Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mango Cheese Cake with Mango Spheres

So, the Molecular Gastronomy learning process is happening. My second attempt was to do a mango cheese cake (it is mango season...) and accompany the cheese cake slice with a Mango Sphere. I used Jozef Youssef Molecular Gastronomy at Home book (a Firefly book) and the not always willing help of the current wife. As she thinks is a chemist, an engineer, a rocket scientist or the reincarnation of Einstein... I decided to invite her to participate in this new venture (also I have to admit...just in case of tremendous failure I can always blame her).

For the mango cheese cake I used my recipe (here) and instead of Grand Marnier I used the pulp of fresh Manila Mangoes. For the topping I used more mango pulp but with some unflavored gelatin. As you can see from the pictures it was a success. The mango cheesecake is a fantastic Summer dessert and the addition of the mango sphere is just gravy (literally).  I called the dessert a success as our friend Betty not only ate it but actually she liked it -and she is hard to please when experimenting with flavors or textures-. It was a big risk but I could always blame the wife.

So... this is it. The molecular gastronomy ingredients you can buy on line Molecule-R products, and they are not paying me to advertise or at any other store that I don't know of... I'm just being a nice guy. It sounds harder than it is, honest. Try it and you will see. Any comments (besides the archaic semi-cousin of mine who only understands food if its cook as his grandma used to or Cosmo magazine suggests). Enjoy then:

Mango Cheese Cake with Mango Spheres

Serves 12 but the spherification is only for 4 spheres at the time

Cheesecake Ingredients:

1 Cheesecake
2 Mangoes (The pulp of Fresh Manila Mangoes)
1 Tbsp Honey

Cheesecake Topping

1/4 Cup of water
1 box of Knox or any unflavored gelatin
2 Manila Mangoes (the pulp of)

The Mango Spheres:

1 tsp (5 g) Calcium Lactate
2 Cups (500 ml) Water
1/2 tsp (2.5 g) sodium alginate
1 Cup 100% Mango juice (mango nectar, no additives like sugar, flavors, etc)


1. For the cheesecake just follow my cheesecake recipe substituting the Grand Marnier with the mango pulp which should be folded in at the very last step before putting in the oven.

2. While the cheesecake bakes we'll prepare the toping: in a medium pan warm the water and incorporate the Knox gelatin until fully dissolved, then add the mango pulp and mix again. Allow it to "cook" for 10 minutes or so in a medium-low heat, then remove and allow it to cool at room temperature.

3. When the cheesecake is ready and cool, the mango gelatin should be ready... it is going to be dense though. If the cheesecake is not 100% cool pouring the gelatin will destroy the cake. Pour it slowly so it doesn't spill and allow it to sit, room temperature for at least 2 hours, then move the cake to the fridge.

4. Now the Mango Spheres part:

You will need four glass containers: one for the mango juice, one for the calcium lactate, one for the sodium alginate and one for the water bath.
Drop the mango juice into the Calcium

1. Prepare the calcium bath by whisking the calcium lactate into the water in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a blender (I use a hand held immersion blender) mix the sodium alginate with 1/2 of the mango juice. Mix for about 3 minutes so the sodium alginate is 100% dissolved. The less air bubbles the better.

3. Add the other half of the mango juice to our sodium alginate mix and mix again with a whisk.

4. Using a measuring spoon (I use the 1/2 tablespoon size) and scoop up
Drop it carefully!
some mango juice mixture and gently pour it into the calcium bath leaving the bubble to "cook" for about 1 minute (no more!!!!). With your slotted spoon move the liquid around the bubble so it cooks evenly.

5. Using the same slotted spoon, remove the mango bubble and transfer it to a clean water bath and move it again with the spoon so the bubble gets "clean" of any excess calcium.

6. Remove from the water and use immediately. I used this time a Japanese spoon (it must have a name but I just don't know it).

7. Enjoy!!
Remove the mango bubble...

Transfer to a clean bath...

Carefully drop it on a spoon...

Final Presentation...