Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mango Banana Quick Bread

Featured Ingredient: Mango

I have a special place in my heart for mangos. That may sound weird, but I associate some wonderful times in my life with a Mango. Like my first trip to Grand Cayman, driving by all the ripened mango trees, and buying those just picked fruits bursting with a slightly superior juicy sweetness.

Then there is the proudest moment in my career. I was working for Snapple and suggested we use employees instead of models on our bottles for a promotion as a way to tie it back to its roots, as Wendy the Snapple Lady was actually an original employee. 105 employees showed up for an internal photo shoot and 24 were chosen by the promotion agency. Perhaps I got a spot because I take a beautiful photograph with a fish eye lens. Based on a random drawing my Snapple flavor would be 8,000,000 bottles of Mango Madness.
I suggested they temporarily rename the flavor to Milda Madness, but that didn't happen. The promotion was very successful. CNN did a piece on the newly revived brand and I got my mug in the story. Snapple employees loved that they or their friends were on bottles and part of this big marketing program. I was on top of the world.

So mangos make me happy. But, right now the mangos at the store are green.  I also had coconut left over from the pina colada cheesecakes and always have frozen bananas on hand.  I figured I would continue my tropical tangent with an Island inspired quick bread.  Canned mangos don't seem to hold up as well in liquid as peaches for example.  These were rather soft.  But since they are being mixed into a batter with a mashed banana, it was fine for this purpose. 

Mango Banana Quick Bread - Serves 6 - 8

3 tbsps butter
1/3 cup sugar (I reduced the sugar, because the mango is in syrup)
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup mango medium dice
2/3 cup sweetened coconut divided
1 tsp orange zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. With an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light.  Add eggs and mix to combine.  Add banana, mango, orange zest and mix to combine. I like using the "cake" method for quick breads - which is creaming butter and sugar together, adding egg, flavorings then alternating remaining dry and wet ingredients. This seems to yield a lighter tasting and more moist bread.

3. In a separate bowl mix remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

4.  Add 1/3 of flour mixture to wet ingredients in bowl, stir briefly to combine, add 1/3 of the milk - not 1/3 cup. Alternate with dry and wet ingredients 2 more times, ending with milk.  Make sure not to stir ingredients too much and overwork batter.  Fold in 1/3 cup of coconut.

5. Spray an 8 in X 4 in pan with cooking spray and pour batter in pan.  Top with remaining coconut. 

6. Bake 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mango Banana Quick Bread