Cold desserts don't really feature in typical Nigerian cuisine. In fact, I have always thought that there is plenty of room for innovation as far as Nigerian dessert in general is concerned. With the wide variety of fresh fruit out there, surely there are a million ways to turn them into super creative sweet treats.
I ran a quick Google search for 'Nigerian desserts' the other day and came across suggestions such as meat pie (what?!) and coconut candy (getting warmer). A few might disagree but I don't think that snacky food like puff puff or chin chin should count as dessert. It'll be interesting to hear your take on that.
This recipe is pretty straightforward and only requires a bit of patience as you wait for it to set in the freezer. I've saved extra time by using shop-bought ginger biscuits for the base and topping. If you've got some extra time on your hands, then it'll be even better to use home-made ginger cookies or any other vegan-friendly biscuit type you wish to use. You'll need a standard-sized baking tin.
(serves about 8)
- 2 large ripe mangoes
- 3/4 cup ground almonds or ground peanuts
- 1 tin coconut milk (refrigerated overnight to form coconut cream)
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 packet ginger biscuits (finely crushed)
To make the base/topping, crush the ginger biscuits into fine crumbs and mix with the 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Place about 3/4 of the mixture into a baking tin and flatten out evenly to cover the bottom of the tin. Save the remaining 1/4 of the crushed ginger biscuits for the topping.
To make the mango cream filling, peel and dice one of the mangoes and place in a food blender along with the ground almonds/peanuts and coconut cream (by chilling a tin of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, you'll be left with a substantial layer of creamy coconut fat that separates from the water and solidifies - this is the part you want to scoop out and use). Blend for a couple of minutes to get a smooth mixture. Pour this mixture over the biscuit layer and pop it into the freezer for two hours or until the mango cream has set.
Peel and cut the second mango into shapes and use to create a design. I've gone for this flower-looking-thing, but go ahead and create whatever design you want. The aim is to have some fresh mango sitting on the top to emphasise the general mango-ness of the dessert (ha! points for how inarticulate this paragraph is...)
Sprinkle the rest of the ginger biscuit crumbs over the top, then pop the whole thing back in the freezer for an extra hour or so to let it set properly.
Bring it out a few minutes before you're ready to serve so that it melts slightly and is easier to cut through. Enjoy!