Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Flavour of Indian Summers


Come Summer, and all I can think of is sweet, sweet, juicy mangoes. I love mangoes of all shapes and sizes. And every summer is spent making the sweet chunda (sweet raw mango pickle) or the tangy kairi achaar (the tangy raw mango pickle), the thick and lovely aamras from the alphonsos and kesars, the sweet, sour and minty aam panha and in devouring those fresh fruits themselves. Every single year, this is the only thing that makes Indian summers bearable. :P

I know that summer is long gone and the monsoons have captured us now. But, it isn't yet too late for one amazing mango dish that you can create with the last of the mangoes still available in the markets. THE Mango Cheesecake!

I baked this very basic baked, eggless and gelatin-less cheesecake with mango and it turned out to be the best mango dish I've ever made! :D

Preparation time: 15-20 mins
Baking time: 30-35 mins
Serves: 1 (If you're like me) and 6, if you are normal people.


1 packet Digestive buiscuits (Hobnobs are my favourites)
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 large, ripe mango - cut in medium sized pieces
350 gms cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 tsp corn starch
1/2-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
Mint leaves and mango slices for garnishing

  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes.
  • Press down the crushed biscuits firmly and pack them tightly like this.
  • Crush enough digestive biscuits, butter and 2 tbsp sugar in a blender to fill 1 loosely packed cup. This forms the base of the cake.
  • Spread the crushed biscuits in the cake tin and press it down firmly. Bake this for about 5-7 mins at 200 degrees Celsius so that it becomes a crisp, blended crust for the base.
  • Now, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, mango pieces and cardamom powder to form a thick, creamy mixture.
  • Spread this over the crust and put it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. 
  • Check once after 25 minutes to see if the cake has started browning at the edges. If it has, it is done. If not, let it cook for another 5-10 minutes. If you have a glass mould, you'll see how the cake develops a lovely darker colour on the top and remains light yellow in the middle.
My cake got a teeny tiny over-baked at certain areas because of the over temperatures being higher in certain areas in the oven. So this is NOT how it is supposed to look like. But, if this colour starts forming at the edges of your cake and your cake starts leaving the tin, that'd mean it is done. Plus, what is garnishing meant for if not to cover up for you? ;)
  • Pop the cake in the fridge to set for at least 3-5 hours.
  • After pulling it out of the fridge, garnish with mint leaves and mango slices. I went a bit further to use a technique I learnt from Junior Masterchef and garnished my cake with flowers. :P However, these were used purely for colour and are not edible.

And, it's ready to be eaten! Every bite of it tastes like a little piece of heaven, even if I do say so myself. ;)

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