Passion Fruit, Mango and Ginger Cheesecake
Irresistibly sweet, tangy and creamy, these passion fruit, mango and ginger cheesecakes make for the perfect summer desserts. These indulgent delights are gluten-free and low in lactose but can also be made dairy-free!
Cheesecake is probably one of my all-time favourite desserts to make and has pretty much become a speciality of mine now. It's one of those desserts that can be enjoyed throughout the year as it works really well with seasonal ingredients... and with it being mango season here in the U.K., I obviously had to find a way of combining the two to make a super light and refreshing dessert, perfect for summer.
These little beauties are full of flavour and because they're mostly made up of fresh, wholesome ingredients, each individual flavour is enhanced - the sweetness of the mango, the sourness of the passion fruit, the subtle nuttiness of the coconut milk and the mild spiciness of the ginger. I've made sure you can taste them all!
Let's talk ingredients and substitutes
These cheesecakes are made up of three parts: the crust, filling and mango and passion fruit jelly topping.
The crust is made up of 5 ingredients: gluten-free oats, fresh root ginger, ground ginger, organic coconut sugar and organic grass-fed butter.
Whereas most cheesecake crusts are made using biscuits, which are typically highly processed, the crusts of my passion fruit, mango and ginger cheesecakes comprise of clean and healthy ingredients that carry far greater nutritional value. They actually taste very similar to a traditional cheesecake crust, they're just a lot healthier.
Gluten-free oats make up the primary ingredient of this crust, which, when mixed with butter, give the same texture and consistency as a traditional crust. This requires grinding the oats to form a fine, powdery flour.
When choosing your oats, it's always best to opt for rolled or steel-cut oats rather than instant oats, which may contain added sugar. For the purpose of this recipe, I recommend using gluten-free rolled oats.
Excellent source of protein and carbs
Loaded with important vitamins and minerals such as: - selenium - supports the immune system, fertility and cognitive function - zinc - strengthens immune system and metabolism function - vitamin B1- needed for nerve cell function, digestion and energy production
Contain a high amount of soluble fibre, namely beta-glucan, which is responsible for promoting good gut bacteria and lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
Substitute: almond flour
Please note I have not made these with almond flour but it should work just fine. I’d recommend adding the butter or coconut oil little by little until you get the perfect consistency in case it needs less of the stated amount.
This recipe calls for both fresh root ginger and ground ginger. I've found that using fresh ginger gives that little extra kick, which is a game changer in this recipe so I don't recommend skipping out on this! It compliments the rest of the flavours really well.
Ginger is extremely high in nutrients, antioxidants and bioactive compounds that are known to: - reduce inflammation in the body - improve digestion - help fight infections
Butter acts as the glue in this crust, binding everything together nicely. Of course, any butter will do the job but I always opt for grass-fed butter over any other, as it has a far richer nutritional profile than regular butter. Kerrygold is a great brand!
Health benefits of grass-fed butter:
Contains a greater amount of healthy unsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3s, which help to: - fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases - improve bone, joint and brain health
Great source of vitamin A - a vital vitamin that our bodies require but cannot produce so must be consumed externally - needed for healthy skin, teeth, eyes and bones
Higher in vitamin K2 compared to regular butter, which helps regulate the calcium levels in our bodies and thus improve heart and bone health
Of course, as with any healthy saturated fat, butter should be consumed in moderation.
Substitute: coconut oil for dairy-free version
The cheesecake filling
The filling is made up of 8 ingredients: lactose-free cream cheese, full-fat coconut milk, cashew nuts, orange zest, lemon zest, fresh mango, caster sugar and good quality vanilla essence.
Lactose-free cream cheese
I prefer to use lactose-free cream cheese or soft white cheese over dairy-free versions when it comes to cheesecake as that original cream cheese taste still remains. However, if you want to make these dairy-free, you can replace it with a dairy-free alternative.
Substitute: dairy-free cream cheese/spread
A good quality full-fat coconut milk is required for this recipe. It's important that this has been left to chill in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using, as this will help separate the thick cream at the top from the liquid water at the bottom. We want to use only the thick cream for these cheesecakes. You can reserve the water for later use.
High in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6
Contains a favourable amount of lauric acid - a medium chain fatty acid that contains antiviral and antibacterial properties, and helps support brain development and bone health
Of course, as with any healthy saturated fat, coconut milk should be consumed in moderation.
Since there’s no gelatin in the cheesecake filling, cashews are a vital ingredient as they will help the cheesecakes maintain their structure. They act as the thickening agent in this recipe and make the cheesecakes far richer and creamier!
Cashews are high in copper, an essential mineral responsible for energy production, strengthening the immune system and brain health
Full of essential dietary fibres, namely oleic acid and palmitic acid, which help aid digestion
Fantastic source of magnesium and manganese - nutrients vital for bone health and neuromuscular transmission and activity
Good source of fibre, protein and unsaturated fats
I’ve included chunks of fresh mango in the filling but you can skip this out if you wish! The quality and type of mango you choose makes a big difference to the overall taste of the cheesecakes. As it’s currently mango season here in the U.K., the mangoes are extra soft and sweet, making this dessert that much more delicious. Using mangoes out of season may just mean these cheesecakes will be a little less sweet. If you can get your hands on them, I highly recommend you use Alphonso mangoes. They taste like no other and are considered the ‘king of mangoes’. You can find these in most Indian supermarkets from June until early-mid July.
High in vitamin A
High in vitamin C - helps to boost immunity and promote collagen production, the protein responsible for the elasticity of our skin
Contain phytochemicals that are known to be anti-inflammatory to the digestive system, potentially helping to reduce inflammation in conditions such as Chron’s or ulcerative colitis.
Mango and passion fruit jelly topping
The jelly topping is completely optional. It requires mixing mango and passion fruit coulis with water and gelatin granules over a medium heat to make a jelly layer on top of the cheesecakes.
Substitutes: If you’re vegetarian you can substitute the gelatine for a vegetarian-friendly alternative - there are plenty on the market! Alternatively, you can skip this out completely and top with fresh mango and passion fruit.
Passion Fruit, Mango and Ginger Cheesecake
Serves: 8 muffin sized cheesecakes
Prep time: 30 minutes plus overnight chilling
For the crust:
70g gluten-free oats, blended into a fine flour
60g butter, melted
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tbsp fresh ginger, grated
30g coconut sugar
For the filling:
170g coconut milk, chilled
115g cashew nuts
120g lactose-free cream cheese
30g caster sugar
Zest of half an orange
Zest of half a lemon
1 tsp good quality vanilla essence
1 medium sized mango, cut into small chunks