Peanut clusters are a simple confection made of roasted peanuts and chocolate. Once the chocolate has been melted, the peanuts are mixed in and the mixture is dropped by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined pan. The potentially tricky part of this process is melting the chocolate. The melting chocolate cannot tolerate drops of water or even the steam from a double boiler. Moisture will cause the chocolate to seize and become a grainy mess.
Things You'll Need
- Double boiler or pot and stainless steel bowl
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Microwave-safe bowl
Double Boiler Method
Fill a saucepan with 1/4 inch of water and place it on the stove. Place either another pan of the same size on top or a stainless steel bowl that completely covers the opening in the bottom pot.
Turn the heat on low.
Place the chocolate for the clusters in the top pot or stainless steel bowl.
Check to make sure the water underneath isn't boiling. The chocolate shouldn't be warmer than 115 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature of tepid water.
Stir the chocolate frequently with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Take the bowl or top pot off of the double boiler when the chocolate is melted and stir until smooth.
Place even-sized pieces of chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and place it in the microwave.
Set the microwave at 50 percent power.
Start the microwave and check every 90 seconds. When the chocolate looks almost ready -- still solid but soft -- it's ready. Stir until smooth.
Tips & Warnings
- With the double-boiler method, the water in the bottom should be hot but not boiling. If the bottom pan begins to steam at low heat, you should move the pot to a smaller burner.
- Make sure the chocolate is broken into similarly sized pieces for even melting.
- Do not cover the top pot or bowl of the double boiler. Condensation will drip into the chocolate and interfere with the melting process.
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