Did everyone have a nice day? I did. It was sort of a perfect one by any standards. After some gym time and church time, Tomato and I ventured out for brunch to Chicago Q, a yuppie-type barbecue restaurant (not a BBQ joint– different ball park), that I’ve been wanting to try. Though the service was meh to put it nicely, the food was great, and the company, well…the best.
Tomato and I rarely have a bad time together, and the two of us converse in the manner best exemplified on TV by Lorelai and Rory Gilmore…it’s fast, witty and jumps from one topic to another without transitions or logic. Befuddling to those around us, we constantly amuse ourselves and are often the only ones laughing. Today as the stream of consciousness thoughts flowed around the table, we posited that Jennifer Lawrence and Mindy Kaling would be our perfect brunch companions. I mean, why wouldn’t they? Anyway, as the conversation kept going, we kept pointing to the two empty chairs at the table referencing them as if they were sitting there with us even though THEY CLEARLY WEREN’T (though, judging by the amount of food that graced our table, you’d have thought there were four people eating). I’d like to note that no alcohol was consumed during the course of this brunch.
That was random and not related to much of anything, but such was my day. Anyway, I got home and realized it was time to start readying myself for the week ahead. I mean, tomorrow is Monday isn’t it? Sadness.
The good news is that I’m FINALLY excited to get to cooking again. And I mean like, real food. Not just cakes and cookies and chocolate, though I always want to make those things. I’m talking about shrimp stew, veggies, savory breads. You know…non-sugar-coated things. I think it’s because I finally sat down and really started digging into the cuisine of Northern Brazil and all of it made me excited to find out more.
That being said, first…a cake. I’M SORRY! It’s not really that kind of cake. Well, it is a little. It’s a breakfast cake. That’s not real cake.
I’m really not kidding. Much reading led me to conclude that, for breakfast, Brazilians eat French bread with butter and coffee with milk. Now, I like French bread (a lot) and milky coffee (even more), but I’m not about to waste your time and mine taking a picture of a lame roll with butter and my regular cup of Joe. I had to find something else.
Luckily, sources also say that Brazilians sometimes eat Bolo de Laranja, a sweet orange cake. A cake, now that is worth my time and your attention. Especially a cake that I can pass off as breakfast.
Northern Brazil in general is known for its love of tropical fruits: papayas, mangos, and guava, citrus… any of them will do. At first, orange cake sounded really good, and after the success of the Meskouta, I figured I’d give it a go. However, upon closer examination, the recipe I found suggested that I blend up the whole orange, peel and all, into the batter. Now, that’s weird, I admit, and I really didn’t want to do that. Plus, I only have one of those single-serving lame-barely-functional blenders and an immersion blender, and I can’t fathom that either can take on an orange peel. BUT since the Brazilian love for tropical fruit seems to be non-discriminatory, I decided to substitute a mango, sans peel for the full orange, and added the zest of an orange for effect.
The result was a simple, intentionally not-too-sweet bundt, light on the fat, heavy on the flavor, bright and sunny for spring and Easter and everything happy. However, even though it had just a titch of orange zest, it did end up tasting more like an orange cake and nothing like a mango cake. Still, very good and versatile- the cupcake/frosting/filling possibilities are already exploding in my head. Don’t be surprised if this recipe gets reincarnated in some fashion at a future date.
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 3 eggs
- Zest of 1 orange, about 1 TB
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 TB baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup vegetable or coconut oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Powdered sugar, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease and sugar a standard size bundt cake.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the mango until smooth.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla until well blended. Add the mango and zest and combine thoroughly. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Lower the oven to 400F. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the bundt pan for 15 minutes and then remove to continue cooling.
- Serve warm or cold, topped with confectioner’s sugar.
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