Caramel biscuit, chocolate and peanut butter no bake tray bake!

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Oooh I love a good tray bake, especially when it’s a minimal fuss, no bake, tray bake. The amalgamation of caramel, chocolate and peanut is a heavenly flavour sensation, and not to mention a reliable crowd pleaser.

This recipe makes quite a large batch (these were for church), so by all means halve the quantities if you want,  or alternatively freeze any leftovers (if you can resist the urge to hide in a dark corner and demolish them).

I whizzed up two 250g packs of Lotus Biscoff biscuits in a blender with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar, before adding in dollops of crunchy peanut butter. When the mixture starts to clump together you’ve added enough. Press these sticky crumbs into a shallow tray (I think mine was probably about 12″ by 8″). Now melt 300g milk chocolate in a bain-marie, adding in a cup of Smooth Lotus Biscoff spread. Stir until it melts and pour over the biscuit base. Now melt a couple of additional tablespoons of the biscuit spread and drizzle over the chocolate topping. Use a skewer to unleash your artistic talents and make swirly patterns on top. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours before slicing into fingers or squares. Delicious!

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If you prefer a more uniform pattern on the top pipe little blobs of the melted biscuit spread onto the chocolate in straight rows and then drag a skewer through the centre of each blob in the row to create perfect little hearts. Here’s a pic from another test bake I made a while ago to demonstrate the technique.

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Chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake

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This cake is not for the faint hearted, or weak hearted for that matter. If you’re watching your calorie intake you’re reading the wrong blog, as this is the ultimate in chocolate peanut butter blow outs.

A friend had given me a jar of chocolate spread, and because it’s not the type of thing I’d usually spread on my toast I wanted a recipe to use it up. Hence coming up with this beauty!

For the base I used a packet of chocolate digestive biscuits, some salted peanuts, and melted butter. Having accidently put too much butter in the biscuit crumbs, I needed to ad-lib a little using whatever I could lay my hands on to soak up the excess butter, as we didn’t have any other biscuits in. So, some pretzels and granola later the base was ready. I pressed it into a springform tin and chilled it whilst making the topping.

The topping was completely made up as I went along. I whipped approx 300ml double cream  then mixed in 500g mascarpone, a jar of smooth peanut butter and a jar of chocolate spread. It needed a bit of something sour to cut through the richness and about 200ml of natural yoghurt did the trick.  After spreading the topping on the base I drizzled about 50g melted milk chocolate over the cheesecake and sprinkled with crushed salted peanuts. Leave to set in the fridge over night.

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This dessert was one of a few I did for a welcome home party for some friends who had just arrived back from a round the world adventure.

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I also did a rhubarb, strawberry and rose water pavlova:

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Mini creme pat and filo, fruit tartlets (recipe here) :

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A fruit platter and a cheeseboard.

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It was a great success and a lovely evening was had by all.

Chocolate and peanut butter cake pops

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In my previous post I showed you my Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting Mini Cakes and was aware that some of you may be wondering what I did with all the left over scraps of cake once I’d cut out the mini cakes?

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Well,  I would’ve been well within my rights to devour it myself, however I had a far more creative idea up my sleeve… Cake Pops! I’ve never attempted them before, but with all that cake and peanut butter frosting left over it just made sense!

Put all the cake and some of frosting in the mixer.

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Beat until it’s all combined. It needs to be pretty sticky to hold its form, so you may need to add in more frosting as you go.

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Now get your hands in there and roll the mixture into little balls.

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Leave to firm up in the fridge for a few hours (I actually left mine overnight). Once firm, crush some salted peanuts for decoration, melt some chocolate for dipping, get some skewers and something to stand them in to dry (I used a piece of left over butternut squash).

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Put a skewer in one of the balls, blunt end first, then dip in chocolate, sprinkle with the bashed up peanut pieces, and push into the squash to dry. Et voila! Easy peasey!

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There’s no way we could manage all those cake pops in one go, so I did six as little after dinner treats for our Sunday lunch guests tomorrow, and put the remaining balls in the freezer for use at a later date.

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Chocolate and peanut butter mini cakes

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The other day I watched Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, whip up a batch of peanut butter frosting. As well as smooth peanut butter, she added in regular butter, a splash of cream and icing sugar. 

I had some left over chocolate buttercream in the fridge which I wanted to use up (recipe on the BBC Website), so loosely following what I’d seen the Barefoot Contessa doing, I came up with my own version by simply beating the chocolate buttercream with a tub of smooth peanut butter, a splash or two of double cream, a pinch of salt, and icing sugar.  This is all to taste, making adjustments as you go along. If if tastes good to you, then it’s fine. I put it in a piping bag ready for the next stage. 

I was a bit disappointed my cakes had come put if the oven with unsightly domes on top.

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Never one to be defeated though, I decided to make individual mini cakes, by slicing the tops off the cake, and using a cookie cutter to make little rounds, as so:

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“What about all that waste?”, I hear you shrieking. Fear not my friends, I have plans for the left overs….(see here) Pipe the frosting on each mini cake and adorn with a few halves of salted peanut.

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The amalgamation of the rich sweet chocolate, with the creamy saltiness of the peanut butter is an unlikely union, but as the old adage goes, opposites attract, and this is certainly a match made in heaven. Enjoy!

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