My recipe no. 100 on this blog, so this gotta be special and this gourmet style dessert is fitting !
NOTE: This recipe is better made the day before. now you're warned.
This dessert and how to make it is as peculiar and obscure as the fruits appearance. Kiwano is also called African Horned Cucumber / Melon, and is from the southern parts of Africa.
It’s kind of alien and otherworldly. It’s actually a cucumber (in the melon and gourd family), and it tastes really good. When unripe it’s much like a cucumber and not as green in the flesh, but when ripe the flavours go nuts and the flesh is all green. Use a ripe kiwano that is orange on the outside.
Think of the flavour of a cucumber, a honeydew melon, some citrus notes and a kiwi mixed into one. Texture wise think of aloe vera, like the aloe vera chunks in the aloe drink and then with tons of soft seeds added. So bizarre.
No wonder this fruit made an appearance in Star Trek as an alien melon, named the ‘Golana Melon’, haha !
So... Something strange happens when this alien cucumber is mixed with the almond milk, it separates the almonds from the water in the milk and creates a thick foam, and this is used to decorate this dessert. The foam tastes sweet like the maple, a bit like almonds and with a taste of the kiwano. The clear liquid that was separated from the foam tastes just like kiwano and has an aloe vera chunk texture that creates a clear jelly in the kiwano shell itself. It’s great because many reviews I have seen on the fruit, they like the taste but dislikes the seeds, so here the texture is similar to the fruit, tastes like the fruit but without the seeds.
The seeds and the kiwano fruit is also separated from the liquid and works as a coulis or dressing for the jelly and brings some texture to the wobbly dessert.
Some weird magic tricks are going on here. It’s not super easy to make, so prepare to spend a little time doing all the steps correctly. If you do this you are guaranteed an otherworldly dessert fit for a science fiction fair or just as an ordinary Monday you wanna spice up.
Serve as pictured, although it is a LOT of dessert for one person in my opinion, you can also cut the kiwano jelly shell in half before serving and make 4 desserts, which would be fitting.
Serves 2 as pictured or 4 in smaller portions
- 1 kiwano fruit
- 450 ml unsweetened almond milk (15.2 oz)
- 0.8 dl granulated sugar (1/3 cup )
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 2g agar agar (0.07 oz)
- Kiwano almond maple Foam
- Kiwano fruit and seeds
- Fresh mint leaves
What you will need
- Cutting board and knife
- 2 small bowls
- 1 fork
- 1 measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- 1 small pot
- 1 whisk
- 1 spoon to scoop
- 1 strainer
- Silver foil or saran wrap for cover
- 2 glasses for jelly
- Chop the kiwano fruit on its long side. Scoop out the fruit with a spoon to a small bowl, saving the shell and leaving it intact. Note: keep the seeds with the green flesh, they will easily pop out, discard the middle core, keeping only the green and the seeds. Refrigerate the empty kiwano shells for later. Set the kiwano greens aside for later.
- In a small bowl put in the agar agar. Take 1 tablespoon cold plant milk and put into the same bowl. Stir VERY well with a fork. It can take some time, everything has to be blended and incorporated.
- Measure the almond milk and put into the pan. Add in the sugar, vanilla sugar and maple syrup.
- Make sure the agar agar is blended again giving it a final stir, then add it to the pot. Turn the heat on high and whisk very often until its simmering.
- When simmering turn the heat to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Turn the heat off. Then add in the kiwano fruit. Stir well and you will see the almond milk separate and foam to the top, leaving a clear liquid under with the seeds. Magic.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer on top off a bowl, saving the liquid. With a spoon gently press excess liquid through the strainer, now the seeds are separated from the liquid and foam. Cover the seeds and refrigerate.
- The foam and liquid is now in one bowl, with the foam laying on top of the liquid. They need to be separated. With a spoon carefully scoop the foamy layer (try not to add the liquid) and put in another bowl. Continue until the foam and the liquid is in two separate bowls. Cover the foam and refrigerate.
- Take out the kiwano shells from the fridge. Make a stand from silver foil, so they kiwano are sturdy and even on top. Pour in the liquid in each of the shells, fill it to the top. The excess liquid put into two other serving glasses.
- Carefully put the shells and the glasses in a secure place in the fridge and leave overnight or for at least 5-6 hours.
- First start preparing the dessert for when it’s gonna be eaten. All will be finished after the hours in the fridge, you just need the assemble.
- Assemble: Gently take out the kiwano shells from the fridge. Put a kiwano shell on the plate, scatter around the foam and the seeds, be artistic if you please. For the jelly in the glasses, you can eat it from the glasses or scoop them out. If you take a knife and run around the inside of the glas and flip it, it should let it go. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.