Serves 12 To 14
From The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg (Hyperion, 2006).
Pastry chef Nicole Plue created this rich smooth nutty chocolate confection on a crunchy base using peanuts rather than the traditional hazelnuts.
Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details
- 2-1/2 ounces SCHARFFEN BERGER 41% Cacao Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups finely crushed, thinly rolled butter cookies, such as pirouette or pirouluxe
- 10 ounces 41% milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Cocoa powder or chopped peanuts for garnish
Cut a 9 by 21-inch piece of parchment paper and line a 9 by 13 by 1- or 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan with the parchment, allowing it to extend evenly over the two short ends.
To Make the Crunchy Layer
Combine the chocolate and peanut butter in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the cookies, coating all the pieces with the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Set aside.
To Make the Creamy Layer
Place the chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer and set it over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment, set the bowl on the mixer, and whisk to combine.
In a small saucepan, bring the milk and salt to a boil. Add half of the milk into the peanut butter mixture, and whisk until incorporated, then whisk in the remaining milk. Increase the speed to high and whip for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy and cooled to room temperature.
In a clean bowl, whip the cream just until soft mounds form; do not overwhip. Fold the cream into the peanut butter mixture. Spread it over the crunchy layer in the pan. Cover the pan and freeze until set, at least 4 hours.
To serve, run a knife along the long sides of the dessert and lift it out of the pan using the parchment "handles."
Cut into slices or other desired shapes. Dust with cocoa or sprinkle with chopped peanuts, place on serving plates, and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly.