The chocolate pudding tree (Diospyros digyna) is a fast growing, everygreen tree that bears fruit within a year of two of establishment. The fruit can be harvested from the tree when the calyx at the stem starts to lift from the fruit and the fruit develops a dull green (rather than shiny green) colour. Leave the fruit indoors in the fruit bowl to ripen fully. Once the fruit is soft and chocolate brown inside (just when you think you should throw it out), it is ready for eating fresh or making this delicious mousse.

The original recipe for this mousse is contained in Know and Enjoy Tropical Fruit written by James Darley. That recipe adds rum or brandy but I prefer Kahlua or Tia Maria. Add extra icing sugar as required to sweeten and thicken the mousse. Make sure the cream is stiffly whipped.


●  20ml icing sugar
●  300ml black persimmon pulp (chocolate pudding fruit pulp)
●  300ml whipping cream
●  30ml Kahlua or Tia Maria


Remove the fruit pulp from the skin, discarding the seeds. Sieve the icing sugar and mix with fruit pulp. Whip the cream and fold it lightly into the fruit. Finally add the Kahlua or Tia Maria and mix gently. Transfer mousse to serving bowls and refrigerate. The mousse can also be frozen for later use, and consumed frozen of thawed.

You can freeze whole chocolate pudding fruit once ripe. They keep quite well in a frozen state for several months.

If you have a chocolate pudding tree that was grown from seed, is over five years old and has grown well but never produced any fruit, you may be unfortunate enough to have a sterile or male flowering tree. Most trees are bisexual and only one tree needs to be grown to achieve a bountiful harvest.

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