Chocolate coated Peanut Butter, sea salt and cashew squares. Vegan. Low-carb.
About the recipe
In the past few weeks I participated in a chocolatier certificate training which ended prior of time because of the restrictions due to the Corona virus spread.
Luckily, I managed to get a lot of information and skill-sets so that I could start practicing at home. More than that, I got inspired, as one of my main goals is to create healthier, less-sugary, versions of foods, that could be easily made at home, but would still taste delicious.
The idea for this chocolate coated peanut butter, sea salt and cashew squares, came to mind when I wanted to make a friend happy by surprising her with some chocolates.
She is pregnant and had recently discovered that she has pregnancy diabetes, which made her frustrated and eat very little. A while ago I brought her some low-carb, low sugar chocolates and it made her so happy. So, I wanted to do it again, now with my new skills at hand.
This batch of chocolates turned out really good! Luckily I made a double batch, because I had managed to finish half of it before I got delivered. Well, even before the day has ended. Oops.
Before we start
The process of making this recipe is fairly simple. What it does require, is some attention. I suggest not to make it while being rushed. Give it the care it deserves, like good chocolate does.
I used high quality chocolate with high percentage of cacao solids – 70%. If you use chocolate with a lower rate of cacao solids – it will have more sugar in it. This means that your final result will be sweater and higher in carb value. It will still taste good though, so up to you which chocolate to work with! Lindt is a great option!
For melting chocolate, I suggest the Bain-Marie method, in which we use indirect heat to melt the chocolate. I heat water in a pan, place a netted tray on top and an additional pot on top, in which the chocolate goes inside. You can also use the microwave or direct heat – just make sure to use low heat, so that you don’t over heat the chocolate. It’s best to work slowly and gradually.
We start by melting some chocolate and natural peanut butter. We add salt. When the mix is ready, we pour it into a baking paper-covered baking dish, or plastic microwave dish. The baking dish should be fairly small, because we want the chocolate and peanut butter mix to have some height.
We put the baking dish in the fridge for 10 minutes. in the meantime we roast some cashew nuts for about 10 minutes in an oven on 140 degrees (285 Fahrenheit). When ready – we cut them roughly using a knife or by putting them in the blender for one pulse.
We sprinkle 3/4 of the cashew nuts and some sea salt on the chocolate and peanut butter refregirated blend.
While still in the baking dish, using a knife – we cut horizontal and vertical lines, about 2 cm width each. This would help us get nice square shapes, that would be harder to do later when the mix cools. We then return it to the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Chocolate coating and decoration
When the mix had been refrigirated for 20 minutes or more, we take it out and separate the squares. We melt the coating chocolate using Bain-Marie, low direct heat (carefully) or the microwave in the pot that we used earlier. Start with 30 second, mix, and heat more if needed – add 20 seconds each time, not more.
We place the chocolate and peanut butter squares on a fork and dip in the melted chocolate. We tap the square softly above the chocolate pot to remove chocolate coating leftovers and place it on a tray covered with baking paper.
We garnish with a few cashew chunks that we saved earlier. When all squares are coated and garnished – put the tray back in the fridge. Once the coating in solid – it is ready to eat. Enjoy!
Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter and Salt with Cashews
- 100 g Dark quality chocolate for coating at least 70% cacao solids for low-carb recipe
- 80 g Dark quality chocolate for the filling at least 70% cacao solids for low-carb recipe
- 5 tbsp natural peanut butter, unsalted, unsweetened
- ⅙ tsp salt
- a pinch of sea salt
- 60 g natural cashew nuts*
- Start by selecting a baking dish or a microwave plastic dish about 10*10 cm size. It is a pretty small size (we want the chocolate to have some height). Cover the baking dish with parchment paper from all sides – so that the filling could be easily taken out after it cools down, not sticking to the baking dish.
- Using a pot, melt the filling chocolate (80g) and peanut butter, using Bain-Marie or direct low heat (be very careful not to burn). Add the table salt (⅙ tsp) and mix well. Remove from the heat and place in the parchment paper-covered baking dish, and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Do not wash the pot in which you melted the chocolate and peanut butter – we will use it a bit later.
- In the meantime, heat the cashew nuts in an oven on 140 degrees (285 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, until slightly roasted. When ready – cut the cashews roughly to chunks. I put them in the blender for one pulse.
- Take out the chocolate and peanut butter mix out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle ¾ of the cashes and a pinch of sea salt on top. If the chocolate and peanut butter mix is stiff and the cashew nuts do not stick – you can dip them in the chocolate and peanut butter leftovers in the pot that we used for melting it. This would help glue them.
- Using a knife, cut the chocolate and peanut butter blend vertically and horizontally, about 2 cm apart, so that square shapes will form. Refrigerate for at least 20 more minutes.
- Prepare a tray, covered with parchment paper.
- Once the chocolate and peanut butter mix was refrigerated for at least 20 minutes, take it out of the refrigerator. Take it out of the baking dish and separate the squares.
- In the pot that we used for melting the chocolate and peanut butter earlier, carefully melt the coating chocolate (100g).
- Once melted (carefull not to over heat), we place one square of the chocolate snd peant butter filling on a fork, and dip it into the coating chocolate. We gently shake the fork up and down above the pan to remove chocolate coating nueeded leftovers and place the coated square on the tray. Using the cashew nuts that we saved earlier – we garnish the coated peanut butter and chocolate sqaure. We do the same for the rest of the squares.
- When all chocolate and peanut butter squares are coated and garnished – we place the tray in the refrigerator. When the chocolate coating is firm – the squares are ready to eat! Enjoy!