Peanut butter and milk chocolate puffs recipe

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This mixture of peanut butter and chocolate is a twist on the Italian gianduja, a confectionery made of milk chocolate and hazelnut, which is also very popular in France. I always thought of peanut butter as a little sickening and the poor cousin of praline paste, so it took months of negotiations from my team to convince me to make a peanut ganache macaron. As it turned out, and it pains me to admit it, this has become one of my favourite flavour combinations, so much so that I thought I would use it for these choux puffs as well. This recipe calls for a peanut and chocolate custard rather than a straight ganache, which would be too rich for the serving portion and too hard once refrigerated.

  • Yield: 40


  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1 lb 10 oz (750 g) Choux Pastry
  • 7 oz (200 g) salted peanuts, finely ground
  • 1 lb 9 oz (700 g) Custard, at room temperature
Peanut Ganache
  • 7 oz (200 g) milk chocolate (40% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 3 oz (85 g) smooth peanut butter
  • 7¾ fl oz (220 ml) whipping cream (35%)
  • 1¾ oz (50 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
To Decorate (optional)
  • caramel coating
  • toasted or caramelised peanuts
  • shards of dried meringue
  • chocolate biscuit crumbs
How to Make It
  1. To make the peanut ganache, put the chocolate and peanut butter in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. This is a small amount of liquid and it will boil over very quickly, so pay close attention. As soon as the cream comes to the boil, pour half the cream over the peanut butter mixture and whisk until it begins to come together. At this stage, your ganache should look like a thick paste. Add the remaining cream and gently whisk until well combined. Be careful not to whisk the ganache too much, as this pushes air into the mixture and makes it hard and grainy. Set aside until just warm to the touch (about 30°C/85°F).
  2. Add the butter and use a stick blender to blend until smooth and well combined. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, then set aside in a cool place, but not in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease two large baking trays, then line with baking paper. The paper will stick to the oil on the trays, making it much easier for you to pipe the sticky choux paste.
  4. To make an egg wash, lightly beat the eggs and salt together in a small bowl, then set aside. Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ in) plain nozzle. Pipe 4 cm (1½ in) rounds onto the lined trays, spacing them about 5 cm (2 in) apart. Brush the egg wash all over the puffs, then sprinkle generously with the ground peanuts. Remove the excess nuts by gently tipping each tray on its side while holding onto the sheet of paper.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (340°F) and cook for another 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place the custard and the cooled peanut ganache together in a small bowl. Using a stick blender, process until smooth and well combined. Using a small bowl for this helps the peanut custard to stay glossy and smooth by reducing the risk of any air bubbles getting into the mixture.
  7. Using a serrated knife, cut the choux puffs in half and keep the top of each puff close to its base so they don’t get mixed up. Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ in) plain nozzle and pipe a generous dollop of peanut custard into the bottom half of the puff. As you do this, try to pull the bag in an upward direction as you press the mixture out, to give a bit of height to the custard. Put the other half of the puff on top.
  8. If you like, you can coat the top of each puff with a blonde (pale) caramel, then decorate with some crushed toasted or caramelised peanuts, some small shards of dried meringue and a pinch of chocolate biscuit crumbs. Alternatively, you could simply coat the puffs with melted chocolate, sprinkle with some crushed peanuts and decorate with a small edible flower.

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