Mango and chile has become one of the most common combinations in sweets in Mexico; in fact, when you eat fresh mango, powdered chile of some kind is always on the table. The chile powder you use is a matter of taste. It isn't just about the heat; it's also about the flavor. I particularly like the piquín chile from Oaxaca, but feel free to substitute it for ground guajillo, chipotle, or your personal favorite.
Combine the sugar, water, and chile pieces in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and strain. Stir in the mango purée and the lime juice. In a medium bowl, toss together the mango pieces with the chile powder.
Divide the chile-coated mango chunks among ice pop molds or wax-lined paper cups, then pour the mango purée mixture over the top. Freeze until beginning to set, 3 to 4 hours. Insert the sticks. Let freeze for at least 3 hours more, and then unmold as directed or peel off the paper cups.
If you prefer to use the chile powder on the outside, unmold the pops and allow to thaw slightly (so the chile powder will stick to it), place the chile powder in a shallow bowl, then dip the pops in to coat.
Photo: Ed Anderson © 2010
Reprinted with permission from My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats by Fany Gerson, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc."