The checkout operator leaned conspiratorily over the trolley. "Are you sure you want those?" she asked, her hand poised above a tin of Thai mangoes. "I bought some last week and they're not very nice."
I looked at her, then I looked at the mangoes. "Not very nice in what way, exactly?" I said, using the eyes in the back of my head to keep track of the Small Girl as she climbed a mountain of packing boxes.
The checkout operator screwed up her face: "Too mushy," she said. "Good for cooking though, I suppose."
We both looked up as a loud crash sounded from the direction of the boxes. "That's ok then," I said as I gathered up the rest of the groceries and handed over my card. "That's exactly what I want them for."
Nothing beats a fresh mango, but the tinned ones do have their place. Specifically, they have a place in these light, luscious blondies. Would it be weird for me to take them to the supermarket to show the Doubting Thomasina on the checkout, do you think?
Mango is the special guest ingredient in May's We Should Cocoa challenge. This month, founder Choclette has handed the reins over to the lovely Shaheen of Allotment 2 Kitchen - who used to go by the nickname Mangocheeks. These days she goes by the name of Incredibly Busy Person, having mostly traded blogging for running a vegetarian cafe in Wales.
I'm no expert on Welsh cafes (let alone Welsh vegetarians) but I think these blondies would sell like hot cakes there. They're very light and easy to eat, not least because I've used fruit - pureed mango and banana - to replace some of the butter, sugar and eggs in a normal blondie/brownie recipe. Little nuggets of dried mango add to the fruity flavours.
1 x 425g tin of mango, drained and pureed (about 230g mango flesh)
200g unsalted butter, diced
200g good quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
150g mashed banana (about 1 1/2 ripe bananas)
200g caster sugar
150g white spelt flour (or plain white or gluten-free, depending on your cupboards)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60g dried mango, snipped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a brownie pan (I use a tin about 30cm x 20cm).
Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and melt gently by putting it into the warming oven. Keep an eye on it - it will take five to 10 minutes. This is a stress free, energy-efficient way of melting chocolate without having to worry about double boilers and the like.Let it cool slightly to room temperature.
Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and fluffy (I do this with the whisk attachment of my freestanding mixer), then beat in the mashed banana. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and butter and the mango puree.
Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold in gently. Scatter over the dried mango and fold in.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 minutes. Timing is everything with brownies - you want them firm at the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Leave them in the tin to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Cut into bars when cold and store in an airtight container. These also freeze well (and can be eaten while frozen!)
Have a great weekend, everyone, and a very happy Mother's Day on Sunday x