Salted peanut butter and dark chocolate truffles for Father’s Day

It’s not long until Father’s Day, so if you’d like to make the daddy in your life a little homemade sweet something that’s not too sweet and is, in fact, also a little bit salty, how about some of these…?

salted peanut butter truffle

The lovely people at Lindt recently sent me some of their 70% Cocoa cooking chocolate to try out and so my daughter Mia and I decided to put it to the test by making some chocolates for Daddy.

making chocolates

My husband Jason is a big peanut butter fan and it’s the usual topping for his toast in the morning. Following a rather bizarre tip a few months ago from Chris Evans on his breakfast radio show, Jason’s now taken to combining peanut butter with Marmite on his toast. He loves it – something to do with the contrast of the sweet and salty apparently.

salted peanut butter truffle

So that’s what gave me the idea for the filling for these chocolate truffles. Don’t worry, there’s no Marmite in there – just a pinch of salt to give that deliciously moreish sweet-savouriness, plus they’re topped with a little sprinkle of chopped salted peanuts too. The gorgeously smooth, dark Lindt chocolate works very well with the crunchy, gooey peanut centre, making for rather sophisticated truffles despite the main ingredient being every little (and big) kid’s favourite.

Jason was very happy with his early Father’s Day present. I fully expect the whole lot to be gone by the time I get back home from work this evening. The one thing he said they could do with was perhaps a touch of chilli. He’s a major chilli head as well you see. Maybe next time.

salted peanut butter truffles

Salted peanut butter and dark chocolate truffles

Makes 24 chocolates

4 digestive biscuits, crushed
125g crunchy peanut butter
50g butter, melted
70g demerara sugar
good pinch of salt
200g dark cooking chocolate
25g butter
handful of salted peanuts, finely chopped

In a bowl, combine the crushed biscuits, peanut butter, melted butter, sugar and salt and chill in the fridge for around 30 minutes.

Taking a teaspoonful at a time, shape the peanut butter mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet covered in clingfilm or baking parchment. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or over a double boiler (a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water) and mix together well. Using a cocktail stick, dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate, ensuring it is entirely covered. Place on a plate covered in clingfilm and sprinkle each one with some chopped peanuts, working quickly before the chocolate sets.

Chill in the fridge before placing the chocolates into petit four or mini cupcake cases.

salted peanut butter truffles

And if you want to give Daddy some chocolate this Father’s Day but don’t fancy making your own, we can recommend Lindt’s Strawberry Intense, another sample they sent us, which is rich and dreamy without being overly sweet. You see their full range of Father’s Day chocolates on the Lindt website.

lindt

Disclosure: Lindt provided me with sample bars of their 70% Cocoa cooking chocolate and Strawberry Intense. No money exchanged hands and the views expressed here, as they are throughout my blog, are completely my own.

Asparagus, ham and Parmesan tart

asparagus ham and parmesan tart

This is an exciting time of year for cooks; a time when so many special fruits and vegetables come into season for just a brief and tantalising spell. As with rhubarb and wild garlic, we are making the most of English asparagus and it features on our menus on almost a daily basis.

Generally I tend not to do too much to asparagus. I simply steam it and serve with a squeeze of lemon and melted butter or a soft poached egg. Our girls go crazy for it, especially when they can eat it with their fingers. But I do also enjoy asparagus in a simple tart, like this one, with ham and Parmesan. It’s incredibly easy to make, especially if you forget about making your own shortcrust pastry and buy in ready-made instead, and it’s just as good eaten cold the following day.

Asparagus ham and Parmesan tart

Asparagus, ham and Parmesan tart

175g plain flour
salt
75g butter
250g asparagus
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
200ml Greek yoghurt
50ml milk
100g Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
100g chopped ham

Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5.

To make the shortcrust pastry, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Using your finger tips, rub in the butter until it resembles soft breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to make the mixture come together to form a firm dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry to line 9 inch well-buttered flan dish. Line the pastry with foil or baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the pastry just starts to turn golden. Remove the beads or rice and the foil, and brush the pastry with a little of the egg you’ll be using in the filling. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes so the egg seals the case. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

Lightly steam or boil the asparagus until only just cooked; it should still have a little bite. Refresh in ice cold water to stop further cooking and to retain that beautiful green colour. Drain well.

Gently beat the eggs and the extra yolks (which give it that lovely vibrant yellow colour) and combine with the yoghurt, milk and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the chopped ham and asparagus in the pastry case and pour over the cheesy egg mixture. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the filling is set and golden. Leave to cool a little and serve at room temperature with a simple salad.

asparagus and ham tart

As this is such a seasonal tart, I’m entering it into Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season blog event, which this month celebrates its second anniversary. You’ll discover lots of tasty recipes over there using asparagus as well as the likes of rhubarb and wild garlic.

SimpleinSeason