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Cacao Nibs Focaccia

Prep Time:3 hours 30 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
Serves:6 - 8

The cacao nibs on the outside of this bread lightly toast as it cooks.

This adds a fragrant, nutty chewiness, which contrasts with the softly melting fruitiness of the Taleggio cheese and the fragrant basil inside the bread.

It is best served warm with salads on a summer’s day or with soups on a cold winter day.


250g strong white flour

1 heaped tsp salt

2 teaspoons easy-blend yeast

150ml warm water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

25g roasted cacao nibs

200g Taleggio cheese, cut into 1cm thick slices

12g fresh basil leaves

10g 100%

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil




Put the yeast in hand warm water for about 10 minutes until it starts frothing
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add the olive oil, salt and yeast mixture

Mix using the dough hook of an electric beater until smooth and elastic.  Add more water or flour if necessary to achieve the right consistency.

Tip the dough into a large bowl that you have greased with olive oil.

Pour a little olive oil all around the edge of the dough where it meets the bowl to help it rise. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours until it has doubled in size

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knock it back to its original size
Divide into two pieces, one slightly smaller than the other, and shape each into a ball.

Sprinkle half the cacao nibs over a lightly floured surface.

If the nibs are large, crush them a little in a pestle and mortar or with a rolling pin.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough, evenly over the scattered nibs, to form a circle, approximately 24cm in diameter. Lift onto a lightly floured baking tray.

Arrange the Taleggio slices on top, leaving a 2cm border around the edge of the dough.

Give the Taleggio a light grating of about 10g of cacao. Scatter over the basil leaves, reserving a few as a garnish.

gain, lightly flour the work surface and sprinkle with the remaining cacao nibs, as before.

Roll out the larger ball of dough, evenly over the nibs, to about form a circle about 26cm in diameter.

Wet the edges around the circle of dough on the baking tray and place the larger dough circle over it.

Tuck the overhanging edge of the large circle under the small circle to neaten, then pressing down firmly all along the edges to seal in the filling.

Sprinkle the olive oil over the top.

With a pair of scissors, snip about six holes in the central area of the bread, then scatter over the remaining basil leaves. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until puffy and slightly risen.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C. When sufficiently risen and puffy, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt if wanted and place the bread in the hot oven and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Don’t overcook – this bread should be slightly soft.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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