have been wanting to bake a Mango cake for the longest time and I also had a specific texture and taste in mind as well.Like how Porotta is an emotion in Kerala, the smell and taste of Mangoes evoke a lot of childhood memories in me. We used to spend quite a bit of our Summer vacations in Pallikuttumma every year. Our ancestral home was surrounded by a lot of trees and that included many,many Mango trees.
There were two mango trees on either side of the main gate which were fibrous so we used to eat them raw with salt, chili powder & coconut oil. The ones on the sides of the house were the kind you could just squish and drink the juice (with the peel intact) and the ones behind the house which we all called Perakka Manga were the best! Amma tells me that Velliammachi planted that mango tree when she was pregnant with Amma & Daisy Mummy. Those mangoes were sweet and the flesh was like butter.
As kids, all of us would pick whole mangoes after lunch and go out to swing on the hammock tied in between the Guava tree and a Mango tree on the East side of the house. We would all squish ourselves, trying to wiggle & fit onto that old white Macramé hammock. We are 24 grandkids on Amma’s side and it was usually the girls who were interested on being on the hammock. One such afternoon, the hammock decided to come crashing down when all of us were on it, literally piled up like bricks. I still clearly remember how that felt and every time I sit on our hammock in the backyard, I can’t help but smile thinking about that incident which happened over 25-30 years ago.
However, that house is no longer there. It was sold when my Uncle and family moved back to Goa a few years ago. It was demolished and converted into a beautiful restaurant named ‘Memories’ on Alappuzha – Changanaserry highway. Their food is amazing and we always go there everytime we go to Pallikuttumma. Another Uncle’s family lives next door, so that makes it even more convenient. They named that restaurant perfectly because that home still holds so many memories for all of us. It’s where my Amma was born and raised, where we celebrated many family functions and where all of us spent our childhood vacations.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable / canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh mango puree, divided
Preheat oven to 325 F and prepare an 8 inch round cake tin.
Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time and mix until it’s incorporated. Add the milk, extract, oil and 1/2 cup mango puree. Mix on medium high speed for 4 minutes till it becomes fluffy and increases in volume by a bit. Add the dry ingredients in three additions and fold it in very gently with a spatula, just until the dry flour is incorporated. Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of mango puree as well. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then unmold and cool completely.