Banana and mango breads were ubiquitous throughout Maui and the Big Island, and were the perfect snack during long car rides or after a day of adventuring. I've adapted this recipe from a couple of sources, most of which cite the chef Sam Choy as their source. While the original version does just fine, I had to make my own tweaks and changes, so I've upped the ante with a browned butter base, rum-soaked raisins, and a toasted coconut topping. You don't need these additions to enjoy mango bread, but you certainly won't regret them.
Start by submerging a half cup of raisins in enough rum to cover them. I fell in love with Flor de Cana during a trip to Costa Rica many moons ago, when I drank this morning-noon-and-night, but any rum that you have lying about the house will suffice; no need to rush out and splurge on anything fancy.
Go ahead and pour yourself a little rum to sip while you finish baking and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Next, melt half a cup of butter over medium heat. Keep swirling and stirring as it turns golden brown; once you smell that lovely toasty, nutty aroma, remove from heat and pour into a wide, shallow bowl to cool. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before incorporating into the rest of the recipe, otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs (which, while delicious, are significantly less useful for our purposes here).
While you wait for your butter to cool, chop two mangos. I use the technique my mother taught me: slice the mango on each side of the pit, then score the flesh and peel away the skin. Peel the skin from the pit and scrape off the mango meat surrounding the pit. Kulia Cooks has a helpful tutorial here. You'll end up with about two and a half cups of mango chunks.
In a medium bowl, sift together your dry ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 cup white sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together three eggs and half cup canola oil. By now, your butter should be room temperature; add the butter and 2 tsp vanilla. Add your dry ingredients and stir well, then incorporate the mango chunks and raisins (drain off the rum before adding the raisins to the rest of the mix).
Stir everything together and pour into a 9x9 square pan lined with parchment paper, or two loaf pans. Bake for about forty-five minutes, then sprinkle with half cup shredded coconut and continue baking for another fifteen minutes or until set.
Pour yourself a little more rum and enjoy a square (or two).