Mango season is possibly my favourite time of the year.
To me it symbolises summer, holidays, the beach, and a general time of freedom from responsibility and serious stuff. Because, let’s face it, it’s pretty bloody hard to be serious when you have mango dripping down your chin while you’re hovering over the kitchen sink slurping all its juices!
It is definitely not a throwback to happy childhood memories as it has only been in recent years that I started to like mangoes! I am not sure whether mum was exasperated or happy that she didn’t have to share her mango haul. I suspect the latter.
My favourite way to eat a mango is to cut the cheeks off, score into cubes and bite the cubes off the skin. Then, peel the skin of the last bit around the stone and nibble and slurp the remaining flesh until only the stringy bits remain.
I’ve been making meringue roulade for years. Ever since I saw Chef Ben O’Donoghue make one at a cooking class I did with him many years ago. Usually I use fresh berries, but as I had a tray of mangoes on the bench, I decided to mix it up a bit. Adding macadamia seemed like the logical next step – the flavours go brilliantly together, and both are grown locally to me. Very locally – we have a massive macadamia tree in our backyard, and our next door neighbour has the mango tree.
Now before you think “wow! she is using these from her own garden!”, I should confess that I’m not. The neighbour’s mango tree hasn’t produced any fruit this year, and it’s far easier to buy a kilo of macadamias than it is to shell them. I do however know the mangoes are from Queensland, and the macadamias are either from Queensland or northern NSW.
Macadamia and mango meringue roulade
recipe by Mel Kettle
What you need:
- 200g castor sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 75g macadamias, finely chopped so they are still a bit chunky
- 1kg good quality thick yogurt, strained as you would for making labneh
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 2 mangoes, sliced
What you do:
Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the egg whites in a bowl with no moisture or oily residue. Whisk the egg whites for about 2 minutes, then add ¼ of the sugar and continue whisking until it’s just stiff. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk until the mixture is glossy and can form peaks.
Use a spatula to scoop the meringue over the baking tray (on the baking paper), evenly spreading it across the tray so it is in a squarish shape. It should be about 2cm thick (or a bit more, depending on the size of your baking tray). Sprinkle with the macadamia nuts.
Pop it in to the oven to cook for 5-6 minutes. Watch it carefully. I set an alarm for 3 minutes, then in 1 minute blocks as it can be extremely easy to burn the nuts at this stage. And yes, I speak from experience. Once the nuts are a golden colour, turn the heat down to 160c and cook for another 12-15 minutes. As you can see, I caught mine just in the nick of time!
Remove from the oven and let it cool.
Once cool, place another sheet of baking paper on top of the meringue (the baking paper should be the same size at least as the meringue). Very carefully flip the meringue onto the piece of baking paper you have just laid on top.
To make the filling, mix the maple syrup into the plain yogurt. Spread the yogurt evenly over 2/3 of the meringue. Place the sliced mango on the yogurt.
Rolling the meringue can be a bit tricky. I completely channelled one of my food idols – Nigella Lawson – as I had a bit of an assembling issue with this one. I have made a variation of this recipe at least ten times, and NEVER has it split while rolling. Oh well. It didn’t affect the taste at all!
So anyway, to roll the meringue, you want to start from the long edge with the yogurt and fruit and roll it tightly. The long edge without fruit should be the last bit you roll. Use the baking paper to help you here. Once it’s rolled, place on a tray, leaving it wrapped in baking paper if you can (sometimes my baking paper just falls away), and pop it in the fridge to chill for at least 45 minutes.
Serve with extra fruit or a dusting of icing sugar.
How do you eat mangoes? With the juice dripping down your chin? Or are you more refined and like them cut into little pieces so you can eat them with a fork (this is The Accountant’s preferred way – which I just think is WRONG! But each to their own…).