Fish & Shellfish
Puddings & Desserts
I’m gearing up for my first cookery demo of the summer this Saturday (25th May, 1pm), at the Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival in the lovely grounds of the castle. One of the three recipes I’ll be demonstrating is this fab dessert, made using ripe, juicy mango served with a really fantastic lime dressing. Two other ingredients make the dressing stand out - cardamom, and a sprinkle of mint sugar at the end. If you think you don’t like cardamom it might be because you’ve only ever had the whole pods in Indian dishes, but please do try this - the seeds are ground to a paste and they add an amazing extra level of flavour to the finished dish.
The mint sugar (made just by whizzing caster sugar with sprigs of fresh mint) will keep for at least a week if you dry it out on plate overnight, so it’s worth making extra and using it to sprinkle over everything from a gooseberry crumble to a bowl of strawberries.
What I love about the recipe is that you can turn it into a super-delicious salad dressing too (minus the mint sugar, obviously!), just by whisking in some olive oil and a little dijon mustard.
Extra tip: I have sliced the mango for the photo here, but if you prefer you can do what I will do to make it easy for the audience at my Tonbridge cookery demo to sample it, and make mango cubes instead. To do this, use the ‘hedgehog’ method: Slice the ‘cheeks’ from either side of the central stone, then score first one way through the flesh and then the other to make a criss-cross pattern (don’t slice through the skin). Press the skin inside out so that the cubes stand proud, then simply slice them off into a bowl with a sharp knife.
First, make the mint sugar by whizzing the caster sugar and 8 of the mint leaves in a mini food processor until the mint is fairly finely ground (see A Cook's Plot Tip if you want to make extra to use another time). Then peel the mango, cut the 'cheeks' from both sides and slice them. Set aside in a serving bowl.
To make the dressing, mix the orange and lime juices with the remaining 8 mint leaves and the honey. Split the cardamom pods with a sharp knife, scrape the seeds into a small pestle and mortar and pound them until you have a fine powder. Add to the dressing then pour it over the mango. Sprinkle over the mint sugar just before serving.
To make extra mint sugar, increase the quantity of sugar and mint, and after you've whizzed the two together spread out on a dinner plate to dry out overnight. The next day, it will have formed clumps so whizz it in a food processor again to break it all up, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.