Passion Fruit Spheres With Popping Candy

These passion fruit spheres burst in your mouth releasing an intense hit of passion fruit puree. We've balanced the slight sourness of the passion fruit with a sweet chocolate soil and a sprinkling of chocolate popping candy. 

We've opted to use reverse spherification to make these passion fruit spheres. Reverse spherification has come to be preferred over basic spherification because it is more versatile and the spheres are less fragile. To read more about reverse spherification, see our article on 6 Things You Need To Know About Reverse Spherification

And as if spherification wasn't magical enough, we've also created chocolate soil from just 3 basic ingredients - chocolate, water and sugar. The chocolate crystallises as it comes into contact with the hot sugar syrup with spectacular results. To top it off, a sprinkling of chocolate popping candy ensures this dishes is a multi-sensory sensation!

 For the passion fruit spheres Serves: 8

For the sodium alginate bath

  • 500ml bottled low-calcium water
  • 2.5g sodium alginate (0.5%)

For the chocolate soil


  • 200ml bottled low-calcium water (for washing the spheres)
  • 40g chocolate popping candy (to serve)
  • Black porcelain canape dishes (to serve)
  • 10 small sprigs of mint (to serve)


The passion fruit spheres

  1. Begin by making the sodium alginate bath. Mix the water and sodium alginate in a food processor on full speed for 1 minute, until evenly dispersed.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, ideally a bowl with a flat bottom and perpendicular sides. Cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge overnight.
  3. For the passion fruit spheres, mix the passion fruit with the sugar and calcium lactate in a food processor on full speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add the xanthan gum and mix for a further minute on full speed.
  5. Refrigerate overnight to allow the air bubbles to disappear.
  6. When you are ready to spherify, prepare a bowl with 200ml water for washing the spheres.
  7. Fill the measuring spoon with the puree and pour it into the sodium alginate bath. Place the spoon close to the surface of the bath and flip the spoon to pour it in.
  8. Try one sphere at a time to begin with. Leave the sphere in the bath for about 2 minutes, gently moving it around and stirring with the spherification spoon.
  9. Use the spherification spoon to lift the sphere out of the bath and into the prepared bowl of water. Store them in this bowl and transfer to the plating dish once ready.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

The chocolate soil

  1. Prepare a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Heat the water and sugar in a pan to 135°C. Use a thermapen thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour in the dark chocolate couverture chips. Stir with a whisk until the mixture crystallises.
  4. Tip onto the greaseproof paper and wait until cooled before using.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

To assemble

  1. Place a teaspoon of chocolate soil at the bottom of the canape dishes.
  2. Use the spherification spoon to delicately place the passion fruit sphere on top.
  3. Finish with a sprinkling of chocolate popping candy and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


  • This dessert is seriously incredible. I definitely would love to try out the recipe, but I doubt my version would turn out as perfect as yours – so I think I will just ogle and pin the image instead!

    Thalia @ butter and on

  • I agree with Thalia! I am totally intimidated by this, but it looks so gorgeous! Pinned :)

    The Blonde Chef on

  • Thank you for providing such a swift reply, Nicola.

    Tom on

  • That’s been updated for you – sorry about that.

    nicola on

  • No information about the quantity of dark chocolate couverture required in the ‘chocolate soil’ section of the recipe?

    Tom on

  • Fridge temperature to room temperature is fine for both the alginate and rinsing water – the spherification isn’t so sensitive to the precise temperature of the water. I’ve removed the phrase ‘cook’ – you’re right that it was a little confusing.

    nicola on

  • You mention cooking the spheres in the bath. What temperature should the sodium alginate solution be? And what’s the recommended temperature range of the water wash? Really looking forward to trying this.

    Martin Belderson on

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