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Tropical Mango Cheesecake with Sea Grape Pearls

Mango is hands-down my favourite fruit. With nuances of orange, peach and melon, it’s like no other fruit. Ripe Kent, Palmer or any other type of non-fibrous mangoes are preferred for this bright and citrusy cheesecake.

Serves 8

WHAT YOU NEED:

Crust
  • 2 cups honey graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1 cup melted butter
Filling
  • 4 ripe Kent mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lb cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 6 large eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Garnish
  • Whipped cream
  • 8 wild hibiscus in syrup
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 cup Sea Grape Pearls (recipe follows)

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C). Prepare a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan by greasing the bottom and lining with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. To prepare the crust, in a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, lime zest, coconut and butter and mix until the crust is sandy and coarse.
  3. Put the mixture into the lined springform pan. Press down with a spatula until it’s compact. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 350˚F (180˚C).
  5. To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a food processor, add mangoes and purée. Add remaining ingredients and purée until smooth.
  6. Pour filling into crust in the pan, then place the pan on top of a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven, about 90 minutes or until set in the center. (To maintain a vibrant color, form a dome with a piece of foil over the pan).
  7. Remove from oven. Let cool, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  8. Serve garnished with whipped cream, edible hibiscus and drizzle with syrup from the preserved hibiscus. Top with mint leaves and sea grape pearls.

Sea Grape Pearls

Serve these pearls over ice cream or as an accompaniment to various desserts.

Makes 1/2 cup
Serves 2-4

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 gelatin sheets
  • 1/3 cup grape juice, unsweetened (or sea grape juice)
  • 1/4 cup white grape juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon agar-agar

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Pour oil into a clear 1-quart (1 L) container. Place in the freezer to chill the oil to a temperature of 35˚F (2˚C).
  2. In a large bowl, cover gelatin sheets with cold water and soak and let bloom until soft. Squeeze gently. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together juices. Add agar-agar and whip together to combine.
  4. Pour mixture into a 1-quart (1 L) saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, about 1–2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved. Let cool.
  5. Pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle with a fine tip.
  6. Remove oil from the freezer and drop small droplets of juice into the oil to form the pearls. Let sit about 1 minute, then carefully strain pearls under warm water to rinse excess oil.

TIP: As you drop the liquid into the oil, the droplets will set as they sink slowly.