Jan 10, 2024

Crystelle Pereira’s mango and cardamom cheesecake

"I’m not sure whether you’ll have tried kulfi before, but it's a traditional, rich ice cream found across India, that's usually flavoured with cardamom – and I am obsessed with it," says former Bake Off contestant Crystelle Pereira.

"I once had a mango kulfi in Goa, and it was breathtakingly good. So, this cheesecake is a homage to that kulfi – the rich creaminess coming from the cream cheese, paired with sweet mango and floral notes of cardamom."


For the base:30g pistachios30g desiccated coconut65g unsalted butter (which will be browned so you should end up with 55g)25g coconut oil190g speculoos biscuits

For the cheesecake:10 cardamom pods200ml double cream, cold55g icing sugar1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste600g cream cheese2 tablespoons runny honey185g canned, sweetened mango purée

To decorate:1 fresh mango/1 x 425g (before draining) can of mango1 tablespoon runny honeya small handful of pistachios


1. First make the base. Place the pistachios and desiccated coconut in a frying Pan over a low heat and toast, stirring, for about 7 minutes until the coconut is golden and nutty. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Place the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly until you see it bubble up vigorously with a thick, cappuccino-like foam, and then light brown solids will start to form on the bottom. At this point, take the pan off the heat, stirring for about 30 more seconds, then immediately transfer it to another bowl, making sure to scrape out all the solids from the bottom, as these carry so much flavour. Then, stir through the coconut oil until it has melted in the residual heat.

3. Place the speculoos biscuits in a sealed freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then, add the coconut and pistachios and bash these again to break down the nuts slightly (you can also use a food processor). Tip all the contents into a large bowl and mix with the brown butter and oil until the mixture resembles wet sand.

4. Press this into the base of a 20cm springform cake tin, and use the base of a mug to flatten it down. Transfer to the fridge to chill and harden while you make the cheesecake filling.

5. Place the cardamom pods in a dry frying pan over a low heat and toast, stirring, for about 10 minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and bash to release the seeds from the shells. Discard the shells (I keep mine and add them to my chai), then grind the seeds into a fine powder. You can also grind the whole pods, including the shells, in a spice grinder.

6. In a large bowl, place the double cream, icing sugar, vanilla bean paste and ground cardamom and whisk to fairly stiff peaks.

7. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, runny honey and 150g of the mango purée and whisk well to combine. Then, fold through the whipped cream into this cream cheese mixture in three parts, until no streaks remain.

8. Remove the base from the fridge and pour half the cheesecake mixture over the top. Then, swirl through half the remaining mango purée and use a knife or skewer to swirl this through the mixture. Then repeat with the remaining cheesecake mixture and mango purée and use an offset spatula to level the top. Place in the fridge for 6–8 hours, or ideally overnight, until completely set.

9. To serve, run a palette knife or offset spatula around the rim of the cheesecake and then carefully release the springform tin and slide off the metal base.

10. Thinly slice fresh (or canned) mango, and arrange on top of the cheesecake, drizzle over some honey, and sprinkle with pistachios, then slice and serve.

Flavour Kitchen: Vibrant Recipes with Creative Twists by Crystelle Pereira is published by Kyle Books, priced £22. Photography by Vanessa Lewis. Available Now.

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Ingredients: For the base: For the cheesecake: To decorate: Method: Flavour Kitchen: Vibrant Recipes with Creative Twists by Crystelle Pereira is published by Kyle Books, priced £22. Photography by Vanessa Lewis. Available Now.