This no bake mango cheesecake is wonderfully smooth and creamy. Fabulous on its own or with some easy homemade mango coulis.
I am a little bit obsessed with mangos. They are by far and away one of my favorite summer fruit, right up their with passion fruit and pineapples. I buy them by the tray full when they are in season and get my mango fix all summer long, making everything from mango popsicles to mango ice cream and of course this creamy mango cheesecake with my fresh homemade mango coulis.
This no bake cheesecake is made without gelatin, making great for vegetarians and uses agar agar instead of gelatin.
What is agar agar used for?
In cooking agar agar is used to thicken and set food. Its a popular vegetarian alternative to gelatin. It is widely using in Asian desserts to such as puddings and jellies and even ice cream and savory dishes. You can use agar agar instead of gelatin in cheesecake such as this one.
What is agar agar made of?
Agar is made from a type of red seaweed. It is plant based and is therefore suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Agar agar is both colorless and odorless, making it great to use in cooking without adding any un wanted flavors.
Is Agar Agar same as gelatin?
Agar agar is a popular alternative to gelatin but they are not the same thing. Agar agar is made from a type of red seaweed and is plant based. Gelatin is made from collagen, a animal protein that's usually made from cows and pigs. Agar needs to be treated a bit differently to gelatin to enable it to set.
Tips and tricks for using agar agar in desserts
- Powder is best - agar agar is available in strips, flakes and powdered form. Powdered form is generally best as its easier to measure and dissolve.
- Use a scale - you only need a little bit of agar agar powder so its best to measure it with a digital kitchen scale if possible. To little agar agar powder and your cheesecake won't set, to much and it will be to firm and rubbery.
- Dissolve it - the agar agar will need to be dissolved in a liquid to allow it to more easily disperse and set the dessert. It can be dissolved in one of the liquids you are already using, such as the mango puree in this cheesecake.
- Mix it well - agar agar needs to be properly dispersed to enable it to set properly without going lumpy. I recommend sprinkling it over the liquids and mixing it in with a food processor or giving it a quick blitz with an immersion blender.
- Heat it up - agar agar powder needs to be heated up to boiling point, 212°F (100°C) in order to set. Its best to add it to cold liquid then heat it up on the stove, and keep it bubbling for about five minutes to fully activate it.
- Work fast - the agar agar will start to set just above body temperature, about 100 - 104°F (38-40°C). Once the agar agar is activated you can let it cool down a bit so as not to scald your other ingredients, but not to much or it will start to set before you have mix it into your other ingredients.
Mangoes: You and use whatever type of mango you like, as long as it has a strong mango flavor and its one you would eat on its own. You could try using frozen mango puree if that's all you have but the mango flavor may not be as strong. You will need one cup of mango puree in total.
If your mangos aren't very strongly flavored you can increase the mango to one and a half cups of puree, then cook it down to one cup and cool it completely before adding the agar agar powder.
Cream cheese: full fat cream cheese is best for this recipe for that classic creamy cheesecake taste. If you use light cream cheese it may not set properly.
Cream: I use thickened cream which as a fat content of about 34%. You could also use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream which is similar.
Sugar: white sugar is best in this recipe. You could use castor sugar if you prefer. I don't recommend using other types of sugar, they will be hard to dissolve and will compete with the flavors in this no bake cheesecake.
Lime: a dash of lime juice helps balance the sweetness of the mango and add some extra flavor to this cheesecake. Fresh lime juice is best, I don't recommend using bottled lime juice. It won't taste the same and may add a bitter flavor to your cheesecake.
Agar agar: comes from a type of red seaweed and is a popular alternative to gelatin. Its both vegetarian and vegan and is flavorless and odorless, making it a great setting alternative in jellies, preserves and cheesecakes. A little goes a long way, so its recommend to use a digital kitchen scale to measure if possible.
Desiccated coconut: is finely grated coconut, commonly used in baking. The fine texture mixes in well with the biscuit base and gives a lovely extra kick to this cheesecake. I don't recommend using shredded coconut, it will be to big and may not combine well in the base. If you are not a fan of coconut you can leave it out and replace it with a little more biscuit crumbs.
Butter: because butter makes most things taste better. In this recipe it binds and sets the base.
Digestive biscuits: are a type of sweet whole meal cookie sold in Australia. If you can't get digestives you can use the same amount of Graham crackers or Graham cracker crumbs.
How to make no bake mango cheesecake
First make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. This can take any where from thirty minutes to one hour depending on where you live.
To make the cheesecake base
Grease and line your spring form pan. Crush up your biscuits into fine crumbs, either by breaking up and blitzing in a food processor. Or if you don't have one you can put them in a plastic bag on a chopping board, cover with a tea towel and carefully bash with a rolling pin. At a pinch a heavy small heavy based saucepan works to!
