Photo credit: Stephan Andrew
Photo credit: Stephan Andrew

I look forward to the summer for one reason alone — mangoes. I mean let’s face it, heat and power outages are hardly to be desired, but the availability of sweet and juicy mangoes makes it all just a little bit bearable. There’s nothing quite like eating a mango out of hand, even better if someone else is willing to cut it into little cubes for you and present it in a bowl with a fork (yes, I’m lazy like that)! But there is something to be said for using the king of fruit in a special dessert which could be the centrepiece at a summer brunch or a light dessert after a heavy dinner.

The dessert I have in mind is easy on the eyes and absolutely delicious: a mango and coconut tart. It capitalises on two typically summery flavours and the tart is quite exotic while also being familiar. There are three components to the mango and coconut tart: the tart base, the coconut mousse filling and the mango topping. All are fairly simple to execute and come together to form a stunning dessert.

MANGO AND COCONUT TART

TART BASE

INGREDIENTS

142g flour
85g salted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
53g icing sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Almond powder 18g (if you don’t have access to almond powder, you can make your own by blanching almonds, drying them and then grinding them into a fine powder)
32g eggs (to weigh your eggs, simply break them into a bowl and whisk them; then put another bowl on a weighing scale and measure out how much you need)

Round off a heavy dinner with this light dessert using the king of fruit

METHOD

Put the flour, butter, icing sugar, salt and almond powder into a food processor and process until the mixture looks like sand (be careful not to over process). Add the eggs and process only until the mixture starts forming clumps. Put the clumps on a clean kitchen counter and bring together into a ball of dough. Flatten the dough into a four-inch circle, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 160 degrees C and grease a tart pan. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it into a large circle (the ideal size is at least two inches larger than the diameter of your tart pan). Set the dough in the pan and trim off any excess dough on the sides (this dough has no water in it, therefore, it will not shrink during baking). Use the tines of a fork to poke holes all over the base, refrigerate the unbaked tart for 15 minutes and then bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the base is a light golden brown and leaves the edges of the tart pan. Cool at room temperature and store in an air tight container. This entire process can be completed one or two days in advance.

COCONUT MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS

38g water
40g sugar
20g grated coconut (toasted) — do not use desiccated coconut in this recipe
79g coconut milk
10g gelatin powder (combine with a few tablespoons of cold water and refrigerate at least 10 minutes prior to starting the recipe)
260g heavy cream (whipped to soft peaks)

METHOD

Put the water, sugar, grated coconut and coconut milk into a saucepan and warm the mixture (don’t boil it). When the mixture is warm, put in the gelatin and whisk together to ensure that there are no lumps. Then cool the mixture down (you can do this by putting it over a cold bath, i.e. a bowl of water with ice cubes in it). Finally, fold in the whipped cream in two lots with a spatula. Put the mousse into the cooled tart base and run an offset spatula over the top to ensure that the mousse is levelled with the tart. Chill for at least two hours before putting on the mango topping.

MANGO TOPPING

INGREDIENTS

3-4 large mangos

METHOD

Slice the mangoes lengthways on all four sides and discard the stone (I don’t mean throw it away — I mean enjoy licking all the pulp off of it!). Lie each of the four pieces on the cutting board and cut into thin, long slices. Next, decorate the tart with the mangoes starting from the outer edge and working your way in. Overlap the mangoes as you work your way in to create a beautiful flower like design (refer to the picture if you need some help!).

The writer holds a diploma in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu

Published in Dawn, EOS, July 28th, 2019