Chocolate Peach Melba


(Serves 8)

For the crystallised chocolate

  • 200g white caster sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

For the caramelised chocolate mousse

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 240g whipping cream, warmed
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 200g Callebaut Grenade 60% couverture
  • 560g whipping cream, semi-whipped
  • 2g salt

For the caramelised peaches

  • 2 peaches, cut into quarters
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g salted butter
  • 1 sprig of lemon thyme
  • Dash of rum/whisky

For the raspberry compote

  • 2 punnets raspberries
  • 2tbs of icing sugar
  • Juice of one lemon

For the caramelised almonds

  • 100g almonds
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Dash of rum
  • Pinch of vanilla salt

To serve

  • Micro thyme leaves
  • Lemon curd
  • 1tsp Nudo Mandarin olive oil
  • Chocolate curl


For the crystallised chocolate
Take sugar and water to 135°C. Whisk in the chocolate so it crystallises. Turn out on a Silpat mat and leave to cool. The chocolate will last two weeks in a sealed container.

For the caramelised chocolate mousse
Make a direct caramel till golden. Stir the warmed whipping cream and scraped vanilla pod into the caramel in stages. Once all the cream has been added, cook out for two to three minutes. Add the salt. Pour over the melted chocolate and combine to make a ganache. In three stages, combine the cream and ganache together. Place into a container and place in the fridge to set.

For the caramelised peaches
Melt the butter in the pan. Add the cut peaches and fry off a little. Sprinkle over sugar and caramelise. Add the thyme and then flambé the rum over it.

For the raspberry compote
Crush half the raspberries with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Carefully fold through the remaining half-cut raspberries.

For the caramelised almonds
Place the nuts and sugar, salt and rum into a pan and gently heat. Keep stirring to caramelise the sugar around the nuts. Turn out on a Silpat and cool till needed.

Plating up
Place a spoonful of crystallised chocolate on the plate. Place a quenelle of the mousse on top of the crystallised chocolate. Pipe a few dots of lemon curd on the plate, placing the nuts adjacent to them. Add the thyme tops on to the lemon curd. Dot the raspberries around the plate with a little of the juice. Place two caramelised peaches on the plate using a little of the roasting juices as sauce. Place a chocolate curl on top of the mousse and spoon the olive oil around the plate with a little on the mousse.

Will Torrent, pastry chef consultant

Will’s tantalising chocolate peach melba shows that chocolate is a great backdrop for a cornucopia of flavours, here combining thyme, lemon curd, vanilla and rum to great effect. A challenging food and wine match up, but a clutch of sweet red wines are at hand to save the day. Recioto della Valpolicella from Italy’s Veneto region or Banyuls from the French Pyrenees spring to mind. Tawny port would also work well. My preference would be the Italian, the least alcoholic of the three. My favoured source of affordable Recioto is Ca’ La Bionda. Their wine is elegant and rich, but not cloying, with good minerality and velvety fruit character and a clean finish. Sipped in small amounts, the combination is quite magical.
Richard Rotti, group wine buyer, Caprice Holdings