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Alphonso mango Fool

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Yes, I am a fool for mango and here is the best mango fool recipe you will have!

Mangoes are flooding the markets, the prices are dropping and I cannot go to the market and come back with bags full of them in all their sweet glory. According to the National Horticulture Board, there are over 1500+ varieties of mangoes and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are the little green ones that go into pickles, the ones that you make juice from and of course the eating variety. The Alphonso is, of course, the king, bright yellow in colour, a buttery soft flesh without any fibre, an irresistible aroma that floods the house and a sweetness that is unforgettable.

A fool is a British dessert that was first created with gooseberries by the mysterious chef WM who made this dessert for King Charles II (1660-1685). 250 years later the recipe was also published by John Mollard in his book, The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined. Over the years the recipe has stayed the same, but new variations with other fruit have emerged, like this mango fool. The concept of this dessert is very simple, Cook or purée the fruit and then cover it with cream. But these simple recipes have evolved to more complex flavours today.

This dessert is a delight for mango lovers and steps away from the more traditional mango purèe that is so easily available in India, usually served with deep-fried puris. This dessert is nuanced with lime, juice and zest, and toasted coconut and milk. The result is a lovely rich dessert with soft textures and a bite from the coconut. The cream-coconut milk foam is rich and brings out the flavours of the Alphonso mangoes. Yes, you will go overboard on this dessert, just as I always do.

This book tends to hide in my collection and whenever I see it I tend to find a wonderful recipe in it. Most recipes are simple to make but the dishes are spectacular. Cal set up his career at Chez Panisse in Berkley, and his cuisine reflects the clean, light farm-to-table cooking of the restaurant. Cal is an expert in designing fabulous dishes, and like this soup, unique. I love the way he combines flavours, textures and colours for a dish that stuns. I should be cooking from here and his other cookbooks more often.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


10 mangoes, preferably Alphonso

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 2 limes

4-5 teaspoons sugar

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup desiccated coconut powder

8 shavings of desiccated coconut

Peel and cube 8 mangoes and add the juice of 1 lime and 3-4 teaspoons of sugar and purèe to a smooth pulp in a blender. Taste for sweetness and tartness. You want the mango flavours to be dominant and not drowned out by the sugar. Set aside in the fridge to chill.

Cube 2 mangoes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar and the lime zest. Set aside in the fridge to chill.

Toast the desiccated coconut powder till lightly coloured, about 20 seconds. Toast the desiccated coconut shavings too. Set aside.

Mix the cream and coconut and 3 teaspoons of the desiccated coconut powder. Whip with a hand blender till you have soft peaks. Set it in the fridge to chill.

To assemble, add a generous layer of the mango purèe to the bottom of a small glass, with or without a stem. Layer with some of the cream, but keep it light. Top with the cubed mango. Garnish with a pinch of the toasted coconut and top with chunks of mango and 2 slices of the desiccated coconut. Finish all 6-7 glasses in this manner. Serve chilled.

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