Cacao Pesto and Cherry Tomato, Mini Focaccia

Prep Time: 0H30M and 2-3H rising time Cooking Time: 0H15M Serves: 18-20 mini focaccias
These have been one of my staple party foods for years. The cacao adds subtle depth both to the bread and to the pesto.
willie's cacao recipes



  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 250 ml water
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 9g dried yeast
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 25g 100% cacao. Try Peruvian Black, Chulucanas 100% cacao


For the topping

  • 200g cherry tomatoes cut into halves
  • A few fresh basil leaves as garnish
  • 150g cacao pesto
  • 75g fresh basil leaves
  • 30g parmesan cheese
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 12g 100% cacao. Try Venezuelan, Carenero 100% cacao
  • 40ml olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step by step photographic guide

Share & Print


  • To make the cacao pesto, melt the cacao in the olive oil then put this with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix to a rough paste. Check the seasoning.
  • Heat the cacao in the milk and half the water until the cacao is melted
  • Warm the rest of the water to hand temperature and put in the yeast for about 10 minutes until it starts frothing
  • Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add the olive oil, salt and yeast and cacao mixtures
  • 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 and roll the dough into a rectangle about 7mm deep.
  • Cover with the pesto and roll it up along its long side.
  • Cut the sausage of dough into 15mm high rounds
  • Turn the rounds on their side and push 3 cherry tomato halves into the cracks. Don’t worry when the dough rises it will fill in the cracks.
  • Leave in a warm place for 1 hour for the dough to rise. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • When risen, lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt if wanted
  • Place the breads in the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.


Willie Recommends

Mole Negro

Prep Time Cooking Time
2 hrs + 2 hrs

Coq au Vin

Prep Time Cooking Time
40 mins 1 hr 40 mins

Alternative Recipes

gazpacho with cacao


Prep Time Cooking Time
25 mins 0