a lighter fruity dessert to savour

January is a tricky time of year for bakers. It is often cold and dark outside, the perfect weather to be huddled around a warm oven. The light salads and seasonal berries of summer are a distant memory. Instead, we want the bolstering warmth of a proper pud.

Equally, lots of us will have enjoyed rather a lot of bolstering puddings, pies, wine and chocolate recently and would like something with a little less heft. So how is a baker to get their baking fix?

These mango sundaes fit the bill perfectly. The tropical fruits are bright and colourful and taste like sunshine in a bowl. I’ve taken out the high fat ice-cream and crumbled biscuit base. Instead, the honeyed pecans and Greek yoghurt bring the creaminess and crunch which is essential for a good sundae.

Layered up in an elegant stemmed glass and topped with a beautiful light tuile biscuit, this sundae looks indulgent and satisfying. In fact, it is light enough that any leftovers could probably be eaten for breakfast.

Tuiles look elegant and cheffy but are quite simple to bake. When they’re still warm from the oven they can be shaped into anything from curves to cups or cigars. I like to keep them simple as a contrast to the soft swirls of the sundaes. The tuiles can be made a few days in advance and kept in an airtight container. Add a tuile to each sundae at the last minute, so they stay as crisp as possible.

 The success of this dessert really depends on getting succulently ripe mangoes, but if you feel they are not ripe enough, you can sweeten the mango purée with a little extra sugar.

A good tip to avoid the honeyed pecans sticking together is to warm them slightly when ready to use, or spread them out on a dinner plate lightly greased with sunflower oil.


Serves 4


75g pecan nuts
40ml honey, plus extra for yoghurt
2 ripe mangoes
200ml Greek yoghurt (low fat)
2 passion fruit, seeds (or passion fruit coulis)
1 banana, sliced
1 tsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
For tuile biscuits:
75g butter, room temperature
75g icing sugar, sieved
75g plain flour
2-3 drops vanilla extract
2 egg whites


1 For the tuile biscuits: blitz together the butter, icing sugar, flour, vanilla and egg whites (the mixture should resemble a smooth paste). Refrigerate for one hour. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees, fan, or equivalent. Use a piping bag filled with the mixture to pipe 10cm éclair-like shapes on to a lined baking sheet. Bake for eight to 10 minutes until the edges are tinged with brown.

2 For the honeyed pecans: place the pecans on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with honey to coat them. Bake first for four minutes (watch the pecans as they can burn very quickly), then toss with the loosened honey once again and continue to bake for another four to five minutes, removing them as soon as they start to darken in colour. Use a sharp knife to roughly chop half the pecans to fill the base of the sundae glasses. Set aside remaining whole pecans.

3 Cut the mangoes by holding each one upright on a chopping board. Cut downwards slightly off centre so you miss the large, flat stone. Make a slice on the other side of the stone. Cut away the skin and chop half the mango flesh into small dice. Blitz the remaindingr mango flesh in a food processor to a thick purée.

4 Whisk the Greek yoghurt to loosen it, then sweeten it with some honey to suit your taste.

5 To assemble the sundaes, place crumbled pecans in the base of each glass.  Add a spoonful of Greek yoghurt, then diced mango and the mango and passion fruit purées.

6 Alternate layers of ingredients, adding banana to the top layer. Decorate with reserved pecans and pumpkin seeds.

7 Serve chilled with tuile biscuits.

Frozen yoghurt or ice-cream can be used to replace Greek yoghurt for a richer dessert.

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