This gluten-free dessert has a chocolate candy bar-type bottom and a light peanut butter mousse on top. It is perfect for a summer gathering as it can be made in advance and stored in the freezer until slicing and serving. The brittle decoration is optional but makes this a pretty plated dessert. You can also choose to enjoy the candy by itself.
Chocolate Peanut Bottom:
2 tablespoons margarine, plus extra for greasing pan
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup plain soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup shelled, roasted and salted peanuts, chopped into 1/4-inch piecesPeanut Butter Mousse:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup boiling water
4 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy whipped topping
Peanut Brittle Decoration:
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup roasted peanuts (salted is okay too)
- Trace the bottom of an 8-inch square pan onto a piece of parchment. Cut out the square. Grease the pan, place the parchment square over the bottom, and grease again.
- To make the chocolate bottom, in a large bowl, melt the chocolate either on the stovetop or in the microwave for one minute. Stir, heat for 45 seconds, stir and heat for 30 seconds more if needed, until smooth. Heat soy milk until hot (not boiling) and add to the melted chocolate in four parts, stirring well to incorporate the soy milk each time. Add margarine and vanilla and whisk well. Add the chopped nuts and stir. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- To make the peanut butter mousse, put the peanut butter in a medium bowl. Add the boiling water, a little at a time, and whisk into the peanut butter. It will become very thick and then thin out as you add more water. Add egg yolks and whisk well.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Turn the speed down to low, add sugar, and then turn the speed up to high for 30 seconds. Add beaten egg whites to the peanut butter mixture and gently mix in.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the whipped topping on high speed. Add to the peanut butter mixture. Whisk until smooth. Remove the chocolate bottom from the freezer. Scoop the mousse on top of the chocolate and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap (without the plastic touching the mousse, if possible) and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
- To make the brittle, place the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Let it sit until the sugar starts to color on the edges. Add the nuts and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue cooking until the sugar melts and turns golden and a dark caramel surrounds the peanuts. Spread the mixture in one layer on a parchment or silicone-covered baking sheet and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Can be made five days in advance and stored in a freezer bag or airtight container.
- To serve the dessert, remove pan from the freezer and let sit for five minutes at room temperature. You will not be able to slice the dessert right out of the freezer. Use a large heated knife to cut into 1- x 4-inch bars. I use a metal flat-blade spatula to lift the slices out and serve on individual plates. Break the brittle into pieces to use as décor and then use your fingers or the food processor to crush the rest of the brittle into crumbs. Place a shard of the brittle on top of each bar, sprinkle crushed brittle on the slice or around it on the plate.
Yield: serves 16-20