Baked Mango, Cardamom and Fennel Cheesecake

Sweet overripe mangoes pair with fragrant cardamom and fennel in this fresh and lightweight dessert – a spiced twist on Bhapa Doi, the Bengali baked cheesecake. The mango season starts in April, with the Alphonso variety, the King of them all, making a brief appearance until the end of June. If you see a box of mangoes in the summer months, nab them and keep them in their cardboard cartons at room temperature. Once ripe, they can be eaten just as they are, or whisked into cakes, desserts and smoothies. If you have too many, slice and pop them into the freezer for more joy in the weeks to come. Look out for mango pulp in supermarket ethnic food aisles for when mangoes are not in season – it works a treat too.

Makes 8:

  • 500gm low fat natural yogurt
  • 350gm mango (ready pulp or 2 large mangoes, peeled and skinned)
  • 1 tin condensed milk (397gm)
  • 4 cardamoms, crushed and seeded
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • Strands of saffron to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200oC (180oC fan). Place eight little ramekins or a 9” square tin in a larger baking tray that comfortably holds it.

Fill the kettle to max and bring it to boil. Place the yoghurt, mango, condensed milk, cardamom seeds and fennel seeds in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into the ramekins or tin and top with strands of saffron. Then pour the boiled water in slowly from the edge until it comes half way up the sides of the dessert.

Open the oven door and carefully pop the baking tray into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Lift the dessert out of the hot water with waterproof gloves and leave to cool, then pop into the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve dessert. In my experience, this is a very satisfying treat to tuck into well after guests have left so enjoy, hopefully for days to come.

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