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Spicy mango popsicle (Paletas de mango con chile)

When we think of ice creams we naturally think of Italian gelatos. However, travelling in Mexico made me realize that it is a culture full of paletas, or popsicles. Sold in stores on every corner, in push carts and ever-present, it is part of the culture of the nation. Today fancy gelaterias are popping up, especially in the larger cities frequented by tourists, but they always have a large selection of fruity paletas available to complement the need for chocolate.

Mexican paletas are usually fruit-based, given the tropical climate the fruit are bursting with sweetness and flavour and make for excellent treats. The other common options are based on local ingredients, cajeta (a caramel sauce), coffee, and the popular horchata.

This is a lovely fruit stick with sweetness from the mango and a burst of spice from the chillies. The combination is magic and quite addictive. Most of the streetside vendors use a common chilli flake but for this recipe, the chef uses guajillo and spicy arbol chillies that give a very unique Mexican flavour. You can adjust the spice level to your liking but do not make it too spicy.

This is a wonderful book from the famed restaurant in San Francisco. I love the recipes and flavours in this book. The chef has compiled a wonderful selection of recipes, both traditional and contemporary to make your palate happy and get rid of those cravings for great Mexican food. This is a book I love to cook from.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


4 cups mango pulp

1/4 cup orange juice

Agave nectar or superfine sugar as needed

1/2 teaspoon salt

Chile powder, see recipe

Chile powder:

2 arbol chilies

1 guajillo chile

Start by making the chile powder. Heat the chillies on a dry frying pan till toasted and smoking slightly. Cool and blitz in a spice grinder to a flaky powder.

Purèe the mangoes to a smooth pulp. Pass the pulp through a fine mesh sieve to remove any fibres that may still be present. Mix in the orange juice, salt and 1/2 teaspoon chile powder. Taste and adjust for sweetness with sugar. Stir well to make sure the sugar melts completely. However, add only enough sugar t accent the mangoes, not drown out the flavours, I usually add about 1+ tablespoon. Taste for spice, it should be as bold as you like. remember, the ice cream will get spicier with time.

Freeze in popsicle moulds.

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