There are few shows I completely follow along with, but I’ve been watching Masterchef Australia since the start. None of the other version (US, UK, Dutch) have made it to my playlist, I simply like the Australian version best. That said though, we’re a little behind the Australian schedule and tend to watch it quite a bit more slowly. We take at least three times the normal timespan. Recently we watched an episode in which one of the contestants made this brilliant dessert, simply called: Peanut butter and chocolate. It made us hungry in front of the tv.
The recipe though seemed quite doable! The ice cream is similar to our 2-ingredient ice cream and we’ve made caramel sauces before as well. So we had to give it a try. And wow, that dessert worked so incredibly well! It wasn’t that hard to make (the hard thinking had been done by the contestant already) and tasted incredibly good!
Chocolate & peanut butter dessert
In this post there won’t be a lot of science. It will mostly just be the recipe, it was just too good not to share! I’ve modified the original recipe quite a bit, but the idea and flavour combination is still very similar.
If you’d like some further reading to accompany the recipe, we’ve written about most components in some way or shape before:
Peanut butter ice cream
This is another great variation of our two ingredient ice cream. If you like your ice cream sweeter, just add some additional condensed milk. This ice cream can be made without an ice cream machine and it finished in no time. It’s a great example of how simple food science can be.
The nut crumb gets most of its flavour thanks to browning in the oven. This is all due to the occurrence of the Maillard reaction. One of our favorite chemistry topics here on the blog: hard core chemistry of the Maillard reaction or read more on the basics of the Maillard reaction.
This chocolate mousse is one of the simplest (and most stable) foams you can make. Instead of using eggs and cream and a lot of other ingredients, all we do is use chocolate and water. We’ve discussed how chocolate mousse works before. A quick recap: the chocolate sets upon cooling down, whipping up the chocolate at the moment it’s just starting to set will have it liquid enough to whip but solid enough to hold on to the air!
This caramel sauce again isn’t the most complicated recipe ever. But the caramelization that occurs is a fascinating and complex series of chemical reactions. If you really want to know what happens when making a caramel, we’ve written about that as well :-).
Chocolate and peanut butter dessert – The Recipe
- 120g cream (high fat content, >30%)
- 75g condensed milk
- 50g peanut butter
- 35g pistachio nuts (or macademia, or almonds, whichever you prefer)
- 20g brown sugar
- 20g flour
- 20g butter (melted)
- 85g chocolate (dark or milk, dark will give a slightly more bitter mousse)
- 75g water
- 60g sugar
- 60g ml whisky (can be substituted for water, but whisky does really enrich the flavour, you will boil away most of the alcohol)
- Start the ice cream at least 4 hours before you want to eat, better is to leave it overnight.
- Whip the cream until you've got stiff peaks.
- Mix the peanut butter with the condensed milk. This will make the peanut butter a little more fluid, making it easier to mix in.
- Pour the peanut butter + condensed milk onto the whipped cream, do this gently. Carefully fold the whipped cream through the peanut butter. You will lose some air, but try avoiding it as much as possible.
- Pour in a freezer tight container and freeze at -18C for at least 4 hours, but it can be kept good for months (although it will harden and might get some freezer burn).
- Blitz the nuts until they're a rough crumb using a food processor, don't blitz them too finely.
- Mix the pistachio nuts, sugar, flour and melted butter into a nice crumb. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Bake in the oven at 170C for 8-10 minutes. It should be a light brown.
- Place the chocolate and water in a microwave proof bowl and melt the chocolate. Don't use maximum wattage of your microwave and place in the microwave for only 15-30s at a time, stir in between to prevent burning.
- Leave the mixture to cool down. This will take approx. 30 minutes, but might take longer or shorter depending on your room temperature and how hot you've heated it.
- Once the mixture won't immediately pour down anymore when you stir through, whisk vigorously to create a fluffy mousse. This should go pretty fast!
- Pour the sugar in a pan and add enough water to cover the sugar.
- Place on a medium high heat and keep on boiling until it starts turning brown. Refrain from stirring in between, just let it boil!
- Keep a close eye on it towards the end, it shouldn't burn. Keep some water at hand to pour in as soon as the right colour has been reached. It should be a nice golden brown. Pour in about 100-150ml. The exact quantity doesn't really matter. However, try to keep it limited since you'll be boiling away most of it again.
- Boil the mixture again, at a moderate heat, to thicken up. Once it starts thickening, add the whisky and boil a little longer until you've got the consistency you're looking for. You can make it very liquid or slightly thicker. Boiling longer will make it thicker. Keep in mind that when it cools down it will become a lot thicker again!