Chocolate Nut Butter Cups
I think it's clear that I like nut butter, right?
Roasted, pulverised almonds (or walnuts or cashews or peanuts or macadamias or hazelnuts... or all of the above), completely and utterly defeated into an earthy butter. It's dreamy nutrition.
If I'm feeling like some hard truth, I spread my nut butter on toast. Maybe I'll sprinkle some sea salt as well.
If I've got a sweet tooth, which is not a rare occasion, I will spread my nut butter on toast and top that with a few dainty dots of jam or honey or maple syrup. Again with the sea salt.
If it's time for a decadent snack, I will envelop my nut butter in chocolate, refrigerate it and call it a homemade nut butter cup. It is truly dreamy nutrition.
When I make these cute cups I think of friends in the USA, I think of my brother and my dad who love all things...food. I think of my love for nut butter and chocolate. Combined.
Pleasing most everyone - friends and family, young and old - these chocolate nut butter cups do not feel particularly familiar. They are not happily sedating like a slice of your grandma's sponge. No, these bites feel like a cheeky hug. They're a little eccentric. It's the dance of the peanut butter and chocolate, an ever entertaining jig that feels at once so wrong but so right. Mostly the latter...
Chocolate Nut Butter Cups
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen's Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Makes 14-18 nut butter cups, depending on the size of your little cups/liners
200g Dark Chocolate (you can use milk, but I much prefer the bitter-kissed intensity of dark chocolate)
1/3 cup Natural* Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Natural* Almond Butter
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup (or extra honey, I simply don't like mine to be too honey-flavoured)
1 heaped tablespoon Coconut Flour (you could use almond meal or even desiccated coconut in it's place. Or powdered sugar, as the original recipe calls for, but do taste for sweetness and add less honey as desired if you go the sugar route)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tiny pinches Sea Salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
Mini baking cups/liners (I used flimsy liners and so doubled up to ensure they were strong enough to handle the goods)
Options: you can skip the different nut butters and flours and sweeteners listed in this above recipe and just put a scoop of your favourite nut butter in here. This is lovely with hazelnut butter. Lemon curd with a bit of almond flour is also a ridiculous filling. The only thing that will differ (besides the obvious flavour change) is a runnier, less uniform texture. Get creative, folks!
* with no added salt or sugar or oils
1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring occasionally and removing from the heat when it's all melted and smooth.
2. Spoon a teaspoon of the chocolate mixture into the mini baking cups/liners and swirl around so the chocolate reaches up to the sides, then place on a tray. This is fiddly work, my friends.
3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the nut butters, honey, maple, coconut flour, vanilla and salt. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add some more flour. Taste and adjust as desired.
4. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll in the palm of your hands to create a round disc. Slightly moist hands makes this work less sticky. Place in the baking cup on top of the chocolate and press down slightly. Repeat with the remaining mixture and liners.
5. If required, reheat the chocolate over the double boiler. Once melted and smooth, spoon a teaspoon of chocolate delicately on top of the nut butter round to cover it. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining cups.
6. Place the tray in the fridge and allow them to set. Store in a container in the fridge.