I should probably start this post by emphasising that I have not been asked by any chocolate company to do this, despite the amount of time I’m going to mention the word ‘Cadbury’. I think the type of chocolate you like is something you develop a taste for early in life. It’s like the tap water where you grow up. Nothing else will ever taste the same or quite as nice. So for me, chocolate is Cadbury, regardless of the arguments of some EU countries that it isn’t chocolate at all. It has to be Irish or English Cadbury chocolate though, the Cadbury chocolate from Canada and Australia, much like the tap water, just isn’t the same. When my family stayed in Brooklyn recently, we were warned by our Dutch landlord that the water there was awful. We all thought it was fine, but were in agreement that Dutch tapwater is not to our taste. He probably wouldn’t have liked Cadbury either.
When Hershey’s Chocolate started appearing in shops in Ireland during the later part of my childhood, I was not impressed. I’m sorry American readers, but it just didn’t taste right. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought this, since it didn’t stay on the Irish market very long. The one exception to this was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which are still my favourite confectionary. It’s one of those chemistry things you try to fight but can’t. I don’t even *like* peanut butter, but there it is. When I visited New York a while back, at least 1 kilo of my check-in luggage coming back was peanut butter cups. Since the heatwave has put baking on hold, at least for me, I revisited a Nigella Lawson recipe for a homemade version of peanut butter cups. I fiddled around with it a bit. If you want to go with the original, use more icing sugar and less brown sugar, and smooth peanut butter instead of crunchy. For some reason, I like the ever so slightly sandy texture you get from combining these.
- 100g brown sugar
- 150g icing sugar
- 50g butter
- 200g crunchy peanut butter
- 200g milk chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- Take the butter out of fridge an hour or two before to soften.
- Beat the sugars, butter and peanut butter together until they form a thick paste.
- Spread the mixture in an even layer in a greased and lined square brownie tin.
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie.
- Pour over the peanut butter mixture and smooth with a palate knife.
- Put in the fridge for 30-45 minutes until the chocolate has cooled and hardened.
- Leave out of the fridge to soften for a few minutes before cutting into squares with a sharp hot knife (run it under the hot tap for 30 seconds).