Having knocked out some dark chocolates recently, it was time to try out milk chocolate. It’s not really that I’m a chocoholic but I am slightly obsessed with making it! Having said that, I can’t really be bothered with the whole tempering gig; I’m far too impatient for all that. So, this recipe is for those of you who want a quick chocolate fix without the fuss.
I’ve made another version of nut chocolate previously – that one used coconut oil as the setting agent – an ingredient widely accessible. This version uses the authentic stuff – cacao butter – and delivers something a little closer to ‘real’ chocolate.
I adapted this recipe from one I saw on YouTube from Todd’s Kitchen – I used raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder, added salt and vanilla extract, as well as peanuts. I made two versions actually… one with the suggested icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) and one with honey. The sugar version does deliver chocolate more akin to the bought stuff, though it doesn’t have the ‘snap’ quality of tempered chocolate. The honey version, apart from tasting strongly of honey, is much fudgier. But both are delicious and you can choose whichever version suits.
Of course, it goes without saying, that if you don’t like peanuts you can add whatever you prefer – perhaps slivered almonds, raisins, cranberries or crystalised ginger. You can also adjust the amount of milk powder to suit as well. Enjoy!
PEANUT MILK CHOCOLATES
Makes about 16 chocolates (depending on size of mould)
Ingredients: (This recipe uses metric quantities; click here for Unit Converter)
- 75g cacao butter
- 75g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), sifted (or you can use about 2-3 tablespoons honey)
- 25g milk powder
- 30g raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (don’t use the stuff with alcohol in it or your mixture may seize)
- 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
- Place a Pyrex or metal bowl on top of a saucepan that has a small amount of water in it. Bring the water to a slow simmer over a moderate heat then turn the heat down to low.
- Grate or finely slice the cacao butter and add tothe bowl. The cacao butter will start to melt straight away – use a whisk to stir it around as it melts.
- Once the cacao butter has melted, add the sifted icing sugar (or honey) a little at a time and stir well until the sugar is fully incorporated.
- Now add the milk powder and stir well. Then add the cacao powder (or cocoa) and stir well once again. Finally add the salt, peanuts and optional vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a chocolate mould (a silicon mould helps make the chocolate shiny), then put into the fridge until set (roughly takes an hour). Store the chocolate in the fridge to keep it firm.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting