I have to say, I sometimes forget we are even living in Australia. As a mum you just get on with life, doing whatever has to be done to keep the kids fed, happy and healthy. So much so that there’s not really a whole lot of time left in the day to actually just sit back, observe and really appreciate just how different Perth is to New Zealand. Sure I notice the odd aussie twang, although strangely not as often as I did when living on the East coast (I find the Perth accent very mild), I hear the crows and other random birds singing at 3.30am (our NZ birds are much more relaxed, starting at around 6am), and all the shops closing on Sunday make it pretty clear where we are now living. But it took coming home the other day holding two $10 boxes of Australian mangoes to make me finally, really seriously realise we are in Perth! Funny how it takes food to make me notice…
When we arrived earlier this year we just managed to catch the last few mangoes before the season ended. We gorged ourselves for a week or so and then that was it, straight into winter which felt exactly like New Zealand except for the shortness of it, off course. Being here right at the start of mango season has been such a treat, we feasted on green mangoes while they were briefly around last month and now we’re onto the real deal; big, juicy, utterly gorgeous Australian mangoes. I swear I could eat them everyday of my life and still never tire of them. We’ve been buying boxes upon boxes; eating many, cooking some and freezing the rest in slices to eat later on in summer when the heat of Perth has us scrambling for anything even remotely cool and refreshing.
These little mango cakes have been my favourite mango treat so far; a super-light sponge-type cake cooked atop thin slices of mango that soften and intensify during cooking, leaving them almost jelly-like in texture. A tangy lime syrup is poured over what becomes the base of the cakes, making sure both top and bottom are beautifully moist and moorish. I’ve opted to use finely grated pure palm sugar as the sweetener which also adds a lovely caramel note, but feel free to use equal amounts of regular or golden caster sugar if preferred. They are beautiful served with a little extra coconut milk/cream on the side if you like.
little gluten-free mango cakes
I like to use butter in my baking now that we tolerate it in small amounts, but if you prefer to keep these dairy-free, use dairy-free margarine instead. Look out for the solid blocks of pure palm sugar (golden in colour) at you local Asian grocery store and if you are wanting to make sure these cakes are cane sugar-free be sure to check the labels as some palm sugars contain cane sugar too. I just grate mine on the side of my grater with the finest holes, storing any excess in a glass jar for next time. You can also use regular or golden caster sugar in place of the palm sugar if preferred. And as always, please note that I use New Zealand tablespoons (15ml), Australian tablespoons are 20ml.
- 1 large mango, peeled and thinly sliced
- 90g softened butter or dairy-free margarine
- 1/2 cup (120g) finely grated & firmly packed pure palm sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (60g) fine brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut* see head notes
- zest of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) coconut milk or cream, plus extra to serve (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime (use the zested one from above)
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 1/4 cup (65g) finely grated & firmly packed pure palm sugar
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease 4 mini bundt tins (250ml/1 cup capacity) or similar cake tins or even large muffin tins if that’s what you have and lay mango slices in the bottom of each one, covering the base.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add a little egg at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the flour, baking powder, coconut and zest and mix until combined. Then add the coconut milk or cream. Divide between cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through when a skewer is inserted into the centre and comes out clean.
Place all the lime syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes then set aside to cool slightly. Drizzle over the cakes as soon as they come out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins. Turn out carefully and serve with extra coconut milk/cream drizzled over the top if desired.
This is my entry for Sweet New Zealand, being hosted by Mairi from Toast.
Also linked to: Slightly indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply sugar gluten-free
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 shades of green
Allergy friendly Fridays @ Cybele Pascal