Lil Chickie Mango Puddings

I have an awkward confession: I hated mango as a child. Something about fruits with a scratchy, fibrous texture that just did not agree with me back then – 8 year old Fred was looking at you too, pineapple. Because of that, I never really understood was mangos tasted like until I was maybe around 15 years old, when I tasted one for the first time with a more open-minded palate. I still remember how pleasantly surprised I was. They were juicy, soft, and very sweet. Now I have had unripe mangos too, which were beyond sour, but a ripe mango, I can really get behind. I won’t try to lie and say that I grew up loving mango pudding, because simply put, I did not. However, once I got the taste for mangos, I came to really appreciate them. Mango sticky rice in particular is now one of my absolute favorite desserts! And I do appreciate a good mango pudding here and there when I am sitting at a dim sum restaurant. Custardy, silky, and with the pleasant sweetness of mango, there really is a lot to love there! And that was why I wanted to translate mango pudding into something super cute and fun. Hence why I came up with these lil’ chickie mango puddings!

For the components, we have a coconut jaconde sponge cake, a mango pudding core, a mango mousse, and we are using almonds to create the beak and wings for the chicklets. Jaconde is a sponge cake that uses almond flour, and in this recipe’s case, coconut flour, to create a fluffy but toothsome cake. I used no regular flour in this, since I wanted the dessert to be 100% gluten-free! I soaked the cake in a salted coconut milk, just to tie back in the coconut flavor, while also using coconut oil in the batter to really reinforce a more natural coconut taste throughout. For the mango pudding, it is set with gelatin, and thickened with an egg yolk. I took a portion of that mango pudding base and blended it with more mango, and folded in fresh cream, just to form a mango pudding mousse to act like the body of the chickies. As an easy garnish, the almonds and almond flakes not only look like beaks, but they also tie back in with the almond used in the jaconde sponge. I used a little activated charcoal as well, just to resemble the eyes in the puddings.

For the coconut jaconde:
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, whip egg whites with sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks. In another bowl, combine everything else together. Fold the egg whites through the coconut flour mixture to form your batter. Spread onto a lined quarter sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down the cake completely and then cut into 3-inch disks.

For the soak
1/4 cup coconut milk
a pinch of salt

Mix together to form your soak. Brush against the cake rounds.

For the mango pudding core:
3oz fresh mango
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp cold water
a pinch of salt

In a blender, puree the mango with coconut milk until fully blended together. Pour into a pot and bring up to a simmer. In another bowl, whisk together the other ingredients. Pour half of the mango-coconut mixture into the egg mixture and then pour everything into the pot. Whisk on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Reserve 1/4 cup of the base for the mousse, then pour the rest into 1-inch silicone half sphere molds. Place into the freezer and freeze until fully set.

For the mango mousse:
1/4 cup mango pudding base(it’s okay if this set solid)
3oz fresh mango
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff

Place the mango pudding base into a blender with the fresh mango, coconut milk, and gelatin powder. Puree together until fully combined. Pour into a pot and heat up for 2 minutes on low heat, just to guarantee that the gelatin is fully melted into the base. Pour into a container and allow the mixture to cool down before folding in the whipped cream to form your mousse.

For initial assembly:
Pipe the mango mousse into 4-inch half sphere molds. Press in the mango pudding cores, then the cake rounds. Freeze solid.

To garnish:
1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whole almonds
Flaked almonds

Mix together the charcoal powder and water to form an edible “paint”. Paint on the eyes using a chopstick. Allow your mousses to come up to room temperature so that they are sold to the touch. Press in the almonds to form your beaks and the almond flakes against the sides to form your “wings” to finish.

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