Mango, Vanilla, Ginger: an experiment

For my birthday, my thoughtful husband gifted me two of renowned pastry chef Cedric Grolet’s books: Fruit and Opera. So of course the first thing I had to do was find a recipe I could make immediately. Mango is one of my absolute favorite things, and lucky for me, there are several mango recipes! So I settled on a recipe I found in Fruit: Mango, Vanilla, and Ginger (it’s on page 161 for further reference). This little treat has a mango and ginger center on top of an almond dacquoise all covered with a whipped white chocolate ganache.

 I had to substitute several things in this recipe that I either couldn’t get in time or just couldn’t find. The mango centers called for mango puree, mango chunks, and ginger vinegar. Ginger vinegar on its own was difficult for me to find, but I had stemmed ginger in a syrup and added a little bit of the syrup to the recipe with the honey, ginger, apple vinegar that I did find. I also added a little bit of stemmed ginger to the mix as well. The centers were good, but I think I needed a stronger mango flavor. Perhaps I needed to wait until my mangoes were a touch more ripe.

 I really like a good dacquoise, and this one had a great flavor. A dacquoise is really just a meringue with nuts folded into it and then baked. I ended up having to bake mine a bit longer than the recipe called for, but I eventually reached the slightly crunchy texture I was looking for.

 The whipped white chocolate ganache was incredible. It was so smooth, light, creamy, and just perfect for this recipe. The amount of vanilla called for is… a lot, to put it mildly, but wow what a flavor and texture. Absolutely worth the five vanilla beans. Beautiful.

 I don’t have the size of molds called for in the recipe, but I made do with what I did have. A mini muffin tin took the place of a 1.75 inch silicone half dome mold. Not a perfect workaround, but definitely good enough for the first go of it! I also didn’t have the right sized silicone dome mold for the final product, so I used what I did have and cut the dacquoise into the right size for my silicone mold.

 The final product is wonderfully delicious and such a balanced dessert. The crunch from the dacquoise offsets the creamy lightness of the ganache. The bite from the ginger is cooled down from the vanilla, and the mango just adds a little punch to it all. I have a very loose ranking system for the things I make, and this one is pretty high up there for me. I’ll absolutely be making it again, working on finessing the final product. I’ll just remember to use more ripe mangoes in the future.