The alphonso mango season is in full swing, which means supermarkets are stocked with the fresh fruits and cans of mango pulp. Make the most of this delicious season with tasty and fresh No Bake Mango Cheesecake.
Cheesecakes are everywhere in Poland: in every restaurant’s menu, in every café and even sold in bakeries. Sernik (as the cheesecake is called in Polish) is one of the nation’s favourite dessert. And so it’s no surprise that I was craving cheesecake and I finally decided to make one at home. It’s mango season and so it seemed appropriate to make a refreshing no bake mango cheesecake.
There are over 400 varieties of mangoes growing around the world throughout the world. One of the most popular variety is the alphonso mango from India. These fruits are small, sweet and rich of flavour. Alphonso mango is sold from late April for six or eight weeks. These Indian mangoes are a favourite in the UK and in Europe, and are preferred over varieties from Latin America and elsewhere.
There are two ways to know when a mango is ready to eat: if the fruit is soft to the touch, the pulp will be juicy; the ripe fruit’s skin colour is not green, but shades of yellow and green.
If you cannot find fresh mangoes in your local shops, don’t worry. To make this cheesecake, you don’t need to use fresh fruit. You buy a can of mango pulp, which is available in supermarkets and stores online. Typically, it is much easier to find during the Spring, when the consumer demand for mangoes is high.
The canned mango pulp is smooth and thick and the perfect consistency to make a cheesecake filling. Also it saves you from having to peel, cut and mash fresh mangoes. For this recipe, I combined the mango pulp with whipped cream, icing sugar, lime juice and zest and cheese.
I used a traditional Polish white cheese made from cow milk, called twaróg. It is similar to quark and cottage cheese, but the taste is slightly different. I was curious to try it as I always see it in supermarkets and I learnt through Polish cookbooks that twaróg is commonly used in Poland to make cheesecake (sernik). This cheese is also used in savoury dishes, the most famous one is probably pierogi ruskie (dumplings with cheese and potatoes), a Polish speciality!
If you cannot find twaróg in your local shop, you can use a classic cream cheese like Philadelphia. Make sure to use the full fat version without any additional flavours.
In the UK, Digestive biscuits are commonly used in the cheesecake crust, whereas in the US it’s graham crackers that are most often used. Either way, the biscuits are crushed to a powder and combined with melted butter, then the mixture is pressed on the bottom of the cake tin.
In this no make mango cheesecake recipe, I used cocoa flavoured biscuits, the kind you might eat for breakfast dipped in tea or coffee. You could also use oat or malt cookies and add cocoa powder to create the chocolate base; or even use sweet biscuits like Oreo’s or Chocolate Bourbon.
Note: this cheesecake is not vegetarian, as it contains gelatine which is made from animal protein (most often pig). A vegan alternative to gelatine is agar-agar, which is made from seaweed.
For the base
- 165g cocoa flavoured biscuits
- 70g unsalted butter
For the filling
- 400g twaróg cheese, at room temperature
- 450g mango pulp (preferably canned)
- 1/2 lime juice and zest
- 130g icing sugar
- 22g gelatine powder
- 70ml cold water
- 300ml whipping cream
Line the bottom of a 23cm spring form cake tin with a round sheet of baking paper.
Place the biscuits in a strong zip lock bag and knock hard with a rolling pin or pestle, to crumble them to a powder. Combine the crumbs with melted butter. Spread the cookie mix over the bottom of the cake tin, flattening it with the back of a spoon or measuring cup. Refrigerate the tin while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, combine the cheese, mango pulp, lime juice, zest and sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined.
In a small saucepan, mix the gelatine powder and cold water. Leave it for 10 minutes to swell. Then, transfer to the stove and warm it over low heat, stirring continuously until the gelatine is dissolved. Do not bring to a boil as the gelatine will lose its gelling properties. Remove from the stove and cool down.
Add a tablespoon of cheese mixture to the still slightly warm gelatine, spread it thoroughly. Add two more tablespoons and mix again, careful not to create lumps. Now add the gelatine cream to the cheese mixture and mix immediately to combine. Do not mix the filling for too long.
Whip the cream with an electric whisk until you get stiff peaks. Add the whipped cream to the cheese mixture in two turns and mix gently with a spatula. Pour the cheesecake filling on the bottom of the biscuit base, using a spreading knife to create a smooth top. Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge and leave overnight. The cheesecake should be shiny and firm to the touch when set.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 6-8 months.
Recipe adapted from Moje Wypieki.