Cheung Chau, the island in Hong Kong where I live, is a major snack food destination for urban Hongkongers. Day trippers come to take selfies with skewers of deep-fried fishballs, slurp on lurid ice granitas and brave the cheesy baked oysters that are hawked from stalls along the seafront. A year or two ago somebody decided to add mango mochi (sticky rice dumplings filled with a chunk of fresh mango) to the growing list of ‘traditional’ snacks on offer, and the flour-dusted sweets are now sold across the island.
September in Hong Kong is still pretty steamy, and a few days ago I found myself daydreaming of replacing the mango with a scoop of cold, fruity ice cream. Yum. I’ve been experimenting today and have discovered, a) that I have a terrible weakness for this dairy-free mango ice cream, and b) that there’s more to making mochi than meets the eye. It’s a good job that I like mochi (a lot), because I managed to cover most of my kitchen and a good part of myself in globs of wobbly mochi mix and a fine dusting of cornflour…
So! While Part 2 needs a bit more work, I proudly present Part 1: Mango Dream Ice Cream.
Mango Ice Cream
From the market:
A big mango – mine weighed 600g and yielded 400g of pulp
From the cupboard/supermarket:
120ml coconut cream
1 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot
A pinch of salt
1. Mix the cornflour/arrowroot with 1 tbsp coconut cream and set aside. Then set about dissecting your mango – slice off the cheeks and either score the flesh in each cheek with a knife and scoop the cubes into a blender jug, or just set about it with a spoon. Use the spoon to scoop any remaining flesh from around the stone into the jug. Blend to a smooth pulp.
2. Pour the pulp into a saucepan and add the remaining coconut cream, sugar and salt, then squeeze in the lime juice. Stir to incorporate and taste – you can see from the black spots in the picture above that my mango was super-ripe, so you may need to add more sugar if your mango wasn’t quite as sweet. Heat the pan over a medium flame until the first bubbles appear, then turn down the heat and scrape the cornflour/arrowroot slurry into the saucepan and stir. Continue to heat gently for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture looks like bright yellow custard.
3. I don’t have an ice cream maker, so at this point I simply bunged the mango mix into the freezer and stirred it every 30-40 minutes, scraping down any icy bits until the mix had frozen properly. This process took about four hours, at which point I stopped
caring checking. After a few more hours in the freezer, the final ice cream was creamy, mangoey and pleasingly scoopable.
- The recipe is fairly robust, so you can play around with the quantities quite a bit and it will still taste yummy, although the consistency might change unexpectedly (in particular, reduce the sugar content and you’ll end up with a block of mango-flavoured ice)…
- If you want to make sure that your ice cream keeps a softer consistency stir a little alcohol through it before freezing – 1 tablespoon of vodka or rum per pint ought to help
- Ripe mangoes are much easier to scoop out, so this ice cream is a good way to use up over-ripe fruit.