Photo by Catherine
Catherine is back, after taking a few weeks off to breathe in renovation dust. After lamenting that she couldn't find Alphonso mango puree and had to use beautiful frozen mangoes and that she didn't bother to cut the ladyfingers in half, resulting in a too-thick crust, and that her pan was the wrong size, she shows a perfectly lovely piece of cheesecake. She'd "definitely like to make this again with better mango flavour and more cheesecake," but she acknowledged that the cake is "incredibly cheery-looking with its sunny doona of mango gel." ("Doona" is Australian slang for a blanket--I had to look it up).
Vicki also made a beautiful cheesecake, and, although she loved the cake, her real enthusiasm went to the Indian grocery store, where she roamed the aisles, taking pictures of the "vegetables [she'd] never seen," the "rows of pulses," the "jewelry to go with saris," the "Indian DVDs and medicine," and the "amazing ice cream flavors." All that, and she walked out with one can of canned mango pulp. And the cheesecake was "mango heaven on a fork!"
Nancy made this cheesecake last summer for her birthday, but still had her photos and notes, so she could blog about it this summer. Canned mango pulp is a "semi-regular purchase" for Nancy (do you make mango lassis?), so she knew just where to head, and she bought three cans of the recommended brand. (Eat your heart out, Catherine!) Nancy didn't think the ladyfinger base added anything, but the cheesecake had "excellent flavor," "with the mango blogs and topping giving a nice flavorful burst. She served hers with raspberries on the side, but thought it would also "have been wonderful with some of Rose's raspberry sauce."
I think that Rachel gets the prize for the best story this week. You know the old excuse--the dog ate my homework? It turns out that dogs eat the genoise too. Yes, Rachel ambitiously started out by making her own genoise for the base, and then she left the house with the genoise cooling on the counter. When she returned, there was no genoise, but a very happy-looking dog. Her Plan B was the ladyfinger aisle at the grocery store. Rachel had planned ahead and bought mango pulp on Amazon, and she had no more disasters, Everyone liked this "sweet, sweet mango with some lemony tartness set off in creamy cheesecake, with a spongy ladyfinger base." And a satisfied family (not to mention a satisfied family dog).
Rosa also made her Mango Bango cheesecake a while ago. You can always count on Rosa for lovely decoration. This time she kept her piping equipment in the bag, and decorated with fruit, so not only did her cheesecake have the mango topping, but it was also topped with kiwi, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. Rosa thought the fruit just intensified the mango flavor, which was itself intensified by being concentrated "before streaking it through the filling, which then formed lovely stratalike little pools of intense mango flavor."
Kristina either has a lot of natural energy or she's using some amazing drug. She blogged about three things she'd baked in the past week--not only the mango cheesecake, but also the raisin bread and the sweet cherry pie. She also announced in said blog that she'd just run her first 5k race and started a new job. Fortunately, the new workplace also has a designated treat table, and Kristina promptly filled it with the mango cheesecake, which was "definitely a hit." She used 0% fat yogurt instead of full-fat, so tasters commented that it didn't taste as rich as regular cheesecake, but it sounds like that was a plus, not a minus.
Like some other bakers, Phing's main difficulties were with the mango search. Apparently the Alphonso mango season is over (who knew?) and none of the Indian stores Phing went to had canned mango pulp. She enlisted a mango posse, and ended up with some fresh Banganapalli mangoes. (See what you learn by being an Alpha baker?) She also baked the sponge cake base instead of going with store-bought ladyfingers, and either she doesn't have a dog or her dog is better behaved than Rachel's, because she was able to use the "velvety" cake as the base. The result - "every bite was like a mango explosion. The sharp sweet note of the mango with the mellow taste of the cheese." Definitely a success.
Next week we're back on the blessed quick and easy list, with molasses butter cookies. (Jenn, don't make these cookies! They're molasses, and you hate molasses!)
After the cheesecake, we're on the home stretch! Only 25 recipes left to bake, so if you've been on the fence about baking, consider getting in on the action while you still can.