Home Food & Health African Food RECIPE: Mopane Worm Chocolate Tree and Ginger Crumble Soil

RECIPE: Mopane Worm Chocolate Tree and Ginger Crumble Soil


For Unaty Daniel (37), becoming a chef was never something she planned, although her grandmother worked in the culinary industry. Before finding something that she actually likes to do, Daniel tried to study electrical engineering and worked as a waitress.

Fast forward a few years later and she owns a patisserie and bakery. Daniel prepared a dessert true to our African roots – a mopane worm chocolate tree and ginger crumble soil.

Ingredients and Methods:

Chef Unaty Daniel
Chef Unaty Daniel



  • 100g dark baking chocolate


  1. Melt dark chocolate and on a flat surface spread chocolate on baking paper.
  2. To harden the chocolate, place it over a pot of ice-cold water for 20 seconds.
  3. Remove and shape like a cylinder. Set aside.

Milk chocolate custard


  • 100g cream
  • 100g milk
  • 40g egg yolks
  • 20g sugar
  • 138g milk chocolate
  • 2 leaves of gelatine


  1. Soak gelatine leaves in cold water.
  2. In a pot mix the egg yolks, sugar, milk and cream. Place on the stove to 85°C, while constantly stirring for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the gelatine then add it together with the 138g milk chocolate to the hot mixture. Allow to set.

Ginger chocolate soil

Chef Unaty Daniel unique African dessert
Chef Unaty Daniel unique African dessert


  • 60g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 15g finely crushed mopane worms
  • 100g ginger powder
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 10g coco powder


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Rub all the ‘soil’ ingredients together, placing the mixture in the oven for 8 minutes or until it crumbles.

Coated mopane worms


  • 50g mopane worms
  • Enough hot water enough to cover all the worms
  • Caramel sauce


  1. Soak mopane worms in hot water for 30 minutes to remove all the dirt.
  2. Dry with paper a towel and coat with a caramel sauce.

Assembling the tree


  • Mint leaves and food glue


  1. Assemble everything prepared by putting the chocolate soil on a plate and placing the chocolate tree cylinder on top. Fill it with the milk chocolate custard.
  2. Dust the cylinder with coco powder mixed with finely crushed worms.
  3. With a food glue stick the mint leaves onto the cylinder.
  4. Place caramel coated worms around the ‘tree’ and serve.

Read: Former waitress becomes a successful chef

Chantélle Hartebeest
Chantélle Hartebeest
CHANTÉLLE HARTEBEEST is a young journalist who has a fiery passion for storytelling. She is eager to be the voice of the voiceless and has worked in both radio and print media before joining Food For Mzansi.

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