September 12, 2010

Mango Cardamom Crumb Cake

I’m sure we all have some crazy streak in us somewhere and when it pops up we do the weirdest things on impulse. I like to believe I’m a reasonably level headed person not given to too many crazy impulses (do I sound boring?), but ever since I have started blogging about food I have developed some minor eccentricities.

For one thing, I look at food very differently now, as I’m sure most of you do. It is no longer something to be just cooked and just enjoyed. It is about colour, texture, wondering if and how it would photograph well, amongst a lot of other considerations. Oh yes, it still has to be good to taste, above all.

Even my routine vegetable and fruit shopping isn’t the same anymore. I’m always running my eye around the market stalls to see if there’s something new, or different fruits or vegetables-wise. Many days, how and what I shop for is decided by what I want to blog about in the next couple of weeks!

My regular vegetable/ fruit vendors recognize this streak in me, and are always helpful with their suggestions with what more I could add to my already over stuffed and heavy shopping bags. They’re even nice enough to help me carry them to the car, on days when the bags are a bit too heavy for me.

So it isn’t surprising that I was overjoyed to see ripe mangoes being sold by a lady at the market. I have a lot of difficulty resisting mangoes, but how could I just walk by them without a second glance in September?
In India, summer (April – June) is the season for mangoes. Then come the monsoons and by end of September, the rains have also disappeared. But mangoes in September, is something I’ve never seem before.

So I came back from the market clutching half a dozen mangoes, looking like I had just won a lottery! And knew I was going to make a Mango Crumb Cake I had bookmarked quite some time back.
I like crumb cakes for the nice contrast of textures from the soft cake and the crunchy and crumbly topping.

If you are Indian, you would know that mango and cardamom make a fantastic pairing and if any nuts had to be used here, it would have to be cashewnuts or almonds.
So I adapted the original recipe, by reducing the butter a bit (for obvious reasons, but also because my butter comes in convenient 100gm slabs), eggs and sugar. I also made some other changes, including adding oats to the crumb topping.

This is a really good cake to serve with coffee/ tea time, especially when you have company. The mango, cashewnuts and the cardamom make it special.

Mango Cardamom Crumb Cake
(Adapted from the Vegetarian Times: March 1, 2003)


For the cake:

100gm butter, softened at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 mango, cubed (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup broken (or chopped) cashewnuts

1 tsp ghee (browned butter or butter)

Crumb/ streusel topping:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

30 gm chilled butter

3 to 4 cardamom pods, powdered


Heat the ghee/ butter in a pan. Add the broken cashewnuts and pan fry them, stirring frequently, till they turn golden. Remove the cashewnuts and keep aside. Add the remaining bit of ghee to the butter and sugar while making the cake.

You can do the mixing in a food processor, but I used my hand held mixer.
Put the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat, on low speed, till everything is blended.
Add the egg, milk, flours, salt and baking powder and beat again on low speed till well blended.

Scrape the batter into a greased and floured 8” (or 9”) cake tin and lightly smooth the top. Uniformly scatter the cubed mango pieces and then the cashewnuts over the top.
Bake the cake at 190C (375F) for 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the streusel/ crumb topping.
Powder the oats to a coarse powder. Put this and all the ingredients for the topping, except the butter, in a bowl and stir together. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and, using your fingers, rub them into the flour till the mixture forms small clumps.
After 15 minutes of baking, take the cake out and sprinkle the topping evenly on the cake. Put the cake back in the oven and continue to bake at 190C (375F) for about 30 to 40 minutes, till the crumb topping/ streusel is brown and the cake is cooked.

Cool the cake completely and then slice. Serve with coffee or tea, or perhaps for dessert with sorbet or ice-cream.
This cake serves 8 to 10.

I’m taking this cake to Anita’s Mad Tea Party where she’s celebrating 4 years of blogging, and I’ve just managed to get my foot in her front door before she closes it!

May I also remind you all that Sugar High Fridays is being hosted here this month, and if you haven’t sent me your submission you have till the 24th September to do so.

Also do check this giveaway and put your name down, if you haven’t already done so.


Happy Cook said...

Wowo you take your time for blog.
I never think what i will do for the blog when i buy things. I just buy what i see which is looking good.
Have to admit dfor me taking pictures for a dessert or cake is easier as otherfoods have to be plated and served fast and mostly i don't get a chance to take a picture.
Love cakes like this, especially if is having a crumb topping.

Asha @ FSK said...

mangoes in September?! that's a lottery indeed!! :)) yep, I can imagine this would have been soo awesome with the mango-cardamom pairing.. oh MY!

Simran said...

I know...I bought mangoes last week too. Was so shocked to see them this late in the year.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Looks really delicious :).

Torviewtoronto said...

love crumb cakes looks delicious

s said...

this looks like an awesome coffe time cake. Am def trying it out the next time I get lucky with mangoes.

Priya said...

Cute looking cake, awesome..

Vanamala Hebbar said...

wow tempting cake.....

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Simply mouth watering.

mala said...

you are so versatile, Aparna....I don't know how you get such innnovative ideas....looks stunning! I'm a lover of mango too!

The Cooking Ninja said...

I love your cake. It looks so good and I'm sure it tastes fantastic too. If only I can have a slice of it right now.

sweet Artichoke said...

this cake looks absolutely heavenly! Cardamom is so delicious!

Cody said...

Mango and cardamom does sound wonderful... and the crumb cake looks delicious!

You're right about food bloggers looking at things a bit differently. I was just commenting on this last night, because I'm the only one in my pastry classes that takes more than a quick snap on a cell phone for our required portfolios... They think it's a chore and that I'm a bit weird, but... eh. Whatever. We're a rare breed in the real world.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

This looks REALLY good. I never think to bake with mangoes. And adding cardamom? Yum.

Aparna S Mallya said...

Mangoes in september sounds too good to be true!
Nice and tasty dish with the awesome combo of mangoes and cardamom.

Sharmilee! :) said...

What a awesome combo....can smell the flavour here :)

sra said...

September mangoes are a different breed - I know because my great-grandad's (and a great uncle's as well) estate has trees of that strain - which fruit much later than normal. Even here in stores, I sometimes see small green mangoes in December too.

Wish I could taste this cake!

Junglefrog said...

I can also never seem to resist new or strange fruits or vegetables when I get to the market! But mangoes are really an old time favorite and this mango crumble looks delicious!

farida said...

As long as there is cardamom there, I am hooked:) Thanks for the recipe! Sounds delicious!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I love cardamom with fruit, strawberries, apples and this mango crumb cake sounds delicious!!! Will give it a go. I think some lime zest would be delicious in the mix too! Hope you're feeling better - the soup looks great. Stay well

Kris Ngoei said...

Yes, we all have become more observant people...... I have as well develop the eccentricity of eyeing for photo props.

I have baked a strawberry crumble cake last week, and looking at your mango crumble cake photo... I really admire the crumbs, so stunning in photos...

Sawadee from bangkok,

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Yup I was just telling mom that it won't be long before we get mangoes all year round. But somehow, it won't be as much fun then, waiting for mango season is so much fun!!

The cake looks delicious, bookmarked :)