If your dessert dreams are made of peanut butter and chocolate, you'll need to try this new recipe from eat chic founder Lotta Andonian.
Setting up shop in East London, Lotta Andonian and her eat chic artisan chocolatiers have embarked on a worthy mission; to revolutionise the classic chocolate and peanut butter cup.
Already winning awards for her efforts, Andonian's sweet treat boutique offers up twists on the American tradition from organic ingredients and dark, milk or white chocolate, to a whole host of nut butters including almond, cashew and hazelnut, plus coconut, sea salt and fruit jam filling additions.
But if you fancy having a go at whipping some up yourself, here's everything you need straight from the eat chic recipe book.
Put together by Andonian herself, the recipe can be halved, doubled or even quintupled depending on the size of the crowd you're feeding (or your self control), and the peanut butter can also be substituted for other nuts and nut butters such as almond, hazelnut, or cashew.
It also makes extra peanut butter (we do love leftovers in the mixing bowl), perfect for slathering on toast and waffles, or as a dip for bananas and apples. Any extra tempered chocolate can be poured onto greaseproof paper and left to set, then used again in the future.
- 500 grams raw or dry roasted unsalted peanuts, or 500 grams of natural unsalted peanut butter (stir first to evenly distribute oils)
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt or himalayan salt
- 300 grams high-quality milk, dark or white chocolate, roughly chopped (or use chocolate callets or buttons)
- Mini muffin tin
- Mini cupcake wrappers
- Food processor
- Spatula and spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Pot and bowl to fit over
- Medium sized bowl
- Measuring cups
- Pastry bag (optional)
- Fine-mesh sieve
Makes: 24 mini chocolate peanut butter cups
Time: 45 minutes to make the peanut butter; 30-40 minutes to temper the chocolate and assemble the cups
Making the peanut butter
Tip: Skip to step five if you are using store bought peanut butter
Step one: Preheat the oven to 180C and spread the raw peanuts out on a Silpat mat or baking sheet lined with parchment. (Skip to step 3 if you are using roasted peanuts).
Step two: Roast the peanuts for 15-20 minutes, checking that they do not burn. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Rub the peanuts with a paper towel to remove as much of the skin as possible (do not worry about getting all of the skins off).
Step three: Add the peanuts to a powerful food processor fitted with an S blade, such as a Cuisinart, and start blending the peanuts in pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or so. The bowl of the food processor should be about 2/3 full so the nuts are not flying everywhere, but also not too full so that there is still some room for them to move. The peanuts will change from coarsely chopped into dry clumps, and finally into a creamy, spreadable peanut butter. This process may take up to 20 minutes, so patience is necessary.
Tip: If your food processor is not powerful enough, add a few drops of peanut oil or a neutral oil such as sunflower oil at a time to help it along. This should be a last resort however, as peanut butter is best with no added oils.
Step four: Once you have achieved the right consistency ( a creamy, spreadable peanut butter), add in the brown sugar, vanilla extract and sea salt, then blend again. Taste and add salt and/or sugar to suit your preference.
Step five: Spoon the peanut butter into a piping bag and cut off the pointy tip to make a hole the size of a 5 pence coin. If you do not have piping bags, you can use a small spoon and your fingers to fill the chocolate cups.
Making the chocolate cups
Step six: Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners. Place 100 grams of chopped chocolate or chocolate buttons in a medium bowl.
Step seven: Melt the remaining 200 grams of the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water on the stove top, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts).
Heat the chocolate to the following temperature ranges, making sure the temperature does not exceed the maximum:
- Dark chocolate 45-50C
- Milk chocolate 40-45C
- White chocolate 40-42C
Step eight: Once the chocolate is at the proper temperature, remove the bowl from over the pot of water, wipe any condensation off of the bowl (water drops will ruin the chocolate) and pour the melted chocolate over the other 100 grams of chocolate.
Stir gently to melt the chocolate and bring the temperature down to the following temperature ranges:
- Dark chocolate: 31-32C
- Milk chocolate 30-31C
- White chocolate 29-30C
Tip: You can check that the chocolate is in temper by dipping the tip of a knife in it and leaving it to set for 3-5 minutes. If it hardens with a glossy finish, it is in temper.
Step nine: Place about a teaspoon of chocolate in the bottom of a liner and use the spoon or a clean finger to spread the chocolate up the walls of the liner. Repeat for each liner and leave to set for 5 minutes.
Step ten: Pipe or spoon about a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each cup, so that it does not rise above the top of the liners, then lift and gently drop the tin once or twice to flatten out the peanut butter.
Step eleven: Top the peanut butter with another spoonful of chocolate for each cup, then again lift and gently drop the tin once or twice to flatten out the chocolate. Spread the chocolate over any uncovered peanut butter with the back of the spoon to create a smooth surface on the top of each peanut butter cup, then sprinkle with a bit of Maldon sea salt.
Tip: If your chocolate thickens, reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave or over the simmering water to get it liquid and to the right temperature again.
To finish: Let the chocolate set for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy.
All images courtesy of eat chic