So, on Sunday I did a bit of spontaneous non-baking and thought I’d experiment with some dark chocolate and peanut butter – two of my absolute favourite things.
I’m usually fairly restrained with my portion sizes but at least with these bad boys I don’t risk chowing down half a jar of peanut butter and can also stick them in the freezer to ration them.
– 200g good quality dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa Green & Blacks plain chocolate as it was on offer).
– 120g of good quality peanut butter (my faves are Whole Earth and Pip & Nut Smooth as they don’t contain added sugar or preservatives but do have a a bit of salt which gives them that addictive taste. Meridian is my next favourite as it’s just pure blitzed peanuts if you wanted to be mega clean).
– 25g shelled pistachio kernels – roughly chopped or bashed with a rolling pin.
– 25g dried cranberries – chopped.
They barely need instructions as they’re so simple but this is how I made them.
Break the chocolate into chunks (eat one obligatory piece) and then place the rest in a bowl/jug over a pan of boiling water to melt.
Take your time, stirring gradually and resist the impatient urge to put it over direct heat or microwave it as it just goes grainy. I’ve learned from experience.
Take 12 silicon cupcake cases and arrange them on a baking sheet/tray. Check at this stage that the tray and cases will fit in your freezer to save having to rearrange it and end up with frozen peas all over the floor like I did. I also used standard size silicon cupcake cases, but you could use mini ones and it might work with the paper ones but I’ve not tested those…
Take a dessert spoon and drizzle in about half a cm of the melted dark chocolate so it covers the base of each one.
Try to use only half of the chocolate at this stage so you save some for the topping. If it helps, divide your chocolate into two equal bowls at this stage so you know how much you have to use for each layer.
Pop the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up.
Take your cupcake cases out of the freezer and place a teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the chocolate base, smooth out, tapping the cases on the tray to level it out. (I like smooth peanut butter for the gooey effect and it’s also easier to spoon and level out. Crunchy would work but you might need to melt or warm it to spoon into the cases.)
Then take your dessert spoon and drizzle in another half a cm of the melted dark chocolate so it covers the peanut butter.
Once you’ve added the remaining chocolate sprinkle on your topping – I used crushed pistachios and chopped cranberries and then put the tray back in the freezer, preferably over night to set.
Permission granted to now lick the spoon/s!
Confession – I got bit impatient and tried to eat one after an hour and I ended up in a chocolate and peanut butter mess as the layers hadn’t set properly (classy).
I then portioned them up into tubs and kept them in the freezer safely out of harms way.
Once frozen overnight I found that mine were edible straight from the freezer – the dark chocolate was cold and crunchy like a retro choc ice but the peanut butter was still gooey in the middle. This might vary though depending on the brands you use and you might find you need to warm them up to room temperature before you eat them.
This recipe made 12 decent size cups and when I put it into My Fitness Pal they came out at 186 calories each. (4.8g protein. 7g carbs. 15g fat. 4g sugar).
They’re fairly calorific and high in fat but peanut butter is rich in monounsaturated fats – the ‘good’ ‘healthy’ fats that your body uses as instant energy rather than storing it and it can also help reduce cholesterol.
As a comparison a Mars bar has around 260 calories, 2.5g protein, 40g carbs, 10g fat and 34.6g sugar (10 teaspoons).
Everything in moderation right?
If you try them let me know what you think…