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Though most prevalent in its native tropical habitats of South Asia, the fruit of the Mangifera indica evergreen tree is grown and sold as mangoes throughout the world in 2011. This fruit is sumptuous enough to be eaten as-is, however, it is also used in a range of delectable desserts like mango muffins. Not only do cooks whip mango chunks into standard cake batter for cupcakes, but they also set a few on top for added color and texture.
In addition to adding this fruit's extra burst of vitamins A and C to a typically gluttonous cake dessert, making mango muffins also means a distinctively sweet flavor, tender texture and fruity freshness. Though ingredients vary, a basic recipe at the Caribbean Pot culinary Web site uses the small chunks of one ripe mango to make a dozen muffins. Other than the mango, this recipe consists of 2 cups (about 260 g) of cake flour, 1 cup (about 235 ml) of milk, 0.25 cup (about 60 ml) of vegetable oil, two eggs, 0.5 cup (about 115 g) of sugar, 1 tbsp. (or 14.3 g) of baking powder, 0.5 teaspoon (about 2.5 g) of salt, and 1 teaspoon (about 5 g) of almond extract.
Making mango muffins in no different than making most other standard muffins. It starts by washing and cubing the mango, and then by whisking the ingredients in a bowl, in order from dry to wet with about half of the mangos last. After the batter is poured into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, the rest of the mango chunks are scattered across the top of the batter, which will need to bake at least 20 minutes in an oven set to 400°F (about 205°C).
Mango muffins do not hold a monopoly on the fruit muffin, of course. Other types of fruit like strawberries, peaches, bananas and raisins are regular cake batter inhabitants. The fruit of a region that has just ripened is usually the go-to muffin ingredient. Often, the mango shares space with other fruits in the same batter, such as with the banana mango muffin recipe on the Eat, Live, Run Web site or the added pineapple chunks suggested by the Caribbean Pot site. Crushed nuts, a sweet cream cheese filling, or a final frosting are also common additions to mango muffins.
Those new to mangos should be cautious, as should those with allergies to nuts like cashews or who are particularly sensitive to poison ivy. Though uncommon, this fruit can cause an allergic reaction that resembles the rash of poison ivy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is due to both plants belonging to the cashew family Anacardiaceae — a category that produces several plants toxic to some humans.
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