Mango-Cheesecake Spring Rolls

Whenever I play host, for any type of gathering, I always feel the need to prepare and cook everything. I've just always liked doing it all myself, and I like to tell people that I definitely get this from my mom. "Oh, Yolly, what do you need us to bring?", family and friends would ask. "Nothing, nothing! I'll take care of it!", she would always answer. So, when I invited people over to watch the Giants game on Tuesday, and they all offered to bring something...of course, I refused to accept their help. Unfortunately for me, they didn't take no for an answer.

One person was going to bring an appetizer, two were in charge of bringing a couple main dishes, and a couple more were in charge of drinks. I was simply supposed to open the door and open up my living room. But the controlling hostess in me was freaking out! I. Had. To. Make. Something. I realized nobody was bringing a dessert. That was my way in. I was going to bake or cook up some tasty dessert and sneak it onto the table if I had to...They can't refuse dessert...WHO REFUSES DESSERT?!...

In keeping with the planned Thai theme of our meal (angel wings, pad thai, eggplant & tofu...), I thought of making the traditional mango & coconut sticky rice. Then I thought, not everyone might like the sticky rice...but, mango...yes, let's stick with mango. In the end, I came up with a twist on fried spring rolls: Mango-Cheesecake Spring Rolls.

To make this dessert, start by dicing up the mango for the cheesecake batter, and making slices for filling the spring rolls. The slices can be stored in a Tupperware until they're needed.

As a child, I would watch my mom expertly break down a mango. She would make sure every bit of sweet flesh was carved off the seed, and she worked around that seed with quick, fluid motions...It took me years to learn how to do it right. And by "do it right", I mean, "not sloppily butcher it and squeeze juice all over the place". If you'd like a thorough guide on how to cut a mango (And, yes, this may be necessary for some because of that damn, tricky seed...), you can look here.

The next few steps of the recipe are pretty simple. Just use a food processor to puree all of the filling ingredients together, until smooth. 

*As for the passion fruit juice, it's just a little something extra I like to use to highlight the mango, and I just used Welch's. You can find it at a regular grocery store. I do know, however, that places like Whole Foods Market carry passion fruit puree, which would be an ideal substitute. Also, Asian and Latin specialty markets also carry passion fruit juice and passion fruit-flavored drinks. It's all really a matter of personal preference.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased, springform pan, and bake for 45 minutes.

Now, this recipe has a unique step in which you turn off the oven and let it bake gently in the residual heat for another 20 minutes. This really helps to avoid that dreaded, hideous crack across the top of your cheesecake. Chill in the fridge for a few hours to let it set.

I made my cheesecake the night before I would have my guests over, and I recommend sticking to that timetable. You get the filling out of the way, and all you have to do is wrap the cheesecake rolls on the day-of. Of course, you could also just bake it on the morning of your get-together, and you'll still have plenty of time left to let it chill in the fridge. This, however, is not something you want to start just a couple of hours before your guests arrive!

To start your spring rolls, scoop some cheesecake on to the bottom third of the wrapper (the edge closest to you) and top with 3-4 slices of mango. Take the bottom edge of the wrapper and tightly fold it over the filling. Then, moving away from you, roll the wrapper up. Halfway through, fold the outside edges in towards the middle to completely encase the filling. Seal the spring roll by lightly brushing water on the last 1/4-in of the wrapper, and finish rolling up. It's important to keep the roll nice and taut, no loose air bubbles.

Frying time! I used a cast iron skillet, but you could also use a wok or a deep fryer.1-2 minutes per side will be just enough time to get them crisp and golden brown on the outside.

To keep things simple, these spring rolls can be served family-style, piled on a big platter. Have a bowl of fresh mango slices and a bowl of whipped cream nearby for guests to dig into and garnish their dessert as they please.

If you'd like to make individual servings, like I did, place a couple scoops of vanilla bean ice cream into a bowl and top with the sliced cheesecake rolls and mango. The creamy, rich, cheesecake filling is balanced by the juicy, ripe mango, and the crispy spring roll wrapper gives the dessert texture. These would be a great addition to your next Asian-inspired dinner party, great finger food for when you're watching a ball game, or even a fun and fancy snack for movie nights!

Mango Cheesecake Spring Rolls
(adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup Diced, Fresh Mango
1/2 cup Passion Fruit Juice
1 lb Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 cup White Granulated Sugar
2 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp Cornstarch
2 large, whole Eggs, room temperature
3 large Egg Yolks, room temperature
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 whole Mango, sliced thinly
Spring Roll Wrappers
Oil, for frying
Ice Cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F, and lightly grease an 8-in springform pan with canola oil or cooking spray.
  2. Combine the diced mango and passion fruit juice in a food processor, and puree until smooth. Add the cream cheese, and puree until the mixture is smooth again. Next, add the sugar, yogurt, and cornstarch. Pulse to combine. Then, add the lime juice and eggs, just pulsing to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
  3. Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set and the center is still slightly loose, about 45 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the oven door to let some heat out, and close the oven door again. Using the residual heat, the cheesecake will gently cook for another 20 minutes. Once the cheesecake is done, cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for 8 more hours or overnight.
  4. When the cheesecake is completely chilled, use a spoon to scoop cheesecake onto a spring roll wrapper. Top the cheesecake with 3-4 slices of fresh mango. Then, pull the edge of the wrapper closest to you over the filling, tightly roll the wrapper (working away from you),  and halfway wrapped, fold the outside edges toward the middle to completely enclose the filling. Seal the spring roll by brushing water on the last 1/4-in of the spring roll wrapper, then finish rolling up the spring roll. Repeat this process until all of the cheesecake is used, about 12 spring rolls.
  5. Fry the spring rolls in a wok, cast iron skillet, or deep fryer until the outside is crisp and golden brown. (1-2 minutes per side)
  6. Drain the spring rolls on paper towel, then serve with fresh mango and ice cream.