Mango masterclass at Courtyard Marriott, Chennai

Mango rules! Yes, it's that time of year again.
Strangely, sweet ripe mangoes are yet to hit the markets, the ones that are available are not fully ripe or have been artificially ripened and so choices are still limited.

The ingredients

"Cook and Dine" is a series of classes conducted by the chefs at Courtyard Marriott, Chennai. Participants are taught various recipes, some of these classes are even hands-on. I do remember having attended a couple of dessert classes and one on Italian recipes. After the class, we would be served a fantastic lunch. Well, here's good news - the hotel is starting the series again and the first one this year was all about the king of fruits - what else but the mango!

Head Chef-cum-pastry specialist Jacob Justin showed us 3 classic recipes. Each of these recipes was then lifted to the sublime with the addition of mango. Sounds simple, right? Yeah, exotic too!

Mango cream catalana

The first was Mango Cream Catalana. The recipe was somewhat like that of a caramel custard but with a twist. Topped with diced mangoes and a berry compote, it was a remarkable play of textures. The slight tartness of the mango and the compote cut down the sweetness of the custard. Thank goodness they had been baked in tiny moulds, we didn't feel too guilty finishing a bowl apiece!

The making of misu 

There are more spins on a tiramisu than what a top can make; we were shown how to make a mango misu. Sponge cake discs dipped in mango puree lined the bottom of a martini glass. A mix of mango puree, mascarpone cheese and cream was piped over and topped with a spoon of berry compote and the layering was repeated. It tasted light and heavenly. We were given several ideas to amp up the flavour and I will be making mine with a bit of white chocolate... and maybe some liqueur. Can't wait!

The making of... a cold and chunky mango cheesecake

The third dessert was a cold mango cheesecake. We were taught how to make a fail-safe  biscuit crumb base. Chef Jacob's mango custard was a breeze to put together; mixed with cream cheese and chunks of mango, it was then left to set.

He brought out one he had made earlier, suitably decorated. It tasted just like a cheesecake should - worthy of seconds!

They are easy recipes and the chef was patient enough to discuss ways to jazz up each of these desserts to make mango play the hero's role. Two varieties were used - alphonso and senthuram and I think both are perfect in desserts.

Once the class was over, we were invited for a scrumptious lunch buffet at Paprika.

Soup and breads; salads; pizzas

The spread includes soups, salads and along with gravies and Indian breads, a really tasty biryani. The long queue in front of the counter was an indication as to how popular it was!

The dessert table

Courtyard Marriot Chennai will be hosting "Cook and Dine' classes every month. To know more about these sessions or to participate, do call +91 44 66764000/ 66764488. The cost of the class includes the buffet lunch at Paprika.

At Rhapsody.
Courtyard Marriott Chennai
564, Anna Salai, Teynampet
Chennai 600018.


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