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By Thomas Zimmermann

Chef Massimo's Kitchen: Mango season is here!

Mango cheesecake

When the calendar turns to May, the temperatures go up and the rain starts falling. But more importantly, all of this means that it's also mango season!

May through July is, in my humble opinion, the best time of the year because every mango tree seems to be overflowing with the luscious fruit that comes in countless varieties.

Mangoes are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re also high in fibre and have a low density in calories. I believe they should be included as part of any healthy diet.

In addition to just eating them as a piece of fruit, there are many ways to use mangoes in the kitchen, including this no-bake cheesecake with a mango topping.

No-bake mango cheesecake

1 packet of graham crackers (8-10 pieces)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 sachet gelatin powder
10 ounces heavy cream
10 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
14 ounces (1 can) condensed milk
Juice from 2 lemons
2-3 ripe mangoes
1 tablespoon sugar
Mint leaves for garnish

Crumble the graham crackers to a fine powder using a food processor or put them in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Add the butter and a few splashes of water and blend until the mixture is thick and sticky.

Press the mixture in a shallow 9- or 10-inch dish or pan, making sure it is tight and compact. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Pour the gelatin sachet in a small dish and add a few tablespoons of hot water to dissolve, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to a soft peak and set aside.

Add the cream cheese in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

Add the condensed milk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Fold in the whipped cream and then add the lemon juice (reserving two tablespoons) and hot gelatin. Mix to a smooth consistency.

Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the graham cracker crust and spread out with a spatula.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Peel the mangoes and then cut the flesh off the seed into small cubes. Toss the mango cubes in a bowl with the reserved lemon juice and add a tablespoon of sugar. Refrigerate while cheesecake is setting.

After cheesecake is set, pour the chilled mango mixture over the top. Garnish with a few fresh mint leaves and then serve.

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa Pastry Chef Thomas Zimmermann has written this month's column for Executive Chef Massimo De Francesca.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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