Mango Cheesecake With Caramelized Hazelnuts 16.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Great British Baking Show Jul 15, 2016

This light yet creamy cheesecake formed the bottom layer of Tamal Ray's three-tiered beauty in the "Desserts" episode of Season 3 of "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS. As judge Paul Hollywood put it, the slightly tropical but delicate flavor provided by the mango is "absolutely spot-on."

You'll need an 8-inch springform pan; a lot of thin wooden skewers for making the caramelized hazelnuts (you can also use a skewer during the baking to pop any bubbles that appear on the surface of the cheesecake); and a candy or instant-read thermometer for the hazelnuts, which you can leave off if you want to, but we recommend at least giving them a go: They make a stunning decoration. We used leftover strings of caramel to decorate the center of the cake.

You'll also need a roasting pan large enough to hold the 8-inch springform pan for the water bath in which the cheesecake will bake.

Make Ahead: It's best to let the cooled cheesecake set overnight in the refrigerator (in its springform pan). It's best to make the caramelized hazelnuts the same day you'll serve the cake.

Where to Buy: Mango puree is available at some Whole Foods Markets and at many Indian grocery stores, such as Ginger & Spice Market in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County and India A-1 Grocery in Arlington.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 16 servings; makes one 8-inch cake

  • For the crust
  • Scant 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • Generous 4 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces; a little more than 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • Scant 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 2/3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for the egg wash
  • For the filling
  • About 2/3 cup (6 ounces) mango puree (see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 17 1/2 ounces) mascarpone
  • Scant 1 cup (5 3/4 ounces) crème fraîche
  • 4 large eggs, plus 4 large (2 1/4 ounces) egg yolks
  • For the caramelized hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) hazelnuts, skinned and toasted (see NOTE)
  • Scant 3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: Combine the light brown sugar, butter and flour in a food processor; pulse just until they start to clump. Add the oats and pulse just until incorporated. The mixture should be fairly uniform and cohesive.

Use a little more butter to grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture into the base of the pan; bake for 10 minutes or until browned. Brush the crust with the egg wash, then bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool; leave the oven on.

For the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 320 degrees. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in a double layer of aluminum foil (to prevent water from getting in) and place it inside the roasting pan. Boil a kettle of water.

Combine the mango puree, lime juice, granulated sugar, mascarpone, crème fraîche, eggs and egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour the mixture into the springform pan (seated in the roasting pan); transfer the roasting pan to the middle oven rack, then pour in enough boiling water so it comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until the cake is set, with a slight wobble in the center. Check the water level during baking; you may need to add more to maintain the same level before the cake is done.

Transfer the springform pan from the water bath to a wire cooling rack; discard the foil and try to blot up any water that might have pooled in the base of the pan. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature; cover with plastic wrap (if it comes in contact with the surface, that's okay), then refrigerate for at least a few hours and preferably overnight.

For the caramelized hazelnuts: Gently insert a skewer into each skinned, toasted hazelnut.

Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat; once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, to form a rich, amber-colored caramel that registers 350 to 360 degrees on the thermometer.

Remove from the heat; let cool just enough so the caramel begins to thicken a little bit; this will ensure that it clings well to the nuts and forms the "tails" you're looking for.

Line the skewered hazelnuts at the end of a kitchen counter, spaced at least an inch or two apart so they hang over the edge by a few inches; weight/secure the ends with books. Lay parchment or wax paper or newspaper on the floor just beneath them.

Working with one at a time, dislodge the skewers so you can dip them into the caramel, making sure the nuts are completely coated and have enough excess caramel to drip off as it sets. Move quickly to re-insert the skewer ends under the books as you go.

After the caramel has set (a few minutes), use kitchen shears to trim the tails of the coated hazelnuts to whatever length you like. (We went with about 2 inches.)

If your caramel in the pan sets too much to be fluid enough for dipping, gently warm it again over medium-low heat.

Once all the nuts are finished, carefully discard the skewers. Stand the caramelized hazelnuts upright on a piece of parchment or wax paper.

Just before serving, remove the springform collar and parchment paper from the cheesecake. (If you can pull out the bottom piece of parchment, fine; otherwise, don't worry, because when you slice the cheesecake, the pieces should slide right off and leave the paper behind.) Decorate with the caramelized hazelnuts, standing them tails up; a ring around the outside is nice; you may end up with extras, which should be consumed the same day. To serve the cheesecake, dip a sharp knife into a glass of hot water and immediately dry it before making each cut.

NOTE: To skin hazelnuts, bring a few inches of water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of baking soda and then the hazelnuts. Boil for several minutes, until the water turns dark brown and the skins begin to easily peel off the nuts. (You can test one by removing it from the pot, running it under cool water and seeing how well the skin slips off.) Drain the nuts from the water, let them cool until you can handle them, and then use your fingers to remove the skins. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant, shaking the pan about halfway through. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by "The Great British Bake Off" contestant Tamal Ray.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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