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Mango Parfaits

Mango Parfait

Mango Parfait

I actually made these for a friend while she was visiting. It has been a long and busy summer and I was just back logged at writing and updating my blog.

Spring is (was :-)) in the air here and with it heralds the Mango season. Growing up I used to wait for the mango season where we would get the big baskets filled with Alphonso mangoes. We would be allowed to eat one after lunch and one after dinner and then we would try to convince someone to give us more than one. The reason we were denied more was because they supposedly increase the heat in one’s body.

Mangoes come in so many varieties and sizes, there is one that is called Bishop’s mango. I was most enthralled when I first saw it because it was almost twice the size of a regular mango – and as a child you just think ‘Oh I am actually eating more than one of my quota in a sitting’. However, I was very disappointed in the taste of that particular variety. In Goa, you get a variety that is called Mancurad (not sure of the spelling). They are quite small but oh so delicious. Here in the US my favorites are the Altufo and Kent varieties.

To make this parfait, I used Kesar mango pulp, which is easily available at any Indian grocery store. I made this a couple of times and it has received rave reviews. It is very easy to make, its a three layered dessert and you can be creative and change any of the layers or layer it the way you want to.

Ingredients

Serves 8 (4-5oz serving size)

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter,  melted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup mango pulp
  • 1/4 cup jam (costco pomegranate raspberry jam)
  • 3 tablespoon water

Method

Stir the  butter into the graham cracker crumbs until they have all be moistened. Divide the moistened crumbs amongst the containers.

Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and whip to incorporate till soft peaks form. You can test the soft peaks when you lift the beater and the peak gently folds over. Add the mango pulp and fold. Divide the mango whipped cream.

Put the jam and water into a small pot and heat, stirring constantly until the jam has broken up and the water and jam have reached an even consistency. Let it cool and then divide it amongst the containers.

Its that simple.

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Mango macarons

Mango Macarons

Mango Macarons

As part of the March Mango Madness and having a lot of desserts mango style, I decided to add mango macarons to the list. I used my previous method to make macarons but I added three drops of food coloring just after I had mixed in the almond meal/confectioners sugar into the whisked egg whites. The common thought here is that you should always use food paste coloring so that you do not upset the macaronage. I did not have yellow food paste coloring so I did with what I had. A step that I skipped was to sift the icing sugar and almond mixture. This gets the tops of the macarons very smooth with no bumps. I also bought ready-made almond flour so I did not blanch the almonds and grind them – makes life a little easier.

Ingredients

Meringue

  • 90g egg whites
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring

Mango Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 13 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup mango purée

Method

Line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper or use silicone sheets.

Whisk the powdered sugar and almonds together in a bowl. Sift it to get out all the bigger pieces.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Then slowly start adding the granulated sugar. Continue to beat until you have a glossy meringue.  The meringue should gently fall over when you lift the beaters.

Pour the almond sugar mix over the meringue and fold into the meringue. It will take you about 50 strokes. You know the batter is well blended by lifting the spatula up and letting a blob drop back in, it should gently dissolve into the batter without leaving a trace. Put in the food coloring and continue to fold until the color is incorporated. This took me about 10 more strokes.

Put the batter into your piping bag fitted with a round opening nozzle. Pipe 1/2 inch rounds on the parchment lined tray leaving about a 1/2 inch between each round. Let them now stand for about an hour. You know they are ready when the tops are dry to the touch.

Turn your oven to 300F. Bake each tray for 18-20 minutes. You will see the little feet come on your macarons.

Take out the tray out of the oven and let it cool before peels off the macarons from the parchment paper.

Mango Buttercream

Bring the water to a gentle simmer. Put your egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and start whisking gently. After about 5 mins start to test to see if all the sugar has dissolved. If you rub a little between your fingers you should not feel any sugar granules. Once you have no more granules you are ready to proceed.

Transfer mixture to your kitchenaid mixer (or your automated mixer)  and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl before pouring so that no water gets into the egg whites).

Add the butter into two batches whipping until the 1st batch is incorporated before adding the second. Once both batches are incorporated add the mango purée and continue to whip until blended. Blending of the mango purée should not take long. You can refrigerate it for about 10 minutes before you use it.

Sandwich each of the meringues with the buttercream and then refrigerate overnight before serving so that the flavors can meld.


