Spiced Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipe

Spiced Chocolate Peanut Butter

Considering my love of good-for-you nut butters and my passion for the unabashedly trashy peanut butter cup, it was only a matter of time before I attempted to coalesce the two and make a peanut butter cup spread of some sort.

I thought I would simply use unsweetened cocoa powder to flavor an otherwise classic homemade peanut butter, but when I opened the tin in which I keep my cocoa powder, a hollow clonk is all that greeted me. “Who used the last of the cocoa powder without replenishing the supply?” I asked, punctuating my question with a colorful expletive. “I did and I’m sorry,” I replied, alone in the kitchen, “but the Salon du Chocolat is coming up and if you make it there, won’t you be pleased to have a shopping alibi?” That shut me up for a while.

In the meantime, I consoled myself by thinking it was a splendid occasion to use some of the Xocopili* I had in my chocolate cabinet. These rather innovative, marble-sized balls of dark chocolate (72% cacao content) belong to a line of Valrhona products for professionals: seasoned with sea salt and a mix of spices (Espelette chili pepper, curry, paprika, and cardamom), they are meant for use in savory dishes — especially game — but they also make a fine treat to gobble up as is, or lower in a cup of espresso for a few seconds.

My chocolate peanut butter thus turned into something rather more sophisticated than I originally intended, and I was quite blown away by the complexity of its flavor and the richness of its mouthfeel. Michele Pfeiffer’s line from Scarface — “Don’t toot your horn honey, you’re not that good” — echoes in my mind and I feel compelled to note that all the credit goes to the peanuts and the Xocopili, but I am quite content to reap the benefits on my morning tartine.

* In Paris, you will find Xocopili at — where else? — G. Detou. Sure, it comes in a one-kilo tub, but if you buy one and offer to share, I’m sure you’ll make lots of new friends.

Spiced Chocolate Peanut Butter

125 grams (1 cup) raw peeled peanuts
40 grams (1 1/2 ounces) Xocopili (substitute bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus a teeny-tiny pinch each of ground chili, curry, paprika, and cardamom)
Sea salt, to taste

Makes about a cup.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spread the peanuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 5 to 7 minutes, keeping an eye on them and stirring halfway through, until golden and fragrant. Let cool.

Combine the nuts and chocolate in a food processor, and process until the mixture turns creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl every once in a while. This will take a few minutes, and you may want to sing your latest favorite song (such as Forgotten Christmas Gift) at the top of your voice to cover the sound of the motor and keep yourself entertained. Add salt to taste and mix again.

Transfer to a jar and close tightly. The texture is best for spreading at room temperature, but keep in the fridge if you’re not going to consume it right away or if the weather is very warm.

  • Laura

    Oh, my! If only I had some peanuts in the house! I wonder what almonds or hazelnuts would be like…?

    I do have some dark chocolate with chili and cocoa nibs hidden in the back of my pantry just waiting for a chance to be used! It’s not Valrhona, but I won’t complain.

  • Sara, The WineMakers Wife

    You don’t melt the chocolate? This is such a great idea and dead easy. I think i may make a few jars and give as gifts for Christmas.

  • Rachel

    Since moving to Britain I’ve lost my taste for peanut butter (gave up buying it as the stuff here is so nasty!) but this recipe would definitely tempt me back into eating it! I also quite like the idea of almonds or hazelnuts…

  • http://www.projectfoodie.com/blog Foodie Pam

    Chocolate and Peanut Butter are my absolute favorite indulgence. I just have to try this!

  • amanda

    there is a pretty good dark chocolate peanut butter that you can buy through peanut butter & co. they also make a spicy one, flavored with cayenne pepper, a white chocolate one, and a cinnamon & raisin one (my personal favorite!). i don’t think they ship overseas, but friends always do :-)

    i love your website, by the way! it makes my day to read such elegant culinary prose!

  • http://chris.tessone.net/ Chris T.

    Ooh, this sounds very, very good.

