After January’s dip into the world of Random Recipes, hosted by Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, I have decided to give it another go this month, not least because the subject of the challenge is my very favourite ingredient – chocolate! For February (and in celebration of the union that Valentine’s demands), Dom has joined forces with Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog in asking us to select a random recipe that contains chocolate somewhere in the ingredients.
Unsurprisingly, many of my cook books contain recipes with chocolate (lots of it), but to make it as clear cut as possible, I limited my recipe selection to books specifically about chocolate. Eyes shut, hand out, my finger landed on ‘Chocolate Box’ (2007) – a book full of recipes for chocolate lovers which came from Marks & Spencer………… Criteria complete on the book front, which recipe would it demand I make?
Although I have had the book a while, I have only made a handful of the recipes which are beautifully illustrated over 223 pages. The vast majority contain gluten which is now a ‘no no’ in our house, but really wanting to do the challenge properly, I decided that providing I could make the recipe with a minimum of gluten free tweaking, then I would make whatever was required by the page that fell open.
And there it was…………….. the book decreed I should make page 118 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Slices, hidden in the chapter ‘Crumbly Cookies & Heavenly Bites’. Another perfect Valentine’s marriage….. chocolate AND peanut butter. Obviously, it was meant to be!
The only changes I needed to make to free the original recipe of gluten was to substitute the wheat flour for a plain gluten free flour mix, add a teaspoon of xanthan gum, and make sure the baking powder and oats were also certified gluten free to avoid any cross-contamination.
These are yum! A crumbly, layered bake containing not just chocolate, but a goodly dose of peanut butter. A crisp, oaty, nutty, biscuity base, layered with sweet creamy peanutty filling and topped with a wonderful oaty-chocolatey crumble. I will definitely be making these again!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter (Oaty) Slices (from Chocolate Box – Marks & Spencer) – Adapted to gluten free
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless the flour mix already contains it)
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
225g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
350g soft brown sugar
175g gluten free oats
70g chopped mixed nuts
300g milk chocolate
1 large egg – beaten
397g tin condensed milk
90g crunchy peanut butter
- Base-line a 9 inch/23 cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix the flour, xanthan gum and baking powder together in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down and combined.
- Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add and stir in the sugar, oats and chopped nuts.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
- Put about a quarter of the flour mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the chocolate. Set aside.
- Add the egg to the remaining (three-quarters) flour mixture and stir thoroughly until completely combined and ‘damp’-looking.
- Press this mixture into the bottom of the baking tin with the back of a spoon or your hands.
- Bake the base in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Whilst the base is cooking, mix the condensed milk and peanut butter together in a bowl.
- When it has cooked for 15 minutes, pour the condensed milk-peanut butter mixture onto the base and spread evenly.
- Top with the remaining chocolate-flour mix and gently press down to firm slightly.
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes until golden brown.
- After removing from the oven, leave to cool in the tin and then cut into slices.