Mango Almond Chiffon Cake

When I moved back to Minnesota, one of the things that I was dreading most was it long, long, long and COLD, COLD, COLD winters. I’m not sure how to articulate to you just how cold -30 Fahrenheit feels like, but maybe the best way to describe it would be to confess that I wore two pairs of pants, a long-sleeve, a sweatshirt and a vest, plus fuzzy socks — indoors (yep.).

But, you know, I am back, and for the most part, thrilled to be close to my family, literally down the street from some of my friends, and happily employed. Even though I’ve lived in Minnesota for the majority of my life, the transition back from New York hasn’t been easy. It’s sometimes a little lonely to look out the window and not see a single soul, and can we talk about how I’m pretty sure I forgot how to drive, period. Learning to get back on the road again when I’ve always been an anxious driver has definitely been a challenge. For now, I’m taking it slow and counting driving safely to my local Trader Joe’s a win.

One of the things that I have forgotten about Minnesota (and leaves me breathless every time), are the beautiful fall colors. The swirling leaves of red, pink, orange, gold and yellow surrounded by pockets of green are for me, one of the best parts of fall and best parts of living in Minnesota. The golden-y hue of fall color is what inspired this Almond Mango Chiffon Cake. What is chiffon cake you ask? Well, it’s probably the lightest, fluffiest cake you’ll ever taste and it’s got nothing but eggs helping it rise. In my recipe, there’s a slight hint of almond, and a fruity aftertaste. Basically, fall and summer all in one.

I like to make them in 6 oversized muffin tins, but there’s nothing stopping you from turning this into an 8″ or 9″ cake either. In fact, there’s definitely nothing stopping you from making this cake and a cream cheese frosting or whipped cream topping to finish it off. The best part of this cake is that it’s dairy-free and good for breakfast, dessert or a snack.

Mango Almond Chiffon Cake (adapted from Epicurious) | Makes 6-8 slices (depending on how you cut)

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried mango slices
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cold water mixed with 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated white sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup cake flour*

*If you don’t have cake flour, you can always make your own using all-purpose flour and cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch. Just measure out a cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add in 2 tablespoons of your starch.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350(F) and line either cake tin or muffin tin with parchment paper.
  2. Combine honey water and chopped mango slices – let soak to re-hydrate the dried mango.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Using a electric mixer, start on the lowest speed, beating for a minute on each speed until you have reached medium speed. Then, gradually add in 1/4 cup sugar and continue mixing. Once sugar has been fully added, beat on high speed until you get peaks that just barely hold their shape (not stiff, but not soft either).
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine your egg yolks and remaining sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp). Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture turns fluffy and pale yellow.
  5. With the electric mixer on medium speed, gradually pour olive oil into the egg yolk mixture and mix until incorporated thoroughly.
  6. Then mix in honey water+mangoes and almond extract.
  7. Sift cake flour into egg yolk mixture (the sifting is crucial! this will make sure your cake isn’t dense), and combine using a wooden spoon (not electric mixer).
  8. Fold whipped egg whites into egg yolk mixture in three batches, make sure to using a folding motion so you don’t deflate the egg whites.
  9. Pour mixture into prepped muffin tins or cake tin. Sprinkle top with sugar.
  10. Place into oven and bake for 25 (if using muffin tins) or 45 minutes (if using cake tins), until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Enjoy!

Healthy Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango

 I love mangoes and I love sticky rice.  I’m not sure there’s a better combination than this Thai dessert.  I’ll be honest, even though I’ve had coconut sticky rice and mango separately countless times, I had never put the two together until I was developing this recipe.  One of my favorite childhood memories is eating freshly picked mango in Taiwan on the beach.  We were so lucky to be staying at a small bed & breakfast that also happened to grow mangoes in its backyard. The couple running the B&B sent us off to the beach with a giant basket full of mangoes for breakfast – it’s probably one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had to this day. Unfortunately, delicious mangoes are hard to come by in the United States. You really have to be on either the East Coast or West Coast to get good mangoes year round.  I would definitely recommend making this recipe during the summer months, for the sweetest mangoes, but if you’re hankering for mango sticky rice in the dead of winter, this recipe will definitely cure it.


Traditional mango sticky rice recipes are very high in sugar (and delicious, don’t get me wrong!) but sometimes, it’s just nice to have a decadent dessert that doesn’t fulfill your weekly sugar allowance. One of the best things about mango is that it generally has a high sugar content.  This is the reason why for my recipe, I can add so little sugar, and still have such a delicious dessert.  In order to take full advantage of the high sugar content, I’m going to recommend that you use Champange mangoes. These are a smaller, yellow-er variety than the typical mango you probably know. It’s much sweeter and less fibrous, making it perfect for mango sticky rice.


If you’ve ever tried to look up a recipe for sticky rice before, I’m sure you’ve seen that there are a bajillion different ways to make it.  This is the way my grandma taught me, and also the least time consuming method I’ve seen so far.  While a lot of recipes call for soaking the sweet rice overnight and then steaming, I’ve shortened the soaking to just a couple hours and then cooking just like traditional rice. Much faster!  Traditionally, coconut sticky rice relies on been drenched in sweetened coconut cream to impart its flavor, but I’ve cut down on the fat content and sugar content by cooking the sweet rice in coconut milk to give it the coconut flavor, and then just a few spoonfuls of coconut cream to top everything at the end.


For those who are making sticky rice for the first time, when you’re purchasing the rice to make sticky rice, it will actually be labeled as sweet rice, not sticky rice.  Deceiving, I know! I’m not sure why it’s labeled sweet rice, but now that you know, you’ll be a pro at navigating the rice section of a supermarket!


Alright, well let’s get too it!

COCONUT STICKY RICE WITH MANGO | Makes enough for 3-4 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Champange mango – sliced into wedges and chilled
  • 1 cup sweet rice – uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated white sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place sweet rice into a mixing bowl and cover with water (all the rice should be submerged). Let sweet rice soak for two hours.
  2. At the end of two hours, drain sweet rice and let sit in a strainer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place drained sweet rice into a rice cooker or medium-sized pot and add in 1 1/2 cup coconut milk. If you’re using a rice cooker, simply press the on button and wait for rice to cook.  If you’re cooking over the stove top, bring coconut milk to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. This should be around 20 minutes or so.
  4. Once rice is cooked, let cool (I usually spread it out on a plate so it cools faster).
  5. Combine coconut cream and sugar.  Microwave for 60 seconds so the cream is hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
  6. Once rice is cool, simply arrange a scoop of sticky rice and several slices of mango on a plate. Top with a couple spoonfuls of the coconut cream.

Enjoy!