    Won’t be back in Paris for a while (my wife broke her leg!), but I think I can find local stuff that will do until I can bring back some Valrhona. :-)

  • http://tea-cantata.livejournal.com/ nattie

    Oooooooh! Just like Laura, I was wondering whether almonds would work for this as well, as I think that would just be the height of decadence ;-) *plotplotplot*

  • http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com ParisBreakfasts

    I’m wondering if there’s any point in going to the Salon du Chocolat when you can whip up a scrumptious chocolate tartine, if it is a tartine, like that one? That looks to be a palette knife beside it..or is it wishful thinking?

  • http://woodlandsprite.blogspot.com Stephanie

    oh my – there must be something in the air as I was just thinking of making myself some peanut butter in the blender this morning :) Of course, I’m now going to have to go try your recipe!

  • http://www.blueVicar.com blueVicar

    Could this desire for chocolate and peanut butter be seasonal? Saturday I bought our first jar Skippy since arriving in France a year ago–a year ago! Anyway, last night I put a dollop on a scoop of dark chocolate ice-cream. Suddenly, I felt a little homesick; peanut butter and chocolate ice cream was one of my very favorite indulgences back in the USA.

    Now I have options, though…I just have to get peanuts, Xocopili, and a food processor!!

    Meilleurs vœux!

  • http://thestonesoup.com jules

    kraft have a chocolate peanut butter on the market here in australia and it’s very ordinary so I would never have thought that a chocolate peanut butter could be a thing of beauty…

    but your sounds amazing..thanks for the tip

  • http://www.lindamathieu.com Linda Mathieu

    I haven’t had peanut butter in ages. I don’t think I’m up to making my own but I am going to start searching for a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup. As you said, trashy, but great flavor combo.

  • http://www.xanga.com/chef_kayenne kayenne

    Laura,

    using hazelnuts will give you something similar to spiced nutella. YUMMY!

  • http://www.xanga.com/chef_kayenne kayenne

    clotilde,

    your toast looks absolutely decadent! i eat our local chocolate-PB spread right out of the jar or spread it on bananas on sticks and dredged in sliced almonds – great frozen snack for my little nephews.

  • http://www.tastinglife-julia.blogspot.com Julia

    oh yum!
    wonderful; I”ve never made my own peanut butter…
    this one sounds very special and delicious – whish we had a g.Detou over here!
    luckily there is hope – in 17 days I”m off to Paris!

  • http://lifelovechocolate.typepad.com connie

    oh be still my heart! i love your nut butters and think about attempting my own often, but this one i will try!

  • http://www.cforcooking.com Jeff

    Genius!! How can this not be an incredible treat to eat for breakfast or a midnight snack??? :D

  • http://www.aminglingoftastes.com Julie

    Wow, I just want your xocopili! Those sound so wonderful. My husband and I love reese’s peanut butter cups and will often choose them over more sophisticated options. My husband puts mounds of peanut butter on everything. I would love to try making this. It is so simple. It is wonderful when necessity requires you to try something different with such amazing results!

  • Jake

    I can get Xocopili, but where can I get such a cute little jar?

  • http://www.willows95988.typepad.com tongue in cheek

    Your words are smooth, as this made in heaven combination! I’ll shell the peanuts just to watch you whip some up!!

  • http://www.thiscookbook.com/ Candice

    My boyfriend loves all things peanut butter, I love all things chocolate. Could this be the perfect solution?

  • Veron

    I wonder if the Xocopili is the chocolate they used in the hare dish that Ruth Reichl talked about in her book . I’ve always wanted to try chocolate in cooking. Thanks for the tip! Hope I can find it here in the U.S.

  • http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/ Dianka

    Oh goodness this looks amazing. Those are the two best flavors in the world! Yum!

  • http://www.foodsource-krista.blogspot.com krista

    Sometimes i have cravings for chocolate and peanut butter, this looks yummy.

  • rainey

    Ooo! You’re using the wonderful Weck canning jars. I luv, luv, luv ‘em!

    Chocolate peanut butter sounds like a great thing to do to ‘em.

  • http://inthehallofmirrors.typepad.co.uk/ Paul

    Violently envious – I can’t get Valrhona up here in northern England… oh well. Any combination of unsweetened chocolate and spices (especially chili) is satisfying, particularly in winter (it’s amazingly warming – helps you get through chilly nights).

  • http://www.stubbornlikeamule.net Michelle

    Oh Yum! I can see this could start a rampage in my kitchen as happened with your granola recipe! I’m thinking that perfect combo of macadamia and white choc with maybe a sprinkle of cinamon and lime zest.

