Archives for category: Sweet

Mango tartWell, it’s a fresh mango pie with a toasted coconut crust and lime mascarpone, drizzled with saffron syrup.

I thought I better change up the way I consumed mangos, so I came up with this pie. I can’t be modest right now, it was incredible. Maybe because I’m obsessed with all the ingredients involved, or maybe because it looked beautiful (that yellow/orange, red and green combo, oh yeah). It was one of those rare times when I didn’t think ‘ohh it’s yummy but I would definitely go more ______ when I make it again’.

You could definitely play around with this recipe. I love the honey-like saffron infusion, but using fresh red chili to make a syrup would also be wonderful. Flaky pastry would be good too for a ‘lighter’ option, if you knew of a good pre-made flaky pastry you could make this tart in 10 minutes. I’m a big fan of making my own pastry though, and just quietly, Little and Friday (where I used to work with some of my favourite people in the world, including my little brother ❤ )  pastry recipes are my absolute go to.

mango, lime and saffron

As always the quality of the key ingredient (mango) is essential! If you can’t find good mangos, don’t make this pie. They need to be ripe and flavorsome. Depending on the variety/sweetness of the mango you end up with, I would add or leave out the confectioners sugar in the mascarpone mix. Obviously, if the mango is super sweet and juicy, eliminate most of the sugar in the mascarpone mix.

For the pie crust:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius

1/2 cup flaked coconut

3/4 plain flour

7 tbsp chilled butter, chopped into small chunks

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

Toast coconut in one layer on a pie dish in the oven, for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden. Set aside to cool.

Once the coconut is room temperature (it won’t take long to get there) pulse together flour, coconut, butter, confectioners sugar, and salt in a food processor until dough just begins to form a ball. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of a greased pie dish with floured fingers, then freeze until firm. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes, then cool completely in the pie dish on a rack.

For the rest:

1 large or 2 small, ripe juicy mangos. To prepare them, cut off each end and sit facing upwards, entirely peel and then cut away from the stone as close to it as possible. Slice each side into really, really thin slices. They need to be flexible as to arrange them you will be bending them into S’s!

250g mascarpone

150ml pouring cream

1 lime, rinded and juiced

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

a generous pinch of saffron threads

Beat together mascarpone, pouring cream, lime rind, lime juice and confectioners sugar until thick and silky. Keep in fridge till your ready to use it.

In a saucepan combine granulated sugar, water and saffron. Bring to the boil gently, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down and simmer gently until you have a saffron-infused syrup, thick but not so thick as to turn it to toffee (beware it can happen very quickly). Set aside.

To assemble:

Spread the coconut crust with the lime-mascarpone. Create S shapes with the mangos and position the S’s sideways on the mascarpone filling, so you are looking down as lots of mango S’s. Cover the filling until all the mango is on the pie. Finally, drizzle the pie with the saffron syrup. It is easiest to serve after a half an hour stint in the fridge post-assembly, but if you can’t wait, just enjoy the delicious crumbly mess!


flourless chocolate cake

I used to work at a beautiful boutique winery and restaurant on Waiheke, called The Shed. At the time, the little kitchen was run by Peter Becker, and this is the chocolate cake we would serve.

Late at night, after too much Te Motu cabernet/merlot, my bestie Jess and I would sneak into the kitchen and eat this cake with Kapiti Vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berry coulis. It was heaven. Using good quality chocolate is key, the cake is only as good as the chocolate that makes it. Think Valrhona or Callebaut.

I whipped mascarpone and fresh cream together to make an especially thick, creamy topping but it is just as good served with vanilla ice cream. Fresh raspberries or berry coulis is a must, the tart berries are the perfect companion.

Flourless Chocolate Cake:

preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius

225g butter, cubed

455g very good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup espresso coffee

8 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of flakey salt (I like the way you occasionally get a little burst of salt when you use flakey salt)

To serve:


250 g mascarpone

150ml heavy cream

Whip cream and mascarpone together till thick and silky.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with a parchment round. Baking this cake in a water bath keeps it moist and fudgey, to prepare the water bath cover pan underneath and along sides with foil and set in a roasting pan. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.

Combine the chocolate, butter, and coffee in a metal bowl set over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler. Melt the mixture, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy, about 5 minute; set aside

Meanwhile combine eggs, sugar, vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or by hand if you’re like me and don’t have a single electric kitchen utensil in your tiny kitchen) until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Repeat this process 2 more times – until all of egg mixture has been folded into chocolate mixture, folding in the salt at the same time.

Pour batter into spring-form pan and place in the roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides. Bake until cake has risen slightly and edges are just beginning to set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cake from roasting pan and cool on wire rack for 4 hours.

If you can wait to eat it, refrigerate over night but hey, I’m not judging you.