Crispy, nutty pastry and rich chocolate cream create a heavenly dessert perfect for a special occasion or a treat. The chocolate cream can be made 3–4 days in advance, but cook the pastry on the day of serving.
Chocolate Peanut Cream
150 grams dark chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons good peanut butter, (I used Pic’s brand)
½ cup cream, softly whipped
2 sheets pre-rolled butter puff pastry (24cm square)
⅔ cup raw shelled peanuts, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with ½ teaspoon cold water
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Chocolate cream: Put the 200ml of cream in a small saucepan and bring to just below the boil then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and peanut butter and whisk until the chocolate and peanut butter has melted. Cool then cover and chill until set.
Pastry: Cut each sheet of pastry into 12 12cm x 4cm rectangles. You need 24 in total.
Place 12 of the rectangles on a flat tray lined with baking paper, spacing them about 2cm apart. Brush with egg. Combine the peanuts and sugar then sprinkle half the mixture over the pastry rectangles.
Place a second piece of baking paper over the pastries and top with another flat baking tray to weight it down. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the tray and baking paper and bake for a further 5–8 minutes or until a rich golden colour. Move the pastries around on the tray if necessary for even browning and watch like a hawk as they go from golden to burnt very quickly. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Repeat with the remaining pastry egg wash, nuts and sugar as before. Cool completely.
To assemble: Beat the cooled chocolate cream with an electric beater until light. Gently fold in the whipped cream, but don’t overmix. Place in a pastry bag with a large fluted nozzle and pipe a layer onto 8 pieces of pastry. Repeat with another layer of ganache and pastry then dust with icing sugar to serve. Makes 8
Cook's tip: If making the ganache ahead, bring back to room temperature or soften a little in the microwave before beating and folding in the cream.