One Thrifty Treat

One of the most obvious perks of working as a food photographer is the bounty of delicious edibles left over after a shoot. From little nibbles of the “hero” dish to the vast number of extras that aren’t quite perfect enough to make the cut, there’s always something good to eat in this business, and rarely does one leave the set hungry.

Just the other day, a huge amount of dried fruits and nuts was dropped off at the office, to be used as background pieces and props. And when I say huge, I’m not kidding- There was enough to cover the entire kitchen table, and then some. A bit old and no longer at prime freshness, each individual bag was marked “DO NOT EAT” in bold sharpie, multiple times, in no uncertain terms.

Reluctant to toss anything out though, I covertly snuck in a few bites between shots- Just to test the waters, you see. Turns out that despite the warnings, all of these dried pears, cherries, and mangoes were perfectly fine, and still quite tasty! Easily talking my way into taking the whole bundle home with me after work, it was then a matter of what to do with so much dried fruit… Where to store it is still an issue, too!

Sad to say, mangoes, which made up the bulk of this haul, are my least favorite of any dried fruit selection, tough and leathery with mostly just an astringent bite in the way of flavor. Simmered in a flavorful liquid, however, they quickly turned into a pleasantly tart, summery treat. Pureeing that mixture, it quickly became obvious that it was destined to be baked into something sweet, so who was I to resist?

Blended with non-dairy white chocolate chips and topped with sweet segments of little clementines, this impromptu cake was a gratifying exercise in recycling ingredients. Those clementines were also on their last legs, becoming drier every day they sat in the fruit drawer of the fridge, begging to be eaten. Creating a cake with satisfying density and a ridiculously moist crumb, just a very small piece should be enough to sate your sweet tooth. I baked mine into cute little disposable loaf pans, making them delightful little gifts, but you could easily use a large 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, or muffin tins instead. Just increase the time to 1 – 1 1/2 hours for the large loaf, and start checking on the muffins after 20 minutes have elapsed.

Thrifty Mango Bread

6 Ounces Dried Mango Pieces
1 3/4 Cups Orange Juice
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Vegan White Chocolate Chips
3 – 4 Clementines, Peeled and Segmented

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease or line three 3 x 6 inch loaf pans.

Place the mango pieces and orange juice in a small sauce pan, and bring it up to a simmer over medium-low heat. Let it bubble away gently for 15 – 20 minutes, until the mango is significantly softened and dehydrated. Remove the pot from the heat, and cool before moving the mixture into a food processor or blender. Puree thoroughly until completely smooth.

Move the puree into a large bowl, and stir in the sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Separately, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and white chocolate chips. Slowly incorporate the dry goods into the wet, and stir just enough to combine. Distribute the batter between your prepared pans, and top with the clementine segments. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let cool completely before slicing.

Printable Recipe

34 thoughts on “One Thrifty Treat

  1. Every time I see the dried mangoes in the store I think that I would love to buy some but don’t know what to do with them. Of course you, Hannah, come to my rescue! That is a pretty bread.

  2. Oh man, Hannah, that looks AWESOME!! I love mangoes, dried fresh, and I’m sure, baked into a cake with white chocolate chips!

  3. This recipe is fantastic, Hannah! The loaf looks gorgeous and I’m sure it tastes even better than it looks. I adore mango & white chocolate, so bread with both is right up my alley.

  4. Lucky you to get all those dried fruits! I love dried mango, probably because it has so much chew to it – keeps me busy I guess. I’m jealous of whoever you gave those mini loaves to though, they look amazing!

  5. Oh Hannah….Hannah….that looks freakin’ fantastic!
    I just ate some of the sweetest mango and now reading this post still has me yearnin for some mangoey goodness!

    Have a good one!

  6. What a perfect way to use up your dried fruit haul! Dried fruits make a fabulous fruit butter as well if you find you’ve still got too much left over. . . it will keep for months. :)

  7. Lucky you, that this job comes with such perks. :)
    Its hard to believe that your mango bread was made with supposedly “uneatable” stuff. Looks delicious.

  8. I’m not a huge dried mango fan either…but you make it look delicious!

    What a fabulous job you have to be able to nibble on the free, yummy food! =)

  9. I can’t believe you don’t like dried mangoes! I spend a fortune on them for my two little kids. I’ll have to wrestle some away from them for this recipe!

  10. What a great cake to put all that dried fruit to use. I too hate throwing away anything I can salvage. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Way to recycle! You could give the little loaves to your coworkers and make them feel sheepish. They look so moist!

  12. Wow this is quite the creation! The combination of mangoes, orange, and white chocolate sounds really tasty and it looks so moist and delicious.

  13. MMMMMMM looks delicious! I dated a photographer for awhile, random free chow after some shoots was always a nice perk :) I’m much happier with the man I’m with now though lol :D

  14. We have so many fresh mangos here, mostly from Mexico, that I hardly ever even think about the dried kind. Your loaf turned out really pretty. I’m glad you could salvage the fruits and put them to good use.

  15. I’ve never baked with dried mango before – not one of my favourite dried fruits either, but this bread sounds and looks fantastic.

  16. What a beautiful loaf of bread! I love dried mangoes, one of my favorite snacks. I’ve never baked with them but this has inspired me! Lucky you, such sweet on the job perks too!

  17. Thrifty is the way to be. You never know what you’ll come across and make!
    What a wonderful quick bread. I bet, it is a marvelous dessert!

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