Hey! mums, are you running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained for this seemingly endless summer? Hang in there, only few more days and it's back to school! In the meantime, here's a yummy treat to serve on playdates... a better, healthier version of that addicting Reese's peanut butter cups! These are made with homemade almond butter sweetened with organic agave nectar and dark chocolate. It's a breeze to make which means the little ones can help make these too, no baking required!
You can prepare the almond butter ahead of time and it will keep in the fridge for 6 months or longer. It's basically the same as my Dark Hazelnut Butter with the sub of blanched almonds (duh!) and no cocoa added. Try the recipe, I'm sure you'll love it!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 35 to 65 minutes
Ingredients for the Almond Butter Cups:
2 cups Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips or any chocolate chips/bars you like
1 cup almond butter
You will need:
16 cupcake liners
1. Place the chocolate chips in a microwavable dish. With the temperature set high, heat the chips at 30 minutes interval until most of the chocolates are melted. Careful not to burn it! Temper the chocolate to retain its gloss and shine when it hardens. For tips on tempering chocolate, check out this video from Alton Brown. Once melted and tempered, scoop 1 tsp of chocolate liquid in the cupcake liner and coat the bottom and the side of the liner halfway to the top. Do the same for the rest of the liners. Reserve the rest of the chocolate liquid for later.
3. Freeze the chocolates in cups for 5 minutes.
4. Once set, fill each chocolate cups with 1 tsp almond butter, press on the side for even cups. Then cover the almond butter with 1 tsp liquid chocolate. Make sure the almond butter is fully covered. Touch-up and make it pretty by swirling the top with a spoon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Take it out and leave it in the countertop for a few hours before putting in a jar or container. Be sure to pop one in your mouth for quality check ;-)
Makes 16 cups
And here's how to make Almond Butter:
Roasting Time: 10 minutes
Butter-making Time: 30-60 minutes (depending on your equipment and the level of smoothness of the butter)
Total Time: 40-75 minutes
500 g raw blanched almonds
4-5 tbsp agave nectar or organic, pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
beans of 2-inch vanilla pods
1. Preheat oven to 160*C. Place the raw almonds on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the roasting time. Keep a close eye on it; you only want a light to medium roast.
2. Transfer the almonds into the food processor. You may process the whole batch if you have a big food processor or you can grind half of it first. Grind the nuts until it forms a paste. This is where you'll need a lot of patience; the length of time will depend on how powerful your machine is and how smooth you want your butter to be*. Do not be tempted to add oil, you don't need it; the nuts will release its natural oil. I found that grinding the nuts while it is still warm makes it easier to release its oil. Once you get the desired consistency, add the agave nectar, salt and vanilla beans. Give it a whir for another 5 minutes until well combined. Transfer to jars and leave to cool completely before putting on the lid.
Note: For the batch I used for almond butter cups, I left it a little grainy so it will hold it's form.
30 March 2013