Mango, coconut and cardamom pudding

A summery spin on banana pudding.
A summery spin on banana pudding. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

A modern, lighter take on the classic American banana pudding, this is a layered dessert featuring custard and biscuits, interlaced with sweet, tropical mango. While the traditional recipe is heavy with whipped cream and an egg custard, my version is considerably more delicate, with a vegan custard subtly spiked with cardamom. The light, airy texture of savoiardi biscuits (the type used to make tiramisu) is perfect for this dessert, as they will become soft and "cakey".

Ingredients

200g silken tofu

75g (⅓ cup) castor sugar

50g (⅓ cup) rice flour (or plain flour)

5 cardamom pods, crushed

500ml (2 cups) coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)

2 tsp vanilla extract

100g savoiardi* (ladyfinger) biscuits, each broken into 3-4 smaller pieces

4 ripe mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced

20g coconut flakes, toasted

Method

1. Place the silken tofu in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth.

2. Combine the sugar, rice flour and cardamom in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and the coconut milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add the pureed tofu and the vanilla to the pan and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking constantly, for a further 1-2 minutes until the mixture is fully thickened to a custard-like consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon). Allow to cool.

3. Using six small glasses or bowls, spread a little of the custard on the bottom of each. Next, add a layer of biscuit, followed by mango slices, followed by another layer of custard. Top with more mango, biscuit and a scatter of coconut flakes. Chill for at least 1-2 hours (or preferably overnight) before serving (this allows the biscuit to soften).

Tips:

*Savoiardi aren't vegan; for an egg-free sub, opt for a similar airy biscuit or slices of vegan cake.

The addition of silken tofu is more for texture than flavour – it adds richness and creaminess.