Friday, November 11, 2011

RECIPE - Mango Upside-down Cake (Bolo Invertido de Manga)

Pineapple upside-down cake is such a classic family dessert that many of us think it's been around forever. However, it really only goes back to the first decade of the twentieth century, because that's when a certain Mr. Jim Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole) perfected a way to can pineapple rings. And it was those rings that enabled American housewives, even in the middle of a Midwestern winter, to serve up a tropical dessert like pineapple upside down cake.

The idea of putting fruit at the bottom of a cake and then inverting it to serve is much older than pineapple upside down cake. The technique goes back as far as the Middle Ages in Europe, and the fruits most commonly used there were apples, cherries and quinces.

Perhaps it was Portuguese colonists who carried the idea of an upside down cake to Brazil, or maybe it was the unrepentant Confederates who fled to Brazil at the end of the American Civil Way - who knows? In any case, this style of cake is popular in Brazil and in this country it's most often made not with pineapples (even though pineapples grow in abundance in Brazil) but rather with mangoes.

Now that mangoes are generally available in North American grocery stores, try a switch-up when you next make an upside down cake. Make it Brazilian and make it mangoes.
RECIPE - Mango Upside-down Cake (Bolo Invertido de Manga)

Fruit base:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 medium to large mangoes - Haden preferred

1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Melt the 2 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan, then pour into a 8 inch (20 cm) round non-stick cake pan. Tilt the pan to cover the bottom of the pan with melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, tilting and tapping the pan to cover the bottom with sugar.

Peel the mangoes and separate the flesh from the pit. Slice the flesh, and arrange the slices on the bottom of the prepared cake pan, covering as much of the surface as possible. Reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the three eggs and beat with cake mixer or a wooden spoon. Add the flour by 1/4 cup increments, continuing to beat or mix. Finally add the baking powder.

Pour the batter gently over the prepared cake pan, taking care not to disturb the mango slices. Put in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack until the cake is merely warm, then invert over a decorative serving plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe translated and adapted from Mdemulher website.

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