Posts Tagged: peanut butter


21
Apr 10

The ice is right

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My love affair with ice cream is quite blatant for those of you who have been keeping tabs on my cooking via A Byte to Savour. I can’t get enough of it. I’ve eaten entire tubs of a certain well-known brand of ice cream in a single sitting.

And somehow there’s always room for more. I justify it with the fact that ice cream melts and fits around everything else in an already full tum. Somehow there is some ice cream logic there. At least, in my mind, there is.

Peanut butter ice cream is fantastically simple to make, requiring very little effort and tasting fantastic. Couple this ice cream with some shop bought chocolate cookies for a primo dessert – I’d be tempted to make sandwiches with the biscuits, squishing the ice cream in the middle with maybe just a smidge of something saucy – a butterscotch or chocolate sauce perhaps.

Click here for my recipe for peanut butter ice cream


5
Aug 09

An Asian-American classic

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Peanut butter is a great ingredient – both delicious and versatile. It’s one of those things that I sometimes forget about and find a jar lurking in the back of the fridge. I’m not a fussy one either – I’m just as happy with Sunpat as I am with the premium organic varieties, although it must be the crunchy one though.
I’m a big fan of the American classic PBJ – the combination of peanut butter and jam on buttered toast is a thing of greatness.  Peanut butter is the key addition alongside chocolate in my peanut butter brownie cookies.
 
They use it in the Victoria kitchen to make a fantastic ice cream – peanut butter is mixed into the traditional custard base and served on a devilishly dark cookie.

A chocolate and peanut butter milkshake is one of my guilty pleasures.

Peanut butter does make a great savoury ingredient too – and it was as a last minute addition to the classic South East Asian salad dressing of lime juice, chilli, fish sauce and palm sugar that it now comes before you.

A very large pestle and mortar are ideal here, but a whisk and bowl would work equally well.  Feel free to replace the beef with grilled chicken or even fish.

Thai beef salad with peanut dressing

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 sirloin or fillet steaks weighing approx 200g each
  • 4 tomatoes or 8 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 red onion or 10 thai pink shallots
  • A couple of handfuls of bean sprouts
  • Handful of chopped coriander
  • Handful of chopped mint
  • 1 tsp ground rice (method below)

For the dressing

  • 2 tbs palm sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chillis
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 tbs peanut butter

Method

First make the ground rice. This is traditionally done with sticky rice but feel free to use basmati. Toast the uncooked rice in a frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown. Crush in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder until you have a fairly fine powder. Set aside.

Cook the steaks on a griddle to your liking – I’d suggest medium rare for this recipe.
To make the dressing, crush the chillies in a pestle and mortar. Use one if you don’t like it too hot. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and gentle bash it together. It will look like it won’t come together but then suddenly it will. Taste the dressing as it may need more fish sauce or lime juice.

Quarter the tomatoes, seed and dice the cucumber, finely slice the red onion and mix together with the bean sprouts and the herbs. Add half the dressing and toss to coat. Place the salad on a plate and then slice the steak and put this on top of the salad. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, scatter over the ground rice and serve.


8
Jun 09

Easy like sundae morning

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I love the recent trends towards old puddings. You can barely move for these luxurious, decadent classics. Trifles, summer puddings and arctic rolls seem to be cropping up on the menus of fine-dining restaurants and pubs alike.

Just the other day I popped round to a friend’s house and we had banana split for afters – a refreshing reminder about how delicious this simple dessert can be. Ice cream, bananas, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries and toasted, chopped pecans sprinkled over the top. Does life get more pleasurable than that?

Nostalgia plays such an important part in the food we eat – both smell and taste are especially evocative and can transport us instantly to another time or place. The current trend to revisit our childhood classics can only be a good thing, taking modern techniques and subtleties and creating dinner party-worthy fare.

My most recent effort was a peanut butter and chocolate sundae – a trip down memory lane for some, a twist on a retro classic for others. This recipe encompasses the best in salty and sweet. Large scoops of ice cream, salted peanuts rolled in chocolate and dusted with sugar combined with a deep chocolate and a rich butterscotch sauce, topped off with a peanut butter brownie cookie. Over-the-top, but utterly delicious.

Peanut butter and chocolate sundae (makes 8)

For the chocolate peanuts

  •     50g salted peanuts (not roasted)
  •     50 g dark chocolate
  •     1 tsp sugar
For the butterscotch sauce

  •    70g sugar
  •    50g butter
  •    150ml double cream
  •    Large pinch of sea salt flakes
For the chocolate sauce

  •   100ml double cream
  •   1 tbs sugar
  •   50g dark chocolate
  •   1 tbs golden syrup
For the peanut butter brownie cookies

  •   200g dark chocolate
  •   60g butter
  •   35g flour
  •   2 medium eggs
  •   150g caster sugar
  •   4 tbs crunchy peanut butter
  •   Pinch of salt
  •   8 scoops vanilla ice cream
  •   8 scoops chocolate ice cream
Method

First, make the cookies. Break chocolate up into pieces and melt with butter over a low heat. Once melted, remove from heat. In a bowl whisk eggs with sugar until light and pale. Add salt and melted chocolate and butter mixture. Mix thoroughly and add peanut butter, beating it to incorporate thoroughly. Sift in flour and mix again.

Chill mixture for an hour or. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a sheet of greaseproof on a baking sheet or in a tin. Divide mixture into 8-10 balls, rolling them in your hands to make spheres. Spread them out evenly on the greaseproof, leaving a few centimetres around each. Bake for around 12 minutes – you may have to do this in batches. They will be very squidgy when they come out. Leave them to cool.

Make the sauces. For the butterscotch, melt ingredients – bar the salt – together in a pan and cook for five or so minutes on a medium heat. The mixture should thicken. Add salt, stir and then set aside to cool. For the chocolate sauce, melt ingredients together in a pan. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to get the right consistency. Set aside.

Next make the chocolate peanuts – break chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of water. Roll peanuts in the chocolate and spread onto a non-stick tray or on a lightly oiled plate. When they have cooled slightly but not set, sprinkle over the sugar and refrigerate.

To serve, take eight large glasses or bowls. Put a ball of each ice cream into the bowl. Crumble the peanuts slightly and sprinkle over. Spoon over some of each sauce, then break a cookie into three or four, placing it around. 

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