Mango Graham Cupcakes

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One of the best things about living in a tropical country is the abundance of sweet mangoes almost all year round. I have traveled a few times and nothing compares to the mangoes we have here. In fact, we might even have some of the best mangoes in the world. Now picking the right mangoes can get a little tricky sometimes.  When I am in the supermarket, I usually look for mangoes with a mild sweet odor but with a few flaws on the outside. I find that the perfectly smooth, flawless looking mangoes sometimes tend to be a little sour (funny how mangoes and people can have some things in common.)  
This cupcake was inspired by a popular dessert in the Philippines called Mango Float , which is really like a mango icebox cake made up of graham crackers, heavy cream mixed with condensed milk and plenty of mangoes. The cupcake itself tastes just like graham crackers because it actually uses more graham cracker crumbs than flour. I used a simple boiled flour frosting that tasted almost like a buttercream, mixed with bits of fresh mangoes, then pressed more graham cracker crumbs on the frosting to cover completely and topped with a slice of dried mango.

Graham Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Nabisco

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup butter, cut and softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup milk

Preheat the oven at 350F degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, graham cracker crumbs & baking powder) together in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after adding each egg.  Add the vanilla.

Add the flour alternately with the milk and mix well after each addition. Spoon the batter carefully into the muffin tins lined with cupcake liners, about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake at 350F degrees for 22-25 minutes or until done. Leave the cupcakes in the pan and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Prepare the frosting or any frosting you prefer. Then frost the cupcakes and gently press some graham cracker crumbs against the frosting to cover completely. Top with a slice of dried mango.


Mango Frosting

6 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups unsalted butter, cut and softened
2 cups  sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 of a fresh mango, flesh chopped very finely
Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan on medium heat and whisk to dissolve the flour in the milk. While whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and continue cooking for 7 minutes until it becomes thick and bubbly. Cook it long enough so that it will not become watery. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching its surface to prevent a skin from forming while it cools.
In another bowl, beat the butter with a mixer until light and fluffy on high speed.  Add the sugar and beat for 1 minute.  Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get all the sugar incorporated in the mixture. Beat for another minute. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Lower the speed. Drop the cooled flour & milk mixture by tablespoon and continue beating until light and fluffy. Fold the chopped bits of fresh mango into the frosting.
Click here for a step by step procedure in making the boiled frosting, courtesy of Pastry Pal.

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