Portuguese (Mango Flavoured) Custard Tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

The first time I had these was in Portugal and they are called ‘Pasteis de nata’. Little did I know that the Portuguese apparently bought them to Goa as well because you can get them there. I just found out because a friend of mine who ate them told me so 🙂 and he is from Goa. You can get these little nuggets of deliciousness at every store along with the very very potent shots of coffee. Well I gave the coffee a wide berth but not these little tarts.
This method I think is one my sister sent me for the pie shells. The real method involves a bit more of work so this one suited me just fine. I decided to try a mango flavored one deviating from the simple custard filled ones you get in the stores.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup single cream
  • 4 tablespoons mango puree
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (defrosted)

Method

Whisk the egg yolks, milk and cream in a saucepan. Add the sugar and cornflour and continue to whisk till incorporated. Put the saucepan on medium heat.
Split a vanilla bean and drop it into the mixture. Stir until mixture begins to simmer and thickens. Do not let it come to a boil. Strain the custard into a jug. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and let it cool.
Grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the pastry sheet in half. Place the two halves on top of each other. Roll up the pastry tightly from the longer end into a log. Cut the log into rounds. Roll out each of the rounds into circles and then press the circles into the muffin holes. You want the circles to reach up the sides of the muffin holes.
Pour the custard into each tart, but not completely filling it.
Bake the tarts for about 12 minutes or until the pastry starts to brown slightly.
Remove from the oven and let it cool on a rack completely. Pop the tarts out of the pan and pour an even layer of sugar on each and brulee with a torch.

You can always reheat them in the oven if you want to serve them hot.


Mango Cake with Mango Buttercream

Mango cake with Mango buttercream

Mango cake with Mango buttercream

Janak requested a mango dessert for his birthday and this is what I came up with. I still need to work on this recipe as I had initially done it for a loaf pan and this time I did it for two 8′ round pans. The cakes did rise but there was a dense layer at the base of each cake. They tasted delicious and looked very interesting like the cake had layers. Also when you make buttercream you must remember to have all your ingredients at room temperature. I used the mango pulp (store bought) directly from the refrigerator and it caused the butter which were all nice and fluffy to congeal. Of course, with a little more patience, my trusty kitchen aid and a lot more whipping the two started to incorporate. You can also rescue this by beating it over a waterbath of warm tap water – I skipped on that procedure as that would have involved using my hand whisk and I just did not want the exercise.

If you do not have buttermilk and do not want to buy a whole bottle just for this you can make the buttermilk this way : 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp of either vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 1 hour and you have a buttermilk substitute.

The cake is delicious and moist and the buttercream is just mangoey and sweet and it comes together perfectly.

Recipe

Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup mango puree

Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mango puree
  • 1 lb icing sugar

Method

Cake

Grease two 8″ round pans. Preheat your oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix the flour and baking soda together. Mix the buttermilk, mango puree and vanilla together.

Add a third of the flour mix beat. Add a third of the liquid mixture and beat. Continue alternating dry with wet ingredients.

Pour half of the  mix into each pan.

Bake for about 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Place on a rack to cool.

Buttercream

Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the mango puree and beat till incorporated. Then start adding the icing sugar 2 tablespoons at a time beating till incorporated. Stir down the sides of your bowl if to make sure you have all the icing sugar incorporated. You can use more icing sugar if you want the a sweeter icing.


Mango Curry

Mango Curry

Mango Curry

I had never eaten anything that was savory with mango in it. I was inspired to try this when I read this recipe from a cookbook I got called New Vegetarian by Yvonne Duivenvoorden. I must say it was simply delightful. The sweetness of the mangoes and the spiciness of the sauce are just a scrumptious combination. She made the recipe for breakfast and included eggs.

Recipe

  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chillies (the long thin green ones)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 ripe mangoes (chopped)
  • 2 oz tomato paste
  • 6 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Maggie hot and sweet
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • oil

Method

Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a pot on medium high heat. Once it gets hot add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds onion and chilli. Cook until the onions are softened. Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for about 2 mins. Add mangoes, tomato paste, ketchup, maggie hot and sweet and lemon juice and cook. If you find the sauce is too thick you can add some water.  This does not need to be cooked a lot. About 2 -3 mins should be good. Add the salt and cilantro and take it off the heat. Serve it over rice/couscous or with bread/chapatis.


