This is post #3 of LunaCafe’s annual Love Rules! All Chocolate! All Month! celebration. For the next several weeks, I will post nothing but very special chocolate recipes, each one perfect for sharing with those special people in your life. Click the link above for photos and pointers to all past chocolate posts. And don’t miss the post titled, The Wonderful World of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, which details 17 fabulous cocoas, including my picks for top honors. Now back to the celebration!
When I’m creating chocolate desserts, one of the first flavor pairings that pops into my mind is chocolate and peanut butter. I mean, does it get any better than that? And if I’m trying to please my man on Valentine’s Day, well chocolate and peanut butter are surely going to do the trick.
But for this dessert, I decided to pull out all the stops. It’s got dark chocolate and it’s got peanut butter—for sure. But it also has the dreamiest mocha crepes, the most delectable caramel sauce; the crunchiest brittle; a luxurious white chocolate sauce, and–be still my heart–caramelized banana. It’s TRUE LOVE on a plate.
So okay, this is a lot of work. But I ask you, what’s love for? And is there any better way to show your Sweetie how much you care? (And if you thought of that OTHER way, all I can say is serve this romance enhancing dessert first.)
The good news here is that every element can be made ahead and no element is hard to make. You can even skip the White Chocolate Crema and Caramelized Bananas if you must, and simply serve the crepes with the caramel sauce, brittle, and whipped cream.
You want even simpler? Oh heck, I happily eat these crepes straight from the pan with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Just to make sure they taste as good as the last time I made them. So that’s your worst case fall-back position. But surely you can also at least make the Peanut Butter Caramel. For LOVE!
Spirited Mocha Crepes with Peanut Butter Caramel, Roasted Peanut & Cocoa Nib Brittle & White Chocolate Crema
This dessert is over the top wonderful and perfect for special ocassions. Valentine’s Day anyone?
Peanut Butter Caramel
Spirited Mocha Crepes
Roasted Peanut & Cocoa Nib Praline (recipe below)
White Chocolate Crema (recipe below)
Caramelized Bananas, optional (recipe below)
lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
- As much as several days ahead, prepare the Peanut Butter Caramel and refrigerate, as directed in the recipe.
- As much as two days ahead, prepare Spirited Mocha Crepes and refrigerate, as directed in the recipe. Or make even further ahead and freeze.
- As much as two days ahead, prepare Roasted Peanut & Cocoa Nib Praline and White Chocolate Crema, as directed below.
- To serve, put the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce in a small saucepan and gently warm (or warm in the microwave). Thin the sauce to pouring consistency with additional cream or even water. Keep warm.
- Stack the Spirited Mocha Crepes on a plate and warm in the microwave, using 15 second bursts of power. Don’t overdo this or the crepes will be overcooked and tough.
- Arrange 3 crepes on each dessert plate and drizzle with warm Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce and cool White Chocolate Crèma. Garnish each serving with Caramelized Bananas and whipped cream if desired. Top with Roasted Peanut & Cocoa Nut Brittle.
Serves 4 (3 crepes each).
Roasted Peanut & Cocoa Nib Brittle
This caramelized peanut and cocoa nib combination is surprisingly addictive. The bite of the chocolate balances perfectly with the intense sweetness of the caramel and roasted flavor of the peanuts. You might want to consider making a double batch so you have extra for snacking.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts
¼ cup cocoa nibs
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar
- Spray an edged baking sheet with vegetable spray and set next to the stove, along with a silicon spatula, butter, and vanilla.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the peanuts, cocoa nibs, and cinnamon, and mix well. Reserve.
- In a stainless steel-lined saute or saucepan with an 8-9-inch diameter, add the sugar and set pan over high heat. (It is important to use a light colored pan, as you must be able to gauge the caramel by its color. You won’t be able to gauge the color accurately with a dark pan.)
- Watch closely as the sugar starts to melt. Swirl the sugar in the pan to distribute the portions that are caramelizing first, and then if necessary, stir with a silicon spatula to help evenly melt the sugar.
- Remove the pan from the heat immediately after the caramel turns a medium amber color, and swirl in the butter and vanilla. Be careful as the mixture may sputter and foam up. Stir with a silicon spatula until creamy and smooth.
- Quickly add the peanut mixture and coat with the caramel. Pour onto the prepared pan, and flatten as best you can with the spatula.
- Cool completely and then break into small chunks with your hands.
- Store in an airtight freezer bag at room temperature for up to 4 days. (Brittle may turn tacky after some time, especially if exposed to air.)
Makes about 1½ cups.
White Chocolate Crema
This is an easy sauce to prepare and well worth the tiny bit of effort.
½ cup cream
4 ounces premium quality white chocolate, pistoles or chopped
- Put the cream into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and bring to a simmer in the microwave.
- Add the white chocolate and stir slowly until it is completely melted.
- Cool the cream at room temperature and then put it into a plastic squeeze bottle with a tip for piping. Frig until needed.
Makes about 2/3 cup.
These make a ultra glam dessert garnish or use as a topping for your favorite ice cream.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 under ripe bananas, sliced ½-inch think on the diagonal.
½ cup sugar
- Just before serving, melt the butter in a saute pan.
- Coat each banana slice with sugar and add to the saute pan.
- Saute bananas over medium-high heat to quickly caramelize each side.
- Remove from the pan and serve.
Serves 4 as a garnish.
Copyright 2011 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.