Mango chilli

Mango chilli

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

This is an experiment in balancing tastes. I’ve combined something cold with raised spicy heat levels, and have tried to harmonise taste and temperature by introducing sweetness. The level of spicy heat, although heightened and placed out of context, is intended to be enjoyed.

For the mango ice cream


Quantity Ingredient
720ml milk
2 eggs
285g sugar
240ml thickened cream
900g mango flesh, pureed
80ml lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the palm sugar custard

Quantity Ingredient
250ml coconut milk
50ml milk
80g palm sugar, chopped
1 egg
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For caramelising white chocolate

Quantity Ingredient
160g white chocolate, chopped, (the higher the fat content the better)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2-3 teaspoons chilli oil, (see note) to serve
nasturtium flowers, to garnish


  1. Make the mango ice cream:
  2. Heat the milk to near boiling point. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Pour the hot milk over the eggs and mix together well. Transfer to a clean saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly (it will be thinner than a normal crème anglaise). Sit a clean bowl over an ice bath and strain the custard into the bowl. When cool, whisk in the cream, mango, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Make the palm sugar custard:
  4. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish. Put the coconut milk, milk and palm sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over medium heat, stirring to melt the palm sugar. Whisk the egg and yolks together in a bowl and stir the milk mixture into this. Strain to remove bits of egg which may not have been beaten into the mixture. Add the ground ginger and pour into the oiled dish. Leave for 30 minutes and then scoop off any foam that may have settled on the surface of the custard. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Put the custard dish in a larger roasting tin. Pour enough hot water into the tin to reach two-thirds of the way up the side of the custard dish. Bake for 30–40 minutes until there is a slight wobble in the centre of the custard. Check after 20 minutes or so, as everyone has different ovens and ovenproof dishes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water bath. This is nice served warm.
  5. Caramelise the white chocolate:
  6. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Put the chocolate and salt in a thick metal baking tin or metal ovenproof dish. Put in the oven until the chocolate softens, then take it out and spread it about to create a better surface area for caramelising. Return it to the oven for up to 1 hour, stirring it at intervals until it turns a uniform colour of peanut butter. The chocolate may become dry and chalky over time but stirring will smooth it out. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature and solidify before use.
  7. Assemble the dish:
  8. The aim is to spread the elements around the plate so that the diner tastes some spicy heat alternating with comforting sweetness. Scoop a couple of small spoonfuls of custard onto each serving plate and crumble some of the caramelised white chocolate on top. Add a scoop of mango ice cream and a few droplets of chilli oil, not intermingling with each other. Decorate with petals of nasturtium flowers, if you like.

To make chilli oil

  • To make chilli oil, snip the stems o”ff 50 g dried red chillies and halve them. Shake out and discard the seeds. Crush the chillies into smaller pieces in a food processor and put in a heatproof bowl. Heat 250 ml of peanut oil to 140°C and pour over the chillies: they will sizzle and toast. Set aside overnight before use.
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