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October 10, 2011 / mintcustard

A snickers bar on steroids – Nigella’s chocolate peanut squares

After the joy and indigestion brought on by all that bread making and consuming time for a change.

It is Chocolate week so we deserve a treat, lets do what Nigella does best and be indulgent. Something that allows us to pour liquids messily and lick our fingers provocatively. Ah yes, Chocolate peanut squares From “Forever Summer” by Nigella Lawson. That should do nicely.

This is as Nigella says an “elaboration of Millionaire’s shortbread”. Now I have made chocolate caramel shortbread before and have found a recipe that is so good the thought of it will make your fillings ache so will this one be as good or even better? The secret ingredient here is 250 g of dry roasted peanuts.

Nigella assumes we all have food processors and microwaves, I don’t as I can’t be bothered with the fiddling about assembling the processor and washing it up and the microwave was only used as a glorified plate warmer. I have an electric whisk and a stick blender and some very sharp knives instead.

The shortbread mix came together easily and quickly even though I used my hands in a bowl and not on the pulse of the processor. I don’t have a 23cm sq tin but my 27cm x 17cm tin worked just as well. Not too crumbly or too sticky and cooked to golden brown in 40 mins in my oven. Lining the tin with parchment paper really helped later when cutting the squares.

 

Making the caramel Nigella’s way in the microwave seems fraught with danger as I for one do not want to take volcano hot caramel from the microwave every few minutes to stir it and then carry the same back to heat up again to magma like temperatures. I used the thick bottomed pan and wooden spoon method and that worked easily and safely for me. It actually took less time than microwaving without the fear of 3rd degree burns. The caramel didn’t catch or burn and cooled quite quickly to enable me to add the peanuts.
Lots of caramel to give a deep chewy layer consequently the peanuts don’t sink or float as the viscosity of the caramel holds them firm. 

The caramel layer took an age to cool so don’t think you can make this in the morning for the afternoon. It really needs to set up over night to allow the textures to firm up.

Depth of chocolate is up to you but the quantities suggested give a goodly layer of chocolate. Don’t worry too much about using the very expensive chocolate suggested as this is after all just a Snicker’s bar on steroids. The only problem now is how to ration myself to just one piece at a time.

Do not make this if you are likely to be home alone. This is strictly for sharing unless you want to become very familiar with the magazines in your Dentist’s waiting room.

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