Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Chocolate peanut clusters are really easy to make. It’s something we used to make with left over chocolate when I did a pastry course. The pastry course was divided into several modules and one of the modules was about all things chocolate, making chocolate art pieces, filled chocolate treats etc. When working with chocolate we would always have some tempered chocolate leftover. We would simply add some peanuts and make chocolate peanut clusters. That way none of the chocolate would go to waste.
How To Make Chocolate Peanut Clusters
As you can tell from the little story above, I can’t really call this a “recipe” just because it’s such an easy treat to make. Melt chocolate, add peanuts, drop little clusters on parchment paper, leave to cool and you’re done. That said, if you really want to make the clusters properly, ideally you’d use tempered chocolate. The reason why it’s a “better” to temper chocolate before processing it, is because tempering will help harden the chocolate, giving it a nice snap after cooling. Tempering also gives chocolate a nice satin gloss. But sometimes, I’m really not in the mood to temper chocolate and don’t mind the non glossy/grayish look. It doesn’t affect the taste at all. Traditionally you would temper melted chocolate on a piece of marble, however, you can also use the microwave. For this chocolate peanut clusters recipe I’ll highlight the quick and easy way to temper chocolate in the microwave.
How to temper chocolate in a microwave, the quick way
Put 2/3 of the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in 15-30 second intervals, make sure to stir between each interval. Continue till the chocolate is melted. The temperature of the chocolate should be between 45-50ºC /(110-120ºF).
Take the remaining 1/3 of chocolate and add it to the melted chocolate a little bit at a time. Stir until the added chocolate is melted as well (do not put the chocolate in the microwave, the heat of the melted chocolate should melt the added chocolate). The added chocolate will bring down the temperature of the chocolate, you will notice that the chocolate will start to thicken and become smooth and shiny. Once the temperature of the chocolate has reached the correct temperature for your chocolate of choice it’s ready to use. See ‘Notes’ in the recipe card below for the temperatures.
Now all you have to do is add the roasted peanuts and mix till all peanuts are coated.
Heap a teaspoon full of the chocolate and peanut mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Leave to cool and harden.
Once cooled they’ll have formed clusters and they’re ready to serve.
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Passive Time||10 minutes|
- Put 2/3 of the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. (if you're not using chocolate chips, make sure to break/chop the chocolate into small pieces. This will help the chocolate melt more easily.)
- Melt the chocolate in 15-30 second intervals, make sure to stir between each interval. Continue till the chocolate is melted. The temperature of the chocolate should between 45-50ºC /(110-120ºF).
- Add the remaining 1/3 chocolate a little bit at a time to the melted chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Don't add more chocolate until the previous bits of chocolate have melted. Do not put the chocolate in the microwave, the heat of the melted chocolate should melt the added chocolate. The added chocolate will bring down the temperature of the chocolate, you will notice that the chocolate will start to thicken and become smooth and shiny.
- Once the temperature of the chocolate has reached the correct temperature for your chocolate of choice it's ready to use. Dark Chocolate: 31-32ºC / 88-90ºF Milk Chocolate: 30-31ºC / 86-88ºF White Chocolate: 27-28ºC/ 82F-84ºF
- Take the melted chocolate of your choice, add the roasted peanuts and mix till all peanuts are coated.
- Heap a teaspoon full of the chocolate and peanut mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Continue putting heaps of the mixture on the parchment paper till you've used up all of the mixture.
- Leave to cool and harden. Once cooled they'll have formed clusters and they're ready to serve.
- You can make roughly 10-15 peanut clusters with this recipe
- If you don't temper the chocolate, the chocolate won't harden as much and will melt quicker when you pick them up. They're equally delicious though, so if you're not able to temper the chocolate this is the quickest and easiest way to make the chocolate peanut clusters.
- Please note that the cup measurements in this recipe are approximate. I have added cups for those that prefer using cups. The recipe is most accurate using weights measurements.
I have always used chocolate chunks or chips nowadays called for over 40 yrs. have never had a chocolate not to harden. made chocolate peanut clusters and tempered the chocolate but the clusters did not harden I made 85 peanut clusters and added marshmellows, pretzels, and chex cereal to some. but all of them were so soft you couldn’t touch them without having them melt on your fingers.could be old chocolate? nothing else has changed. any ideas? thank you
I rarely have it happen to me that the chocolate doesn’t harden. It usually only happens when the tempering hasn’t gone quite right. Another time when it failed for me was when I was working in very hot and humid conditions. In your case it could also be that the added ingredients affected the hardening process. I’ve never made the clusters with the ingredients you mentioned. You might want to try it without the extra added ingredients and see if you still have the same issue.