Sumier’s Surprise

 

Sumier's Surprise

Sumier's Surprise

This was a dessert I had made years ago for Sumier (the design artist who helped create the Graphic for my blog). I was inspired after eating a dessert at Fritti’s. We went to one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants Desta where you always come away feeling completely stuffed having eaten one too many of their Injeera’s. I was looking for an Ethiopian dessert but unfortunately they do not have desserts except for a yogurt-cheese dish that they eat with their food. So I decided to make a cheese based dessert. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The nice part about this dessert is that it really helps with portion control which may not help when people would like more.

Recipe

Ingredients

Makes 4 white wine glasses

  • 8oz Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 12 tbsp mango pulp
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 12 Graham crackers (read note)
  • 3 tbsp cognac

Method

Crush the Graham crackers with your hands into small pieces but not into powder. Add the cognac and stir the crackers to make sure they are well coated.

Whip the heavy cream, as it starts to thicken slowly add 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Stop once the stiff peak stage has been reached. You know you have reached the stiff peak stage by lifting the beater blades out of the cream. If the peak holds then you are done. If they do not and fall over beat for a few more seconds. Make sure you do not over beat.

Whip the Mascarpone cheese with a whisk once it becomes creamy add the mango pulp and one tablespoon of sugar and whip to combine.

Setup all your glasses in a row. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the Mango-Mascarpone mix into each glass. Next spoon 1 tablespoon of the cream on top, then put the graham crackers on top. Add another layer of Mango then cream. Top with either fresh mango cubes or a Graham cracker that has been gently moistened with cognac.

Note : The Graham crackers here come in long rectangular pieces that have three perforations. If you break this in half you will get a square – 12 of these Squares are the amount that have been used for the biscuit layer.


Mango Três Lêches

Mango Tres Leches

Mango Tres Leches

The first time I had Três Lêches (three milk) cake I thought I had died and gone to heaven (it happens to me a lot). I simply had to have myself a couple of more helpings. Then one day I decided to go ahead and try it out for a party. It was a super success. I then made a chocolate version which everyone loved more than the regular Três Lêches. Recently I decided to try a mango version seeing that mangoes are coming back into season – with some wonderful yummy mangoes that I got at the local H-Mart. I ended up just eating the mangoes but used mango purée for the cake.

There are a variety of mangoes that you can get. Here in the US the Mexican Kent mangoes are really good. You have to wait until the mango has started to yellow (the process can be quickened by keeping them with bananas). They will have a little give when pressed and have a fragrant aroma then you know they are ready. You can slice the mango from the top to the bottom on both sides of the very large seed that it has. At this point I normally like just spooning the juicy sweet flesh straight into my mouth. For a nice presentation you can scour the flesh into cubes and then use a spoon to scoop out the cubes. Alternatively you can use a peeler to peel the skin and then scour the flesh.

Recipe

For the cake

  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

For the soaking syrup

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mango purée
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • dark rum

For the mango mousse

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons mango purée

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until tripled in volume. This will take a little time. It took me about 9 mins in my kitchenaid. You will get a lovely light lemon colored thick batter. Detach the mixing bowl from the stand (if you are using a kitchenaid mixer) and sift the cup of flour over the batter. Then fold it in. Make sure it is completely folded in.

Butter a 9×13 glass dish and then pour in your batter. Bake for 25 mins (that was how long it took in my oven). You can do the toothpick test here – it should come out clean. Wait for about 5 mins and then start pricking it all over either with the toothpick or to go faster with a fork. You need to get a lot of holes.

In a big measuring cup (the Pyrex variety – you can use any container here I like the pouring lip) mix the milks, the mango purée, the vanilla extract and rum.  Pour over the cake starting at one end and ending at the other. Wait a few mins till the milk is absorbed and repeat. Do this until you have all the liquid poured into the cake.

Wait until the pan cools completely and then you can put it into the refrigerator.

To make the mango mousse

Whip the heavy cream and as it starts to increase in volume slowly add the granulated sugar. Whip it until it forms stiff peaks. At this stage you can add two tablespoons of mango purée and fold in. Continue adding and folding the mango purée. You can add more or less purée (depending on how mangoey you want it to taste go ahead be experimental!!). Spread this on top of the cold cake and refrigerate.

You can serve this with fresh mango slices or all by itself.