We ate a lot of delicious food while on our honeymoon in St. Lucia (if you missed it, see all the details of our trip here, here, and here), but one of the best things that we ate never even made it onto the blog! After dinner on the second day of our trip, we ordered chocolate mousse, which was served in a split cocoa pod.
The mousse was incredible, but what really blew us away was the presentation. Eating a chocolate dessert out of a cocoa pod while at a resort that was built on a former cocoa plantation felt pretty authentic! I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't sacrifice taste for appearance when it comes to food, but when you can take something delicious and serve it up in an exciting way it's a win-win.
After we returned to Pittsburgh, I decided that I wanted to recreate the special dessert. Unfortunately, we discovered that it is impossible to get your hands on a cocoa pod here in the US. A, who was also pretty determined to make this dessert recreation happen, called numerous grocery stores, local produce wholesalers, and a local Caribbean restaurant and no one had access to cocoa pods. The only place we could find them was online, with the cocoa still in them, at a steep price.
We decided to get creative and serve the chocolate mousse in a coconut instead. The coconut still lends a tropical flair to the dessert, and coconuts are inexpensive and easy to find at grocery stores. We were able to crack the coconut open in just three easy steps, and then it was time to make dessert!
[recipe title="How to Crack Open a Coconut in 3 Easy Steps"]
you will need:
a Phillips head screwdriver
a large bowl
1. One end of the coconut will have three "eyes", one of which will be soft enough to push a screwdriver through. Using the screwdriver, find the soft eye and puncture a hole through the coconut.
2. Drain the water out of the coconut into the bowl. You will need to shake the coconut a bit to get all of the liquid out. You can reserve the coconut water and use for other purposes.
3. Hold the drained coconut in the palm of your hand with the coconut's eyes at one end and the pointed end of the coconut at the other. Using the hammer, whack the coconut on its equator. Continue to rotate the coconut in your palm, whacking it along the equator with the hammer, until a hairline crack forms. Then continue to rotate and crack until the coconut splits in half.
Once your coconut is split open, you can fill it with anything you like. Make an acai bowl in your coconut. Serve fruit salad in your coconut. But I highly recommend you share a serving of chocolate mousse from your coconut.
I'm sorry to say that I can't take any of the credit for the recipe for this smooth and decadent chocolate mousse. This was actually my first time making mousse at home, and it was much easier than I'd expected. I was also surprised by the addition of coffee, but it balanced the sweetness of the dessert perfectly without adding a strong coffee flavor (which was great, because I don't like coffee).
If you give this tutorial a try, I'd love to hear how it goes! Did your coconut crack open nicely? What did you do with it once you cracked it open? Tell me everything!