Peanut Butter Crisp Chocolates

Peanut Butter Crisp Chocolates
Notes: After almost two weeks in New York City, and a week in Ottawa, it was good to be back at home, and back into my own kitchen. To start my first day off in a new office with a gesture of tasty goodwill, I decided to make some chocolates with feuilletine. These are thin, crispy wafer bits that are sometimes mixed into cakes to add a textural contrast. A reasonable substitute is corn flakes or puffed rice cereal. However, I bought a large bag of it from a store in Montreal last year, so I was all set to go.

Or was I? From talking to the proprietor of Madame Gateaux, a pastry chef herself, we agreed that mixing feuilletine into ganache was not going to allow the wafers to preserve their crispiness. But she thought it would be fine to mix it into chocolate and a nut paste, say, peanut butter. After restocking on Callebaut milk chocolate, I left the store with an idea of what I wanted to make.

The concept was simple: a peanut butter flavor with a crunchy texture. After searching unsuccessfully for recipes for such a chocolate filling, I used the proportions from this recipe and arrived roughly, at:
  • 23 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz milk chocolate
  • 1 cup feuilletine
This mixture made enough to fill an 8" square cake tin at a depth of about ½", producing about 36 1" round chocolates. I lined the tin with a generous amount of clingfilm that I folded back over the filling, to avoid picking up odours and moisture from the refrigerator. I then proceeded to temper bittersweet chocolate, apply a foot to the filling, cut using a round ganache cutter, and then dip. Standard dipped chocolate stuff. The result? FANTASTIC. The peanut butter's salty and nutty flavour were not too dominant, and provided a great balance with the creamy and sweet milk chocolate. And the butter wafers preserved their crunch so that every bite provided a crackle.

One note about feuilletine: Although I kept the Ziploc bag of feuilletine tightly sealed, it lost its crunchiness when I sampled a bit. I was able to rescue it by spreading the desired quantity on a baking sheet, then gently drying it out in a low 250°F oven for about 15 minutes. Crispiness restored!

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