow out each cupcake. You’ll find that the cake texture is so light it’s quite easy to make a significant hollow with very little pushing around. Keep the centres you pull out.

2. Get hold of your remaning curd (ensure nobody stole it for brioche spread, because damn, this stuff would make good brioche spread). Spoon it into each hand-made cavity. Grab the crumbed centres you pulled out and use them to press over the curd fill.

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3. Spoon & spread your buttercream over each cupcake. I will admit, at this stage, that you’ve probably made far too much buttercream, no matter how generously you’re trying to cover your cupcakes. It certainly happened to me. Think positive, because it now means you have an excellent excuse to use mango buttercream on just about everything you can think of for the next two days. (Toast? Waffles? Pancakes? Shortbread?) Finally, top with sweets. You’re all ready to go and show the world that you are a mango genius.

These lovelies keep for about three days. Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “Mango Muffin Apocalypse – The Mango Challenge.

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