When I saw a glut of mangoes going cheap at my local shop, I pounced om them.
I adore mangoes, as they work equally well in sweet or savoury dishes. Have you checked out my fiery chicken with cooling mango and pineapple salsa yet? Mangoes pair well with prawns too. So you could swap the papaya for mango in this Indonesian prawn dish.
You can get mangoes pretty much all year round these days. But it’s worth seeking out the vatieties that are in season. Mine were beautiful Maya from Israel, that are available roughly from May to August in the UK.
It’s also worth knowing if your mangoes are thick or thin skinned, as that will tell you if they are more suitable for using raw when still slightly underripe (in chutneys for instance), or whether they are more suited to puds and salsas.
Supermarket ones often are quite underripe. But they happily ripen at home, especially if you leave them out of the fridge. Be careful though, as they have the tendency to go from underripe to a little wrinkly and overripe in the blink of an eye. They should have a slight give, then you know they are perfect.
I’m going for a complete mango overload with this dessert. With lime, as lime truly brings out the mango flavour. A match made in heaven.
The beauty is though, that each of the individual components works wonderfully on their own too. So you don’t have to go the whole hog. Make one element, make a couple or go all out, it’s up to you
An excess of leftover egg whites? Make the friands and enjoy them with a cup of tea for elevenses. Need a refreshing thirst quencher? Make the sorbet, which is particularly magnificent with a little tangy lime syrup poured over it (simply some sugar boiled with fresh lime juice and left to cool). And the mango hedgehog is the ultimate lazy dessert that is a hit with kids and adults alike, especially when served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
I’m particularly proud of the mango sorbet. It is as smooth as a baby’s bottom and perfectly scoopable. Why? Because I applied a few tricks of the trade that I’m very pleased to share with you.
Apart from taking the time to sieve the mango mixture, the real secret to a scoopable sorbet is to use Erytritol instead of refined sugar. This sweetener has a higher freezing point than traditional sugar, which helps prevent the sorbet from hardening to a block of concrete.
The other secret is to add a little strong alcohol like rum, gin or vodka. High volume alcohol is unlikely to freeze in a domestic freezer. So this helps to keep the sorbet soft.
Lastly, a little salt helps prevent solidity too. If you choose not to add alcohol, be sure to add a little more salt and adjust the sweetener and lime accordingly to balance out the flavour.
Mango, Lime and Coconut Friand (makes 5-6 – GF LC V RSF )
Friands are delightful almond cakes that are traditionally made in a friand mould. This delivers perfect little oval cakes. But you can make these in small muffin tins too.
Just don’t overfill them in that case, as these cakes don’t contain any rising agent. So they are a little heavier than muffins. If they are too large, they are definitely for sharing.
You can swap the mango for blueberries, strawberries or apple if you like, or leave the fruit out all together.
Use coconut oil if you want these to be dairy free. And Adjust the sweetener to taste. For me personally, 2 good tbsp is plenty
4-5 large egg whites
2 heaped tbsp Erytritol (Natvia) or icing sugar
1 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut
grated zest of 1 lime
30 gr coconut flour of other fine (GF) flour
60 gr ground almonds
100 gr unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/2 mango in thin slices or tiny dice
a pinch of salt
garnish: extra Natvia or icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Beat 4 egg whites until frothy in a stand mixer, with an electric mixer or by hand. You are simply looking for them to become opaque, not stiff white peaks. This only takes a minute or so.
Whisk in the sweetener and a pinch of salt. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the fruit and garnish. Stir until well combined.
Add another frothed-up egg white if the mixture appears too stiff. If it’s too slack, add a little more flour or ground almonds.
Liberally grease the baking tins. Divide the mixture over 5-6 of the holes. Arrange a little mango on top of each and gently push the mango down into the dough.
Bake for 10-15 mins or until set and golden.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes. Then turn the friands out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
Dust with a little extra sweetener before serving.
Mango and Lime Sorbet (makes approx 700 ml GF RSF LC DF V Vg)
To sieve or not to sieve. That is the question. Some mangoes are more fibrous than others. And some blenders or food processor give smoother results than others. In hindsight, I probably didn’t have to sieve my Maya mangoes after having been blasted in my Froothie powerblender. But hey.
the flesh of 4-6 mangoes (depending on size)
3-4 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp erythritol (Natvia) to taste
Juice and zest of a lime or to taste
2 tbsp rum, vodka or gin
a good pinch of fine seasalt
Heat the lime juice and zest with the sweetener over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
Puree the mango flesh with the lime syrup and a little water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve if needed.
Chill the mixture for 2-3 hrs, then either freeze and whisk/stir every hour or so or freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It takes about 20 mins in my Magimix Gelato.
This will happily keep in the freezer for a few months.
Caramelized Mango Hedgehog (per person – GF DF LC RSF)
Do warn your dinner guests that this is served with the skin still on. t’s also worth serving it over a spoonful of ice cream or sorbet or something like that, so that the hedgehog stays nicely feathered out on the plate.
Allow the sorbet to soften in the fridge for 15 mins or so before serving. Use a spoon or scoop set in hot water and rinse in the hot water between scoops.
1 large mango cheek (or 2 if serving on its own)
a good sprinkling of Erythritol (Natvia) or coconut palm sugar
A good squeeze of fresh lime juice
an extra lime wedge for serving
Preheat a grill to high.
Carefully cut into each mango cheek to just above the skin in a crisscross pattern. This is how you would normally cut mango dice, but instead of turning the mango cheek inside out and cutting away the dice, this time you are leaving them attached and don’t yet turn the cheek inside out.
Instead generously sprinkle over the sweetener. Grill for 5 -10 mins or so until Bubbling and caramelised.
Remove from the grill and allow to cool just enough to safely turn inside out to show off the hedgehog pattern. Serve while still warm with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and an extra lime wedge.
To assemble the dessert (pp)
1/2 tbsp rum, gin or vodka (optional)
a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and a little grated zest
1-2 tbsp crushed nuts such as pistachio, almonds or hazelnut, or crushed biscuits such as shortbread or oaty hobnobs
2 lime segments
Cut a few nice slices of mango from the cheek. Then finely chop the rest of the mango and mix with the rum, lime juice and zest taste. Set aside to infuse.
When ready to serve, allow the sorbet to soften a little and grill the hedgehog while you plate the rest:
Arrange the crushed nuts or biscuit crumbs a plate, if using. Set a friand on top and arrange the mango slices on the friand.
Set a nice scoop of the mango sorbet on the side. Then scoop a little of the marinated mango dice next to it.
Also scoop a little of the marinated mango dice where you will place the hedgehog to help the hedgehog stay nice and open. feather out the hedgehog and set on top.
Finish with a few lime segments and a little extra sprinkle of nuts if using.