Archive for May, 2010

Peanut butter cups, anyone?

May 29, 2010

I finally perfected this recipe and had to share. If you’re addicted to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (like me), you will probably greet this post with a mixture of greedy delight and concern—because having not only a large quantity but a better quality version of these on hand is bound to be dangerous!

This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Peanut Butter Squares in her fantastic book, How to be a Domestic Goddess. I love Nigella, I love her recipes, and I love her eccentric turn of phrase, but in my opinion she got this one wrong. The original version was just too sweet, and any peanut-butter-and-chocolate aficionado will tell you that the true beauty of this marriage lies in the pairing of sweet with salty.

For those of you with access to the original recipe, the main changes I’ve made are to reduce the amount of sugar in the peanut-butter base, and to increase the peanut-butter to chocolate ratio.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Slice

75g dark muscovado sugar (subsitute brown sugar, but muscovado is really what you want)

150g icing sugar, sifted

75g unsalted butter

300g peanut butter (smooth and crunchy are both fine, depends how you want the texture of the slice)

flour, to bind (I used rice flour to make this gluten-free, how much you need will depend on what sort of flour you use and how oily your pb is)

200g milk chocolate

100g dark chocolate

50g unsalted butter, extra

Put the muscovado sugar, icing sugar and peanut butter in a food processor and whiz briefly until combined (if you don’t have a food processor first think seriously about buying one as they are the most useful kitchen appliance ever, then stir the ingredients together in a bowl). Melt the butter and whiz into the peanut butter mixture. Add the flour between pulses, a sprinkle at a time, or until the mixture binds together and is no longer wet. Don’t worry if you still have small lumps of muscovado sugar, it’s nicer that way. Press this mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper (choose the size of your tray based on how thick you want the slice to be).

To make the topping, melt the chocolates and butter together until smooth. An aside about chocolate choices: I’ve recently been buying chocolate chips as an express chocolate cooking option, since they are already in nice small bits. However for this recipe I wouldn’t recommend the sort that say ‘holds shape once baked’ as your chocolate mixture will be a bit dry and not easily spreadable. Go instead for ‘chocolate melts’ (or if you have time and inclination, buy a block and break it up).

Let the chocolate cool a little and then spread over the base. Put the tin in the fridge to set. Serve at room temperature, cut into squares. Attempt not to eat the lot in one go.

Here is all that is left of mine. Not so pretty, but damn tasty!

I’d like to point out that I didn’t eat it all by myself, I made this to take into work for morning tea. And there are at least two dozen people who can corroborate this story.

I heart…

May 26, 2010

double rainbows at work

over-the-top tea-cosies

wool day at the old bus depot markets

and surprise crafty gifts!

What’s getting you through the cold weather?

Canberra can be very pretty at certain times of the year

May 3, 2010

On the ANZAC day public holiday we escaped the house to walk by the lake, enjoying the afternoon sunshine, and the mild weather which could vanish at any moment.

We walked around the Carillon island—the first time I’ve done that in fourteen years—and along the lake’s edge to Regatta Point. Perhaps it was the long weekend tinting everything with the golden light of pleasure, but I thought Canberra was looking particularly well.

Starry cupcake papers of unlimited potential

May 2, 2010

Purchased at The Essential Ingredient in Kingston. I think I can feel another batch of cupcakes coming on…