Asif AKA, The Duke Oh Delhi recently sent me a sample of his latest culinary alchemy. Little pots of Indian snack mixes unlike anything you ever tried. I’m not talking your average Bombay mix, where the most exciting oxymoron is the odd sultana floating around in the mix. I’m talking about a sweet-and-salty-snacking madman who puts chocolate in his spicy mixes.
My brush with the Duke this week spurred me to share my own sweet and salty combination with you. In the quiet of my Maidenhead kitchen, when nobody is home, I have been secretly working on a chocolate recipe that hold pole position as my current favourite above and beyond anything I can buy at the corner store, including my beloved Reese’s peanut butter cups, sorry Mr Hershey. My creation was originally created to replace the Whittaker’s Peanut Slab that I used to be able to buy back in Sydney. You can’t get them here, so I decided to make my own. How hard could it be to mix a little bit of chocolate and peanut together?
But it was my epiphany at the grocery store that would transform my peanut slab into something much more interesting than the Whittaker’s version. I had the brainwave of using salted roasted peanuts instead of plain roasted. Not only that, I also put a touch of peanut butter in the mix to soften the chocolate. I use a block of Cadbury Bournville which is as hard as nails at the best of times and even harder after being tempered. In my last batch I even added some Cornish sea salt…but I couldn’t taste it in the end, so next time I’ll add a touch more. I’m even thinking of putting more peanuts in next time.
I’ve been playing around with the form and shape of my salty peanut slab. It can’t be too thin, but it also can’t be too thick or it’s impossible to eat and ends up as a pile of chocolaty rubble that I’m forced to mop up with my tongue. The peanuts fall out easily once the chocolate cools, so they can’t just lie on the top, as I have also tried. So far, I’ve had the most success just pouring it into a small plastic box, similar to the size of a regular chocolate block. But this is no ordinary chocolate block folks, it’s Lara’s Super Salty Chocolate Slab.
I would give you the recipe but it seems a bit silly. I just melt a block of Cadbury Bournville with a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter and mix in a whole packet of salted peanuts. It’s worth hovering at the microwave for a few minutes I can tell you that for nothing.