Last week I wrote about the challenge of finding healthy ingredients while we are in Central America. The other conundrum we have is the lack of gadgetry and common kitchen utensils. I didn’t think I was hugely reliant on gadgets for preparing food but oh boy what I would do right now to have my food processor, a sharp kitchen knife… even a whisk! Luckily a blender seems to be a common kitchen appliance used mainly for making jugo [juice] consisting of puréed fruit, very similar to a smoothie.
The blender gets a lot of use including our daily breakfast smoothie (HERE is our favourite combo), chilled cucumber soup, watercress pesto, and pureed mango for this divine birthday cake to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday. However, a blender ain’t quite like a food processor with its narrow base so the chopping of the nuts and dates had to be done by hand. Thanks to my sister, also a budding foodie, for her lovely hands in the photos.
Today we are packing for the last leg of our trip – 2 weeks in Havana, Cuba. During this time we will have very limited internet access (even less than Colombia) so things will be a little quieter around here. Although I do have a delicious recipe to share next week using Colombian cacao, and then a special quest post from another of my favourite NZ food bloggers. So don’t go far. *For more photos of our trip and food inspiration you can follow along on Instagram HERE.
This decadent frozen cheesecake is lighter than a baked cheesecake with a combination of natural yogurt and mascarpone and sweetened with honey. It can be made with any seasonal or frozen fruit replacing the mango with 1 1/2 cups fruit i.e. berries; very ripe stone fruit; apricots, peaches, cherries; persimmon etc. This recipe makes a large cake perfect for sharing with family and friends.
Inspired from this recipe by Green Kitchen Stories
Makes 12 serves.
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup brazil nuts
1 cup dried dates* (or 10 medjool dates)
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
2 cups natural unsweetened yogurt
200g mascarpone or cream cheese
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 very-large mango or 2 small mangos
3 Tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime
Lightly grease a 25cm spring-form cake tin with coconut oil.
Either by hand or in a food processor, coarsely chop the nuts and dates. Add the salt and coconut oil mixing to combine. Tip into the prepared cake tin and press evenly into the base. Place the tin in the freezer while preparing the filling.
Whisk together the yogurt and mascarpone with the honey and vanilla until smooth. Remove the flesh from the mango (see pictures for an easy technique) and puree in a blender with the honey and lime juice until smooth. Check taste adding more honey or lime if needed. Remove the tin from the freezer and pour the yoghurt mix over the base. Slowly pour over the mango puree in a spiral. Use a kebab stick to carefully swirl the mango into the yogurt. Don’t over mix here. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.
When ready to serve remove from the freezer and thaw for 5 minutes to make it easier to remove the sides of the tin. Slice into wedges to serve, storing any leftover in the freezer.
*Tip: If needed soften dried dates first by covering with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly through a sieve.