What happens when a peanut butter cup meets a ferrero rocher? Meet the crossover dessert snack that brings the best of both in one bite.
I have been obsessed with ferrero rochers since I was a teen, and lately have been wondering what fun ways I could deconstruct all the flavors into baked goods. My first go was a tart: a crust made of ground hazelnuts and filled with chocolate ganache and chopped hazelnuts. I sort of did this awhile back, a ganache bottom hazelnut cream tart which I shared on IG on Pi day - and it tasted superb (as if the marriage of chocolate and hazelnuts could ever be anything but). I later had the idea to make a cookie with some butter in the center and roll it in nuts, but it’s not a fully fledged idea quite yet (will keep ya posted). But, while mulling over the cookie idea an image of a peanut butter cup popped into my head, except it had hazelnut butter in the center… and the chocolate layers looked more like the outside of the ferrero…Mmmm! Sounded too good to be true so I immediately set to work. The result is a soft very nutty center, surrounded by snappy dark chocolate with tiny bits of hazelnuts to emphasize how well these flavors work together. I made mine quite large and um, could not really limit myself to only half because YUM.
If you have access to hazelnut butter, these won’t be too different than a regular homemade chocolate cup. If not, these are a bit little more fussy because you’ll make it yourself. But honestly guys, homemade hazelnut butter is SO good you won’t mind the repeated scraping down of the bowl of the food processor. I keep some of this stuff in my pantry/fridge and use it on everything I would peanut butter (it makes a slice of toast super special).
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Cups
The hazelnut butter recipe listed will make double the amount you need for the cups. You have some options: make the recipe as written (I do this because I find the more I make the easier it is to process which is why I’ve listed these amounts here, on the plus side, you’ll have leftovers for some yummy toast! Or for more cups in the future); cut the hazelnut amount that will be processed to 1 cup (this will lead to some struggle with the food processor but it’s not impossible); or double the amount of chocolate and you can make 18 cups.
My recipe makes 9 big, tall cups (they fill about ⅔ of a regular muffin liner). If you want smaller or thinner (or both) use less chocolate and hazelnut butter per cup.
If your hazelnuts are already roasted, toast the nuts that will make up the butter for about 3-4 minutes only. If not, toast the nuts for the butter and the nuts for the chocolate layer together for a full 10 minutes. In both cases you are looking for the nuts to glisten and begin smelling through the oven.
I use the seeding method to temper my chocolate but if you have a method you are more comfortable with, proceed with that.
2 cups hazelnuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
8 oz dark chocolate
4 oz milk chocolate
¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
Begin with making the hazelnut butter, roast your nuts for 10 minutes at 400.
Remove skins by rubbing the nuts together in a cheesecloth. Or, be lazy like me, leave them on and call it rustic. It’s not too noticeable imo.
Remove ½ cup hazelnuts and either finely chop with a knife or use a food processor, either way use a sieve to discard the powder. Reserve chopped nuts.
Pulse the rest of the nuts in a food processor for 10 minutes, scraping down every few minutes as needed, until the they release their oils and it turns soupy. This will take awhile, and lots of stopping and scraping but be patient.
Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with 12 greaseproof muffin liners.
Fill a saucepan that can hold a heat-safe bowl with just an inch of water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Place 4 oz of dark chocolate and 2 oz of milk chocolate in the bowl and place it on top of the simmering water - reserving a fistful of dark chocolate for seeding. Once the chocolate is melted, add the remaining dark chocolate and stir until it’s smooth and fully melted.
Add half of the chopped nuts to chocolate.
Add a heaping 1 tablespoon chocolate to the liners and, using the back of a spoon drag the chocolate upwards to cover the sides. Try to do this in a way that results in an even layer.
Set at room temperature for 20 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, mix the hazelnut butter with the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl.
Once the bottom chocolate has set, spoon mixture on top of chocolate in about 1.5 teaspoons and flatten without allowing it to fully touch the edges.
Melt remaining chocolate in double boiler according to above method, add remaining chopped hazelnuts.
Dollop about 1 tablespoon chocolate on top of hazelnut butter, using an offset spatula to flatten.
Set in fridge for 30 mins.