Native gardenias (sometimes under the alias of a Yellow Mangosteen) are currently abundant at Bunnings and other garden nurseries in the lead up to Spring, but what should you do with the round fruit once it blossoms and blooms?
Make chocolate truffles, that's what.
Cracking open a (ripe) native gardenia fruit exposes a thick, brown flesh, not unlike the texture of an old chocolate Spacefood Stick from your school lunchbox in the 80s.
There are also seeds. Many, many seeds.
It's not terribly sweet on its own, but makes for great eating when you combine it with a chocolate bar and cream- there the native gardenia shines by adding a unique richness to your homemade truffles that other people will rack their brain trying to identify what on earth they're eating.
All they know is that it's good. Bloody good.
And here's how to make your own.
2x Native Gardenia fruits
1x 50g Milky Bar bar
2 tbsp coconut oil
Desiccated coconut for rolling (optional)
1. Scoop out the flesh of the native gardenia and separate the seeds. This can be tricky and fiddly- I found the best method was to use a sieve and rub the flesh through the holes into a bowl while the seeds remained trapped.
2. Melt the Milky Bar and coconut oil in the microwave. Stir in the native gardenia flesh into the mixture with the cream.
3. Place in the fridge to harden slightly so you can work with the mixture. About 15 minutes should do the trick.
4. Roll into balls of deliciousness and roll into a tray with desiccated coconut (optional but helps them to not stick to each other in the fridge).
5. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes until firm-up.
6. Wow your work colleagues with your exotic cooking abilities at morning tea.