Recipe - Peanut butter caramel bites
These little bites are one of my current favourite things to make. They’re salty, sweet, chocolatey and perfect for Christmas Day, or as gifts!
The base of these is a Gianduja. Traditionally a gianduja is a paste made of chocolate and hazelnuts, but here were using peanuts, to turn this into a fancy snickers. You can use hazelnuts instead, or any other nut you can find in a paste/butter form.
To make these, you’re going to need to temper the gianduja base. It sounds a bit of a pain, and can be a little tricky, but is necessary to get a smooth mouth feel.
Tempering is a process that aligns the crystals in cocoa butter, the fat found in chocolate, that allows it to set properly at room temperature. It also gives the chocolate a matte shine, and a snap when you break it. Tempering is only necessary for couverture chocolate, which is chocolate made with cocoa butter. Compound chocolate is made with vegetable fats (normally palm oil), it doesn’t require tempering to set, but also doesn’t taste nearly as good or have as nice a mouth feel. I really recommend you make these with a couverture chocolate, the best supermarket brand for this is Lindt chocolate, as it has the highest cocoa butter content and so will be a bit thinner and easier to temper.
On top of the gianduja base is a luscious whipped caramel. This recipe was shared on instagram by the amazing Philip Khoury. It has a deep caramel flavour that adds depth to this bite. Finished with roasted, salted peanuts, you have the perfect sweet and salty combo.
PEANUT BUTTER BITES - MAKES 24
PEANUT BUTTER GIANDUJA
350G 50% DARK CHOCOLATE
175G SMOOTH PEANUT BUTTER
Line a 16 x 10cm plastic container with spray oil and baking paper, so that the paper is hanging over the edges, which will help you lift it out later. The exacts size of the plastic container doesn’t matter, I just use your average takeout container size. Melt the dark chocolate and peanut butter together until it reaches 45c. You now need to cool the mixture down to 26c. If you have a marble chopping board you can spread the chocolate (also known as tabling) with a palette knife and scrape it back up until you have reached the final temperature. Alternatively, stir the chocolate constantly until it cools down (you may want to do this over a bowl of ice water, making sure to not get any water in the mix, as it will seize your chocolate)
Stirring or moving the mixture constantly to cool it down is essential, as this is what causes the crystals to form. Once your chocolate has reached 26c pour it into your lined container and tap it on the bench to smooth the top.
Leave to set for about 15-30 minutes at room temperature, you want to avoid putting it in the fridge, but if its particularly hot you may need to.
Once set, remove from the container, using a small knife to loosen it from the edges if need be. Use a large, sharp knife to trim the edges and cut into 2x2cm squares. Reserve at room temperature until needed, they will last 1 month in an air tight container.
CARAMEL WHIP - ADAPTED FROM PHIL KHOURY
1 SHEET GELATINE
1/2TSP VANILLA PASTE
20 G WATER
40G SALTED BUTTER
Bring the cream and vanilla bean to a boil, or warm it in the microwave until hot. Soak the gelatine leaf in cold water until soft and reserve.
Bring the sugar and water to the boil over a medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches a deep amber colour. Immediately add in the warmed cream, allow it to bubble up for a minute, then stir to combine. The steam will be very hot so be careful! Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine and butter. Use a stick blender to emulsify the butter in to the mix. This will be a little tricky with such a small amount but is essential. You want to look super close at the caramel and make sure there are no droplets of fat on the surface of the caramel, if you’re not sure, blend it for another minute just to be safe.
Chill the caramel overnight, pressing a piece of clingfilm onto the surface to stop it from forming a skin.
100G ROASTED SALTED PEANUTS, CHOPPED INTO COARSE PIECES.
Whisk the caramel until it reaches stiff peaks (this may take a while, so use an electric mixer if you have one!) Pipe a blob of caramel (about 1-1/2 tsp) on each gianduja bite. Dip the top into the peanuts, pushing down gently so the tip flattens down to a nice round. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or the freezer for 2 weeks.