Chocolate Peanut Butter Gianduja

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Who can resist peanut butter and chocolate? This creamy, truffle-based dessert from Scharffen Berger Chocolate is sure to please lovers of this combo.

By John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

Chocolate Peanut Butter Gianduja

The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate | 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 and the recipe was included in the book, The Essence of Chocolate. Note: Scharffen Berger chocolate for baking and confections is available at many fine foods stores. Use another good quality chocolate if you can't find this brand.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings


Crunchy Layer

2-1/2 oz. Scharffen Berger 41% cacao milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps. creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups finely crushed, thinly rolled butter cookies, such as pirouette or pirouluxe

Creamy Layer

10 oz. 41% milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy cream
Cocoa powder or chopped peanuts for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Cut a 9x21-inch piece of parchment paper and line a 9x13x1-inch or 9x13x2-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.

The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate | John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg | Hyperion, 2006. All rights reserved.

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Photography by Jessica Washburn, Bliss Chocolatier and Ecole Chocolat

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