Tasting the Tropics.

Today meaning Monday, 25 April, is Alex’s birthday so

Happy Birthday Alex Cadby!! 

His birthday being on a weekday meant that we took the opportunity to celebrate it yesterday instead. Apparently, in some parts of Europe (Germany *cough cough*), celebrating or wishing a person a happy birthday before their birthday is considered to be taboo. Buuuuuuut, we’re in Singapore and in Singapore, we wish people happy birthday in advance, and then a happy belated birthday after, at least a week before and a week after their birthday date.

Alex, being a typical British, wanted some sun on his birthday. So we all headed down to Siloso Beach, Sentosa, to Bikini Bar yesterday afternoon after the stormy skies had thankfully cleared. It turned out to be blazing hot so it was drinks galore for everyone – cold beers and cider, Bloody Marys for the hungover ones, Shirley Temples for starters, coke zero and mineral water for the non-alcoholics i.e. Population: 1 – Me. 

Flo, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, was flying back from Phuket so he couldn’t make it. I also missed my dear boyfriend badly so I stayed a few hours with the birthday crew, before excusing myself to come home and welcome by favourite man back!

But before my departure, we all commemorated Alex’s 28th with a cake I baked specially for the birthday boy – A Mango Cheesecake topped with a thin layer of thickened Coconut Curd.

It was slightly melty after subjected to some heat but still plenty delicious! The perfect tropical cake to go with our sweltering heat on our little sunny island.

And yes, I made it home with only a few minutes to spare to surprise Flo! He hadn’t expected me to be home before him so when he opened the door and saw me stood behind it, he pretty much jumped out of his skin before jumping back in and bursting into a smile. 🙂

Anyway, it appears that mangoes are currently in season so we’ve been having lots of beautiful Indian mangoes going for cheap at the supermarkets. Since I had a couple ripening far too quickly, I used my trusty Banana Bread recipe, tweaked it and turned the humble Banana Walnut Loaf into Mango Banana Coconut Bread.

It yielded 3 small loaves that were bursting with the fresh, luscious fruitiness of summer.

Mango Banana Coconut Bread (Yields 3 small loaves):

1 Ripe Mango
1 Ripe Banana
1 Lime, Zested & Juiced
250g Sugar
3 Eggs
250g Flour
7.5g Baking Soda
7.5g Baking Powder 
75g Coconut Milk
75g Coconut Oil or unflavoured oil e.g. Corn Oil or Canola Oil
100g Desiccated Coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 175deg C.
  2. Whisk mango flesh, banana, lime zest, sugar and eggs together until light and frothy.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder just until mixed. 
  4. Add coconut milk with lime juice. 
  5. Blend oil into mixture then fold in 85g of desiccated coconut.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf tins and sprinkle with remaining desiccated coconut. 
  7. Bake for 35-45min depending on size of your loaf tins.
  8. Allow to cool in tins before removing.

I added lime simply because I love how its zest brings a refreshing flavour to the cake while also helping to cut the sweetness with its tang. I’m generally not much of a coconut person but in this case, I cannot help but gush at how well it complements the flavour of the mango and banana. The desiccated coconut also brings more texture to the cake which I appreciate.

This is seriously a very straight-forward cake to make. Just a mixing bowl and a whisk, throw the mixture into the oven and you’ll have yourself a taste of Asia on your plate that’s perfect for breakfast, tea, AND dessert!

Also just for the sake of remembering this little event, as tiny as it may be, after Flo returned home, we went for a sushi/sashimi dinner before indulging in my first ever froyo – a Petite Llao from Llao Llao. It was a little intimidating finishing it entirely by myself but it was nice to accompany Flo while he had his Petite Llao with Chocolate Sauce on top!

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