2 mousse cups garnished with toasted coconut and edible flowers on a blue-trimmed napkin with 2 gold spoons and a brick background.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

Passion Fruit.  It’s one of my newer obsessions.  I’m not sure if it’s because it’s not a run-of-the-mill flavor, or if it’s just because it’s so fucking good, but either way, I’m here for it. 

It’s not often that I host a dinner party, but when I do, I go all out – themed menu and all.  Believe it or not, even I can’t eat Italian/Italian-American cuisine every day.  Wanting to do something different, I went for a Cuban-themed feast.  (I think Staten Island’s lack of restaurant diversity also has something to do with me having to cook certain cuisines at home.)  The sides and main were a given: stewed beans, garlic infused rice and ropa vieja, but I needed a dessert.  This is what I came up with and it was a crowd pleaser.  

Depending on where you live, getting your hands on some high-quality passion fruit puree can be a project, but it’s worth sourcing!

Coconut Passion Mousse

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours
Servings: 8


  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 cup passion fruit puree, divided
  • cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Toasted coconut, for serving
  • Micro cilantro, for serving
  • Edible flowers, for serving


  • In a small bowl, mix the gelatin with 2 tablespoons of cool water; allow to set.
  • In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup of the passion fruit puree, the sugar and the gelatin mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Add the remaining passion fruit puree, cream of coconut and vanilla.
  • Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whip the cream to medium peaks. Fold the cream into the passion fruit mixture with a whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the mixture into 8 ramekins. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Garnish with toasted coconut, micro cilantro and edible flowers.


Make sure you mix the cream of coconut well to re-emulsify and remove lumps.
Passion fruit can be pricey and hard to find. You can substitute with any other tropical fruit juice, preferably with no added sugar.
Course: Dessert
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino