(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
A tropical dessert is the perfect way to start the warm season. The creaminess of the mango crème fraîche cheesecake, the tanginess from the kiwi, the saltiness from the cashew crumb and the nuttiness from the white sesame semifreddo all pair together delightfully. By combining these vibrant, bright colors, this dessert presents in a fun and attractive way.
Yield: 15 servings
Salted Cashew Crumb
- 200 g toasted cashews
- 50 g all-purpose flour
- 5 g salt
- 50 g dark brown sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- Using a Robot Coupe, process the toasted cashews, all-purpose flour and salt until a coarse crumb forms. Add the dark brown sugar and the room temperature butter and process just until dough forms.
- Roll out mixture flat onto a half sheet tray and bake at 345˚F (174˚C) for 19 minutes.
- Once cool, break up into smaller pieces and place into a Robot Coupe. Process until a fine crumb forms – mixture should come together like wet sand.
- Place 3.25ʺ x1.25ʺ cylinder silicone molds onto a sheet tray. Prepare the molds with salted cashew crust for the cheesecake by placing 2 ½ tablespoons of cashew crumb into each cavity and press down firmly. Reserve some of the crumb for garnish.
Mango Crème Fraîche Cheesecake
- 510 g mango purée
- 480 g cream cheese, softened
- 200 g crème fraîche
- 223 g granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 15 g lemon juice
- 4 g citric acid
- 10 g vanilla paste
- Place all ingredients into a Vitamix blender and mix on speed #2, gradually increasing to speed #6; blend until smooth.
- Pour the mango cheesecake batter into each cavity (90% full) of the silicone molds. Place the sheet tray with mold in the Then, using a pitcher, fill half of the sheet tray with water. Bake at 300˚F (149˚C) for 14 minutes. (Cheesecakes should have a slight jiggle.) After completely cool, place it into the freezer overnight.
- Once cheesecakes are frozen, pop out of molds and store frozen. Thaw in refrigeration for 2 hours prior to use.
White Sesame Semifreddo
- 375 g heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 112 g egg yolks
- 100 g tahini paste
- 180 g granulated sugar
- 100 g water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 g gelatin sheets (silver), bloomed
- Whip the heavy cream and vanilla to medium peaks and set aside.
- Whisk the yolks and tahini paste at high speed until thick.
- Boil the sugar and water to 245˚F (118˚C). Slowly pour sugar syrup and salt into mixer with yolks and tahini.
- Microwave bloomed gelatin for 15 seconds until melted, then add to mixer.
- Fold in whipped cream, pipe into quenelle molds. Freezer overnight before unmolding.
- 374 g kiwi puree
- 74 g water
- 6 g Versawhip
- 6 g xanthan gum
- 6 g granulated sugar
- Place kiwi puree and water into Vitamix blender and blend on speed #2 for 3 minutes. 2. Combine Versawhip, xanthan gum and sugar, then add into the center of the vortex of the blender. Increase speed to #6 and blend for 3 minutes.
- Store refrigerated until ready to use.
- 450 g mango purée
- 120 g lemon juice
- 60 g granulated sugar
- 10 g pectin NH
- 12 g gelatin (silver), bloomed
- Heat mango purée and lemon juice to 86˚F (30˚C).
- Combine sugar and pectin, then add to purée and lemon juice mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add the drained gelatin, using a rubber spatula to mix (whisking will incorporate unwanted air bubbles). Pour over ¼ sheet tray. Let mixture set up in the refrigerator.
- Cut the gelée into 0.6ʺ (1 cm) cubes and store refrigerated until ready to use.
Assembly and Plating
- 3 fresh kiwi
- 15 finger limes
- 118 ml micro cilantro or edible flower petals
- Prepare finger limes by cutting each in half and squeezing out the “caviar.” Store in a ½ pint container in the refrigerator.
- Prepare fresh kiwi for garnish by removing skin and cutting into 0.6ʺ (1 cm) cubes.
- Prepare micro cilantro: place into a deep 1/9 hotel pan and submerge in ice water. Place the hotel pan in a Cryovac machine and pat dry once compressed. This will help keep your delicate microgreens crisp for an extended period.
- To plate, using a small offset spatula, smear the whipped kiwi the length of the plate in the center. Cut cheesecake in half and place each half facing each other just a ½ʺ (1.27 cm) apart on the whipped kiwi.
- Place a tablespoon of Salted Cashew Crumb on the corner of each cheesecake, then another tablespoon directly below on the plate.
- Place 3-4 cubes of mango gelée at the foot of the Salted Cashew Crumb.
- Place 2-3 cubes of fresh kiwi on top of each cheesecake half.
- Place 1 tsp of lime caviar adjacent to each pile of Salted Cashew Crumb. Finish garnishing with micro cilantro or edible flower petals.
About Mai Nguyen
Mai Nguyen is the Executive Pastry Chef of Coquette and Cocorico in Boston, MA. Her plating style is playful and modern, with an emphasis on vivid colors. She draws ideas for new recipes by starting with the major ingredients that will be the highlight of her dessert, then researching what flavors and colors go well together while keeping the season in view.