Dear Reader, your spectacular Christmas dessert is here! This Mangoes & Cream Viennetta is a cross between the iconic Viennetta ice cream cake and the beloved Weis Mangoes & Cream Bar. Best of all it is straightforward to make (pinky swear!) using a simple ice cream recipe and needs no ice cream maker or machine. There are layers of mango ice cream and salted coconut vanilla ice cream with white chocolate, coconut and mango curd on top! This is a seriously delicious ice cream cake and it is a pushy recipe Dear Reader! I called her Avery.
The Viennetta is an ice cream that was launched in 1982 and consists of layers of rippled ice cream. Apparently it's development came about when the ice cream was being piped or extruded but the piping came out too fast for the conveyor belt and it bunched up giving it that rippled effect that became its trademark too. Along each layer of ice cream there's also chocolate so that when you slice a Viennetta you hear a little crack as the chocolate shatters.
The mangoes and cream portions of this Viennetta is based on my mangoes & cream ice cream which is a doppelganger for the Mango Weiss Bar. For those of you outside of Australia, the Weis Mangoes & Cream Ice Cream Bar is pretty much the perfect fruit based ice cream bar with a perfect ratio of cream to fruit. And don't worry if you fresh mango is out of season, I made a few attempts at this Viennetta trying to get the perfect one and when I used frozen mango it was still absolutely delicious. The other layer is a salted coconut vanilla ice cream made with a simple but delicious ice cream recipe where you don't need a churner.
When it came to making this home made version of a Viennetta I first started with buying an actual Viennetta. I regret to inform you that the original Viennetta, while a stunning piece of ice cream architecture is actually a really not very tasty. In fact it doesn't taste like anything really, even the chocolate doesn't add much. And that's when I decided to incorporate the flavours of the Mango & Cream ice cream bar because of course Christmas in peak mango season. I actually did a happy dance when I tried a slice of it as it was so delicious, beyond my wildest dreams good and tasted just like the Weis bar!
10 Tips For Making A PERFECT Viennetta!
1 - When choosing a loaf tin, choose the skinniest one you have. Mine was 26.5 long x 7.5 wide x 7cms high/10.4 long x 2.9 wide x 2.7 high inches. The centre of an actual Viennetta (minus the frills) is very skinny. The frills on each side will make your Viennetta wider which can throw out the proportions of the end result.
2 - The chocolate cracking is part of the experience cutting into a Viennetta. I used white chocolate as it goes well with fruit but you can also use dark if you want it to show up a bit more distinctly. Melt the white chocolate in lower heat as it burns easier than milk or dark chocolate. Make sure to score lines before you set it or your chocolate may splinter when you're cutting it into rectangles.
3 - To make sure that ice cream like this works, it's best to keep everything chilled like the metal bowl, whisk attachment and condensed milk. Cream will usually be in the fridge but if you use long life cream, refrigerate this too. I used thickened cream because it has gelatine added but you can use pure cream. Do not use lite or light cream.
4 - For the Viennetta swirls on the top and sides we use plain whipped cream. You need two tips: a #150 Petal tip for the sides and a #789 large Basketweave tip for on top. I used Loyal brand tips along with some of their biodegradable bags because I always feel a bit guilty for using plastic piping bags.
5 - Piping a straight line is straightforward, you just want to make sure that the cream is attached to the main ice cream cake. Piping waves is surprisingly easy but can take a bit of practice so if you're new to it, practice your waves beforehand on a sheet of parchment. Hold the piping tip horizontally and go up then backwards and then down repeatedly and practice on a sheet of parchment beforehand.
6 - The amount of cream for the swirls is more than you need but it's always easier to make a big batch than keep making it. Always half fill your piping bag and keep it and the whipped cream in the fridge when not using, especially if it is a warm day (crank up the aircon to Arctic if it's hot too).
7 - Tip: if you have "hot" hands (which I do, it makes piping cream and working with pastry and chocolate a challenge), pop on a pair of washing up gloves and this will create a barrier between your hot hands and the cream, otherwise the cream can start to melt a little.
8 - VERY IMPORTANT: when cutting your Viennetta it will only cut cleanly if the ice cream is frozen and not partially thawed. I only left my Viennetta out for 10 minutes while photographing it and it would not cut cleanly but once I put it back in the freezer for an hour, it cut perfectly.
9 - This Viennetta can serve anything from 12-18 people depending on how thinly you slice it-I'd recommend slicing it up into 1.5cm/0.6inch slices as people will be full from all of the other food. Use a heavy, sharp chef's knife to slice it up and remember only slice when fully frozen, especially if slicing up thin 1.5cm/0.6inch slices.
10 - Lastly, if mangoes and cream aren't your thing, you can make other flavours using other fruit available or coffee or mocha! It's incredibly versatile!
Maybe I am totally broken but this Viennetta was actually quite fun to put together. Mainly because the end result was SO delicious and pretty! I am so excited to serve it up at Christmas dinner and I feel like a weight was taken off me because that's dessert done and dusted. We're doing a bring a plate Christmas dinner because we will have the Elliotts there eating their own idiosyncratic meals and my family who eat regular food but as my parents and sister don't cook I'll probably prepare their food. So a bring a plate of sorts really. But really they'll all be simple but effective recipes many of which can be prepped beforehand because that's all I have the energy for nowadays.
A couple of weekends ago we did something that we really didn't anticipate properly. During lockdown we had booked an outdoor escape room with Nina and Garth. It involved traipsing across the city in search of clues. None of us had done an outdoor escape room before although we have done a lot of indoor ones but when you're stuck inside for weeks anything outdoors and roaming free sounded like paradise so we eagerly booked it. Months passed and I almost forgot about it until I saw it on the calendar just before the date.
We met at St Mary's Cathedral in the city at 11:30am-you can start any time but you do need to finish by 5pm and without any guide on how long it would take we thought we'd start early. It was all done on your phone using an app and you use the GPS to go from location to location picking up clues along the way and solving riddles.
There were a couple of issues that stymied progress - GPS signals are confusing and weak in the city due to the tall buildings and the whole game just wasn't well put together. All the riddles and clues didn't really lead anywhere and usually a good game master takes you along a well orchestrated and compelling ride where you're excited to get your next clue to put the puzzle together. This one was more a mish mash of unrelated clues.
We each brought a different skill to the game. Nina and I hate following maps so Mr NQN and Garth were in charge of guiding us across the city, Somehow riddles are my thing so I ended up solving those. And halfway through we were all so tired and hangry that Nina blurted out who she thought did it, why and how and she ended up being correct. We apathetically limped across the finish line and got 48th place overall with our name, "Weapons of Mass Distraction" which pretty summed us up. So while I'd recommend making this cake for thrills I wouldn't recommend that outdoor escape room!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like mangoes and cream? What will you have for dessert this Christmas? Are you into escape rooms?