  • http://www.golfing-advice.com Shelly

    My son loves peanut butter. Well, a little diversion from the traditional wouldn’t hurt, I bet. And I would definitely like to try out this one.

  • http://www.himonkey.net le singe

    i am thrilled that you have included instructions on singing in this recipe. i find a good song or a bit of interpretive dance livens up preparation and enhances the flavor of any dish, snack or comestible!

  • http://www.housingandconstruction.blogspot.com Lisette

    I’ll have to try this chocalte and peanut butter combo this way!

  • http://www.freshcatering.blogspot.com Rachael

    I bet you could make this with one or two Vosges chocolates…they have curry and chiles and whatnot. Super tasty.

    Seeing all the little jars you put jams and whatnot in, I wonder what your pantry looks like! Do you have dozens of them all lined up? I bet its pretty…

  • katrina

    i must say that i LOVE your blog! this version of chocolate peanutbutter looks fantastic, but i was wondering what you would have done if you had cocoa powder on hand,like how much you would have put in ratio to the amount of peanuts. thanks – katrina

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Laura and Nattie – I’m sure this would be lovely with any other kind of nut — almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia, Brazil nuts, walnuts, you name it!

    Jake – The jar is a Weck jar, and I bought it at the French store Résonances.

    Katrina – I would start with a tablespoon of cocoa powder, taste, and work my way up from there until the flavor balance is right.

  • http://urbanvegan.blogspot.com urban vegan

    what’s not to love? Sounds like legal nutella–sort of.

  • Danielle

    How many ways are there to use peanut butter?

  • http://5percentcelery.blogspot.com/ 5lery

    I loved this so much, I posted it on my blog.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    urban vegan – “Legal Nutella”: I love that!

  • http://karen.mychronicles.net Karen

    Hi Clotilde,

    You can make this into a hot chocolate drink. Each year, a little before Christmas, I roast cacao beans (at least 70%) and peanuts (30%) then ground them to a paste. This is our traditional morning drink. Cashews can be substituted for peanuts to make it smoother and more special. I know almonds are more traditional in Mexico but after asking around, I found out there’s a region which uses peanuts instead.

  • Lias

    yum! at some Whole Foods stores in the US you can grind your own peanut and chocolate chip butter mixture, a great addition to the grind your own nut butter machines. It comes out of the machine warm and it tastes so good I usually eat half of it before I leave the store and before it cools down.

  • http://cyber-holidays.blogspot.com/2006_11_20_cyber-holidays_archive.html Casey

    I just wanted to ask everyone whether I can add a pinch of grounded almond to the spices. Coz its my personal fav. however, I’m afraid it might spoil the taste. Will it?- Casey

  • Liza

    I saw this recipe yesterday and decided to implement it right away. I’m a big peanut butter fan, and this chocolate variety is the tastiest I’ve ever tried!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe, Clotilde! :)

  • http://www.chocolatetopia.com ChocolateTopia

    I just stumbled across this in search of some different chocolate recipes. Needless to say, I was very happy to find my favorite combination – Chocolate and Peanut Butter. YUM!!! I have to try this recipe this weekend. I’ve always been a big fan of peanut butter and Chocolate mixed together, more so than just Chocolate by itself. I think any true Chocoholic will love this sppread for their toast or even on ice cream?!? I have to try it soon!

  • http://firefliesofhope.com Gwendolyn

    Yum, Yum, Yummers!

  • Indi

    Please help Clotilde! What grinder/ mixer do you use? Mine broke over the weekend due to the time and effort required to make nut butter :( really want to make more nut butters! Thanks!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Sorry to hear that! I’m afraid I don’t have a particular recommendation — I use a Braun mixer, but don’t make nut butters that often, and I find it best to work in pulses and let the “engine” cool regularly.

  • Indi

    Thanks a lot Clotilde, I’ll just have to get one and hope it cam keep up, would very much like to make this spiced choc peanut butter recipe. Thank you so much for the website by the way, I always look forward to installments with delight! :)

  • http://www.hotsaucewizard.com/ Henriette

    Wow this looks soo good! You make it sound it’s easy to make, lets hope it is!

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