I struggled with starting this post, and out of curiosity, I looked up "chocolate peanut butter" on Food Blog Search, just to see how other people start them. Phrases like "One of the best flavor pairings on earth" and "Hello chocolate peanut butter perfection!" aren't uncommon, and we've used them several times for recipes like this chocolate peanut butter mug cake and this brownie pie: It is a truth universally acknowledged on the blogosphere that chocolate and peanut butter go together.
So anyways, I'm just going to describe the anatomy of a bite. Your teeth first sink through a layer of fluffy, creamy, sweet mousse that is strongly flavored with peanut butter while remaining light as air. You then encounter the thicker crunchy peanut and chocolate ganache, chewing through the slightly salty peanuts (I used the Smoked flavor from Planters, to give it a slight savory edge to balance the sweet), and feel the intense dark chocolate of the cup melt on your tongue.
Apart from just the standard peanut butter/chocolate combination, the flavors, textures, and levels of sweet and salty balance each other out perfectly.
Plus, you can get plenty mileage out of the fact that they look super fancy but are actually no-bake, and are fairly easy to make. The chocolate cups, which is the most time-consuming part, can easily be made ahead a day or two ahead, if you're planning a dinner party or something. I'm imagining a scene in which you say oh-so-casually "I just made some peanut butter cups" and then whip these out.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free sample by Planters to review. All opinions are my own.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cups
Click here for the printer-friendly recipe
Yields: about 15 chocolate cups
For the Chocolate Cups
6 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate
For the Crunchy Peanut Ganache
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
1 ounce milk chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the Peanut Butter Mousse
½ cup peanut butter
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup whipped cream
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the chocolate cups. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at medium power, stopping every 20 seconds or so to give it a stir.
With a clean paintbrush or a butter knife, carefully spread a thin layer of chocolate on the inside of 15 mini cupcake liners. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, until firm. Spread a second layer and chill for another 15 minutes.
Make the peanut ganache. Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the peanuts.
Place about 2 teaspoons of the ganache in each of the chocolate cups. Replace the cups into the refrigerator.
Make the peanut butter mousse. Place a large mixing bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Mix together the peanut butter and white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave at medium power, stopping every 20 seconds to give it a stir, until the chocolate has melted.
In the pre-chilled bowl, Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
Mix about a quarter of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to lighten it. Fold the peanut butter into the remaining whipped cream.
Pipe the mousse into the chocolate cups, on top of the ganache.