Mango creams: failure, and a really delectable silver lining

Chronicles of mango cream chocolate failure, take two.

So, if you remember, my first attempt at mango cream chocolate didn’t succeed because the frozen mango chunks ended up really lacking in flavor. Which surprised me, but maybe it shouldn’t have, because one thing the mango ice cream recipes all said was that it was essential to use really ripe, flavorful mangoes to get good mango ice cream — unlike, say, passionfruit, where the flavor and tang seem to cut through effectively even with a relatively weak puree.

So for try #2, I went with mango pulp (Kesar was what I had on hand, though I think Roshani prefers a different brand?), which I’ve found reliable for flavor in mango fluff, mango smoothies, mango lassi, etc. So the next problem was consistency — I wanted something that would set up into a firm cream.

On googling, I found some recipes that combined mango with cream cheese, so I tried that first, but putting in enough pulp to get the flavor I wanted resulted in a very liquid-y mixture that would definitely not set firm. I didn’t want to waste it, so I thought I’d try combining that with a sugar paste like the one I’d done for the rose creams — beaten egg whites and powdered sugar. One photo here shows the color — pure mango pulp on the left, my mixture on the right.

Unfortunately, while the resulting mixture was tasty, it still didn’t set firmly enough. As you can see, when you try to slice it, it spurts messily all over the place. Sort of like how a cherry cordial behaves, but even more so. And it tastes good, but the proportions are off — it’s too much chocolate to the amount of mango in the filled chocolate (and I can’t fill it more without it failing to seal).

Plus, the chocolates are too big to easily eat in one bite; you really do need to be able to bite them in half, and then take a second bite. This size mold worked great for the chocolates I filled with the passionfruit / ginger / cashew paste, but it’s just failing for this on all fronts.

All is not lost. The resulting mango cream, when frozen, is delicious enough that I want to just eat it with a spoon. I have a plate full of these chocolates, and my plan is to make another batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, freeze the chocolates and chop them up, and then stir that mixture into the soft-serve vanilla ice cream, along with the rest of the mango filling (which I’ll thaw first, for ease of stirring in).

And then I’ll freeze that all together, and I should have a really delectable vanilla / ruby chocolate / mango ice cream to serve at some special occasion.

Mango creams, though — I’m going to have to experiment a little more. I do really like the fruitiness of the ruby chocolate with the mango, so I want to keep those elements. I see two options:

a) I could buy mango extract and use it with powdered sugar and egg white to make a mango sugar-paste, the way I did with the rose creams, but the reviews of mango extracts on Amazon seem very not promising — if anyone here (Carollina, Pooja, Roshani) has a brand they actually like, I’d love to know. For that approach, I probably wouldn’t use the molds — I’d just dip in melted chocolate, the way I did for the rose creams. That should help with proportions being right.

b) I could experiment further to make a cream that actually sets using mango pulp, to use in molded chocolates. I’m not sure what the right approach would be there, honestly. Gelatin, perhaps? It would help it set, but the consistency might end up more of a mango jelly than a mango cream — maybe that’s fine, though. The goal is just to have something firm that would stand up to biting into.

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