For the soil

  • 1 bought chocolate loaf cake (un-iced), about 250g


  • STEP 1

    Make the soil first. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Thinly slice the chocolate cake and lay on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Bake for 30 mins, turning the slices halfway, until crisp to the touch. Put in a food processor and whizz to crunchy crumbs. Will keep well for up to a week in an airtight tin.

  • STEP 2

    Make the fondants by brushing 6 dariole moulds well with melted butter. Chill for 1 min, then brush again. Put a spoon of cocoa powder in one and shake about so the whole inside is coated, then tip out the rest into the next and tap the bottom of the dariole to get out any excess. Repeat with all the darioles.

  • STEP 3

    Beat together the softened butter, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla to cream them, then beat in the eggs, followed by the flour. Stir in the melted chocolate and divide between the darioles. Chill for up to 24 hrs.

  • STEP 4

    To serve, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Bake the fondants for 10-12 mins – the top will be set, but you should feel a soft middle when you prod it. Add a small pile of soil to each plate and top with a cherry – or put the soil in a mini bucket or flowerpot. Add a spoon of cherry compote to each plate and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Finally, carefully turn each chocolate fondant out onto the plate – they should come out easily. Serve immediately.


Milk chocolate contains far fewer cocoa solids – around 20-40%. The aromatics won’t be as prominent as they are in dark chocolate, so just choose a bar that you like the taste of.


White chocolate contains no cocoa solids – it is made from cocoa butter, milk powders and sugar. White chocolate is hard to melt and often seizes when heated. In the Test Kitchen, we’ve found that the cheaper varieties of white chocolate are much less temperamental, and best for cooking.


If your recipe requires dark chocolate, look for one with over 68% cocoa solids – the higher the percentage, the more intense the flavour will be. Chocolate that comes from a single origin (such as Madagascar or Ghana) is often of high quality, each origin being praised for producing different flavours and aromas, as a good coffee would be. Most supermarkets stock their own single-origin chocolate, which is great value and often supported by The Fairtrade Foundation.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2013

Goes well with


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