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Brazil Nut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c Brazil nuts, loosely chopped
  • 1 tsp macadamia nut oil (optional)
  • 2/3 c organic powdered sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners brand)
  • ~1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • A couple pinches of chile powder (opt)
  • 1 9.7-oz bar of Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Special equipment: chocolate molds, piping bag.

Instructions

  1. Prep for your chocolate molds: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Place a cooling rack on top of the parchment. Make sure your chocolate molds are clean and dry.

  2. Make the Brazil nut butter: In large (dry) skillet over medium heat, toast the chopped brazil nuts until they are fragrant - 6 minutes or so. Like pine nuts, these nuts are high in natural fat, and they will burn and go to black in a heartbeat if you don't keep an eye on them. Let the nuts cool for a few minutes and transfer them to a food processor (hand blender doesn't do a good job here, I tried). Add the macadamia nut oil and puree the nuts for a minute or so. The nuts will turn to a paste and then into a nice spreadable butter. Add the sugar and blend. Now add the salt a few generous pinches at a time, to taste. You need the salty aftertaste to highlight the subtleness of the Brazil nut flavor. This is where I put a few pinches of smoked serrano chile powder in as well. Transfer to a piping bag, or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off and set aside.

  3. Temper the chocolate: (this is how you get that nice shine on your chocolate)

  4. Place ¾ of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler to melt. I stir once every few minutes, but try not to dote on it. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove it from the heat and add the rest of the chocolate a bit at a time, gently stirring in each addition until completely melted. Smear a bit of the chocolate on your parchment paper, if it sets in a couple minutes, you are in business.

  5. Fill your molds: Partially fill each individual cup with chocolate, pick up the mold and tilt it around so the chocolate coats the sides of each cup from top to bottom. Turn the entire mold upside down and place it on the cooling rack to let any excess chocolate drip down onto the parchment (you can reuse this later). Let the chocolate set 20 minutes or so before flipping and piping the brazil nut butter into each cup (¾ full), don't fill all the way to the top or you won't be able to seal the cup closed. After filling with the nut butter, pour another layer of chocolate across each cup to seal in the filling. Gently rap the mold on the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles. I pulled a straight edge across the molds to level out the chocolate, but it sort of messed up the temper on the bottoms a bit when I turned them out (maybe there is a better way of doing this?). Let the cups set in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

  6. Turn them out (again any tips for this step are very welcome, I suspect it all goes back to how you pour the chocolate?).

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