Tropical Black Sapote OR the Chocolate Pudding Fruit

Darlings!  WHAT is this magical fruit that looks and tastes like chocolate pudding?  Why, it's BLACK SAPOTE!  

Now, I know I'm kicking a hornet's nest here but to me, black sapote does NOT taste like chocolate or chocolate pudding.    While the tropical fruit is nicknamed the "chocolate pudding" fruit because the texture looks just like chocolate pudding, it tastes nothing like chocolate.   I know there are people out there, some good friends actually, who will disagree with me.   But, seriously, you can't tell chocolate lovers that there is an actual FRUIT that tastes like chocolate, because like me, they will be sorely disappointed.  (Also, like I was when everyone was saying that carob tasted like chocolate, years ago when it was turning up in everything as a chocolate substitute.  Chocolate my ass!)

Black sapote in three stages:  (left) Very ripe, ready to eat with a soft, mushy texture, (middle) starting to turn brown aka "ripe" and softening up, (right) unripe, hard and green.

So, what DOES black sapote tastes like?  Nothing.  I don't find it to have a very strong flavor at all and I can't think of one thing it taste "like."  Like tofu, the fruit begs to be used, manipulated, flavored and tampered with because even though it doesn't taste like chocolate, it DOES have a wonderfully creamy texture and the fruit is plentiful here in South Florida.

Here's a ripe black sapote about to be cut open and more in the bowl already skinned and seeded.

Here's the inside of a ripe black sapote.   It's a pretty fugly fruit, isn't it?  And I have to wonder who decided to try one for the first time?!  There is bit of fiber down the middle with large seed pods around it.  I use a spoon to scrape out the flesh, including the fiber and then mash in a bowl.   The fruit has a sticky texture but is also creamy.   Now do you see why it's called the chocolate pudding fruit?  But I'm not going to dig into one and eat it with a spoon anytime soon!

When I was getting a CSA from Bee Heaven Farms, I would get black sapote fruit in my share and that's how I was introduced to it.  But what to do with it? "Work it into something sweet," was the advice.  So, I made this recipe for black sapote oat bars, which are pretty damn good, which was invented by another CSA member and blogger William from Tinkering with Dinner.   Here's his original recipe and his updated version.  I've modified the recipe in red.


1/3 cup vanilla sugar  (regular sugar)
1 cup mashed black sapote  (1.5 cups works better, about five sapote)
1/6 cup ground walnuts (1/4 cup)
1/6 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1/4 t or omit)
1 t high quality cocoa powder
1 t vanilla extract
blended together.
1/6 teaspoon fine-ground coffee (1/4 t)
and a pinch of salt.

Base and Topping: 

3/4 cup butter, softened,
1 cup packed light brown sugar
and then mixed with
1 1/2 cups rolled oats,
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
and another pinch of salt.
1/4 c coconut to top half of oat mixture

That's half packed on the bottom of a buttered 9"x13" baking pan, then spread with the black sapote mixture. The other half is mixed with a small handful of crushed walnut bits and crumbled on top.

All baked at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until light brown. 

These look fabulous but there is a problem:  the oat and coconut topping are too dry.

RESULT:  VERY GOOD, very easy and very tasty.  But also VERY CRUMBLY.  I think you need a good cup and a half of the fruit to give it more flavor in the midst of the oat crumble base and topping and also to give the bars a thicker layer of the sweet fruit filling.   I did find there to be a lot of waste from the crumble on top being too dry, it did not seem to adhere well and just kept falling off.   After cutting the bars up, I had a good cup of wasted crumbs and coconut.   I think I'd add the coconut and more butter to the topping to hold it together more, any bakers out there have any  other suggestions?

These black sapote oat bars are very, very good!

Also, I've omitted the cinnamon and added a teaspoon of chocolate and vanilla to enhance the "chocolate" properties of the fruit.  Taste?  Like a chocolately, figgy, date-like bar.  They are quite delicious actually.

Darlings, have you ever eaten a black sapote?  What's your favorite way to prepare it?  Have you ever eaten them in a savory dish?  DO tell, La Diva all about it!

Ciao for now, darlings!


Nadege said...

The black sapote bars look good and must be delicious but I don't think I would be able to find them in SoCal. (I am with you about carob and all the other imitations. If I want chocolate, I will eat chocolate, if I want crab, I'll eat the real thing…). Nadege

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks, Nadege! You MIGHT be able to find them because apparently they grow well in Mexico too. However, it's not something that I crave or can't live without.

Nadege said...

I just like to try to fruits and vegetables. I will inquire about them. Thanks Laura!

RJ Flamingo said...

It does look great! I'm not sure what I'd do to make that topping stick, though. You might try mixing more butter into it to see if that helps, but I'm not much of a crumble-baker, so I'm a bit at a loss.