Vattalapam with Mango and Whipped Cream

A Sri Lankan dessert from Peter Gordon: deliciously creamy coconut custards with cashews, served with juicy mango and whipped cream
By Peter Gordon
Vattalapam with Mango and Whipped Cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • oil, for greasing
  • 300 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • tbsp ground cardamom, (seeds from 25-30 pods)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 200 g dark palm sugar, grated
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • unsalted cashew nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • limes, wedges


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3.

2. Lightly grease six 200ml metal ramekins, preferably straight sided.

3. Have a roasting pan set on a rack in the middle of the oven, with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

4. Put the coconut milk, cream, spices and the palm sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and let sit in a warm place for 5 minutes.

5. Lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla, then gently whisk in the hot milk mixture.

6. Divide the cashew nuts between the ramekins, then pour the custard over them.

7. Place in the roasting pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Test by inserting a wooden skewer - it should come out clean but will be a little moist.

8. Let the custards cool in the ramekins. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. They will keep well for up to 4 days

9. Run a knife around the sides of the ramekins. Give them a shake, then turn the custards out on to a plate.

10. Dip the end without the cashews into the demerara sugar. Blast with a gas torch to caramelise, then transfer to serving plates with the caramel end uppermost.

11. Spoon some whipped cream on top and surround with diced mango and a lime wedge.

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