Saturday, 20 August 2011

Peanut Butter Cups

A regular reader of mine sent in this link, asking if I could try doing this with Basics ingredients. Oddly enough, I do miss eating peanut butter cups, which are readily available in the States and back where I come from, but are difficult to find in the UK. And I'm not alone. My housemates and their friends are all pretty fond of the confectionery, and I have to keep that in mind when I buy some to take back with me. Indeed, once when a group of Americans asked me why I was buying a sizable supply of Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups in New York, I simply pointed out the lack of availability where I was based. They nodded understandingly and approvingly.

I would need some form of paper cups to put my chocolate in though. Luckily, my local Sainsbury's stocks Petit Four cases, available in packs of 100, for under a pound. It's unlikely I would be needing this very often, so I'm glad that I didn't have to pay too much for this.

The recipe was originally sourced from Epicurious, which in turn cited it from the December 1990 issue of American food magazine Bon Appetit. While following the recipe I made some improvisations and mistakes, detailed below.

Make the peanut butter blend according to the recipe instructions. The recipe called for sour cream and whipping cream to be blended into the peanut butter, but not wanting to buy a tub of each for the express purpose of making confectionery, I improvised and made the blend from one tablespoon of peanut butter and a splash of semi-skimmed milk. The effect achieved was similar, a smooth peanut butter filling.

Leave the peanut butter filling to cool for a few hours in the fridge.

 A couple of hours later, start up a steam bath and proceed to melt some chocolate.

Use a teaspoon to pick up a dollop of melted chocolate and drop it into the centre of a paper case. Use the back of the teaspoon to then line the walls of the paper case with chocolate, as shown above. Leave to cool in fridge for 20 minutes, and do not do as I did, which was to proceed to the next step without the fridging.

Drop a dollop of the peanut butter filling into each case, and seal off with chocolate. Leave to cool at room temperature before packing into a box for further cooling in the fridge.

It was good being able to bite into something that I have started to miss when my supply of Reese's ran out. I'm guessing that this would probably be most useful to the sizable population of Americans, particularly the youth, who are currently based in the UK for one reason or another, and miss peanut butter cups but are unwilling to pay the price charged by some places here for the privilege of eating them. In the meantime, I suppose this experience may come in handy when entertaining guests in future.

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