Mango Date Bread

 Mango date bread

Mango date bread

You can probably tell that I’m still on a mango binge. I made this mango-date bread last week for my colleagues at the office and everyone loved it! It’s very moist and dense.  You can serve it as a dessert or have it in the morning with some tea. I think it goes particularly well with a pot of rooibos, a wonderful red tea from South Africa. If you're looking for a great rooibos, check out YSWARA's lovely Makeda of Sheba tea. I just interviewed YSWARA's founder, Swaady Martin-Leke, for Ayiba. YSWARA is currently the leading producer of premium African tea. I've admired Swaady and her approach to business for some time. In the words of Strive Masiyiwa, she's a true "African Lioness." 

In the past, when using dates in baking, I often like to add coconut because I think the flavors complement each other well. If you choose to add coconut to this recipe, about ¾ to 1 cup of shredded coconut should do the trick. 

A tip regarding baking with dates from The Kitchn: For years, I baked with Medjool dates, but they are expensive and difficult to cut uniformly. After reading about different varieties of dates, I've switched to deglet noor dates for baking. They're comparatively inexpensive and easy to chop. Most varieties will work well (with the exception, in my opinion, of thoory dates. I have yet to try halawi dates but they are on my list!) Be careful not to have a heavy hand with dates because they have a high caloric content — definitely something to save for decadent occasions. Not an everyday snack!

Mango Date Bread

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar 
½ cup butter (generally 1 stick butter) 
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups mangoes, chopped. Keep 2 slices to garnish the top of the bread.
1 cup chopped dates 
Optional: 1 cup shredded coconut 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. Grease a 9x x 5 inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.  
  3. Beat together the butter and the sugar until thick and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.  
  5. Fold the dry ingredients and the mango into the wet batter, alternating between the dry ingredients and the mango to make the batter easier to mix.
  6. Stir in ¾ of the chopped dates until evenly distributed. 
  7. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Top the batter with two slices of mango and a few remaining dates.
  9. Bake the bread for 1 1/2 hours, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  If the bread looks as if it’s getting too brown as it bakes, cover loosely with a foil tent.  
  10. When the bread is finished, transfer it onto a rack for 5 minutes to let it cool. Run a knife alongside the inside of the pan to make it easier to separate. Allow the bread to reach room temperature before inverting and transferring to a plate to serve.