For the gingerbread crust:
- 6 ounces (170 g / 2 heaping cups) gingersnap or gingerbread cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the vanilla cheesecake:
- 1 pound (454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups (226 g) powdered sugar
- 1 pound (454 g) chopped mango (about 2 to 3 large mangos)
- pomegranate arils, for garnish (optional)
- mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
To make the crust:
- Place the ginger cookies in a food processor, and pulse until finely ground.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to a small bowl, add the melted butter, and stir to combine.
- Use immediately or transfer to a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
To make the vanilla cheesecake:
- Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and salt, then beat until smooth.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl, then pour the powdered sugar into the strainer and sift it directly into the mixing bowl.
- Beat on low speed for a few seconds to incorporate the sugar, then raise speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Use immediately or transfer to a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Place half the chopped mango in a food processor or blender and blend until puréed.
- In a dessert glass, glass cup, or stemless wine glass, place a few generous spoonfuls of the crumb mixture.
- Use the back of a spoon to gently press it into the bottom of the glass, creating a crust.
- Spread a few spoonfuls of cheesecake filling over the crust in an even layer.
- Add a layer of chopped mangos, then top them with another layer of cheesecake.
- Pour a layer of the mango purée on top, followed by a final dollop of cheesecake.
- Serve immediately, garnished with pomegranate arils and a mint leaf, if desired, or keep refrigerated for up to one day.
- To make this vegan, use a nondairy cream cheese in the filling and vegan butter or coconut oil instead of butter in the crust.
- For the ginger cookies, select cookies that are dry and crisp, rather than moist and chewy, to ensure that they blend smoothly into crumbs.
- The final dollop of cheesecake can be piped on using a piping bag and a star tip if desired, as pictured here.