Add the coconut to a hot dry frying pan and toast until just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a heat proof bowl. The coconut will continue to cook in the hot frying pan and can burn easily if left in the fry pan when its done.
Put the biscuit crumbs and coconut into a bowl and mix well. Melt the butter in a microwave in or in a pan on the stove top. Add the butter to the crumbs and mix well. Tip into prepared cake tin. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon and chill for at least one hour, and up to twenty four hours before filling.
Hot tip: do not skip chilling the base. If its to hot when you add the filling it can make the filing weep, resulting in a soggy cheesecake base. If you are pressed for time on the day you can make the base the day before and store it in the fridge until you have time to make the filling.
To make the cheesecake filling
Cut the lime in half and juice the lime.
Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and lime juice until just smooth and combined.
Slice the cheeks of the mango, the large bulbous sides. Score each cheek into a grid pattern and pop out, so the cubes of mango flesh and hanging out. Slice down the sides of each mango and score flesh.
Blitz the mango pieces in the chopping bowl of an immersion/stick blender or food processor. Blitz well to ensure a smooth consistency. Add the agar agar powder and blitz again until the powder is well mixed in.
In a separate bowl whip the cream until soft peaks just form.
Pour the mango agar agar mix into a small pot. Bring to bubbling and boil for five minutes, stirring frequently. This activates the agar agar and will enable it to set the cheesecake. Allow to cool slightly but not to much.
Hot tip: agar agar will set as it starts to cool. Once you have boiled the agar agar you need to cool the mango puree enough so it won't curdle the rest of the cheesecake filling ingredients, but not to much or it will start to set before you have mixed it into the other ingredients.
Sieve the mango puree to ensure there are no lumps. Add the cooked mango puree to the cream cheese mix and beat until combined. Add the cream mix to the rest of the cheese cake mix and fold in well. Pour onto chilled base and smooth down with a spatula. Chill in fridge for at least eight hours to set.
To remove from tin carefully unclip the upper ring and remove. Peel back the side baking paper. Use a large sharp knife to carefully insert the knife between the base and the baking paper and slide onto a plate.
How to serve
To serve this vegetarian cheesecake pop it onto a plate, slice and enjoy! Amazing with some of my mango sauce drizzled over the top. Delicious!
How to store
This mango cheesecake will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
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No bake mango cheesecake
- Electric hand beaters or a stand mixer
- Chopping bowl attachment of an immersion/stick blender or food processor
- 7 inch by 2 & ½ inch spring form cake tin (18cm x 6.5cm). You can use a wider cake tin if that's what you have, but your cake will be flatter
- ¼ cup (20gms) desiccated coconut
- 2 & ⅓ cups (250gms) digestive biscuits or graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ stick plus 1 tablespoon (105gms) butter
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1.1 lbs (500gms) approx. 1 and a half large fresh mango or 1 cup of mango puree
- 2 x 8 ounce tubs (450gms total) full fat cream cheese at room temp
- 1 cup (250mls) thickened cream
- ¾ cup (165gms) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon (2.5gms) agar agar powder
- 1 cup (250mls) homemade or store bought mango coulis
To make the base
- Line the base and sides of a spring form tin with baking paper.
- Heat up a frying pan and dry roast the desiccated coconut until just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
- Break up the biscuits and blitz briefly in a food processor to bread into crumbs. Alternatively you can put them into a plastic bag, cover with a tea towel and gentle hit with a rolling pin.
- Put the crumbs and toasted coconut in a bowl and mix well.
- Melt the butter by cubing, adding to a microwave proof bowl and microwave for a minute or two.
- Pour the melted butter into the biscuit and coconut and mix until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Pour into lined spring form tin and press down at the bottom to form the base.
- Chill in fridge for at least one hour and up to overnight.
To make the filling
- Cut the lime in half and juice it. You will need half a tablespoon of juice which is about half a lime.
- Beat together cream cheese, sugar and lime juice until smooth.
- Slice the mango flesh off the internal seed by slicing off each cheek, then scoring to create cubes, popping out, then cutting off the flesh.
- Add the mango flesh to the chopping bowl attachment of an immersion/stick blender or food processor and blend well until smooth.
- Add the agar agar powder to the mango puree and blend until smooth and there are no lumps.
- In a separate bowl whip the cream until soft peaks just form.
- Transfer the mango pulp to a small pot on the stove. Bring to the boil and boil for five minutes, stirring frequently. This activates the agar agar and will enable it to set. Allow to cool but not to much.
- Strain the mango puree and add to the cream cheese mix. Beat until just combined.
- Add the whipped cream to the mango cream cheese mix and fold well to combine.
- Pour the filling over the base. Smooth down. Chill in fridge for at least 12 hours.
- To serve remove form spring form pan and carefully transfer to a plate. Fabulous on its own or with some of my homemade passion fruit coulis drizzled over the top. Delicious!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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