MAKES ONE 23 CM TART
750 g milk chocolate (compound or tempered)
600 g smooth peanut butter
600 g icing sugar, sifted
125 g salted butter, softened
1. Grease the bottom of a nonstick 23 cm (9 inch) fluted tart tin (with a removable bottom) with butter or oil and line with a round of baking parchment.
2. Melt 450 g of the chocolate to a smooth pourable consistency. Pour the chocolate into the bottom of the tart tin, spreading up the sides using a spoon. This should be quite thick and spread evenly over the whole tart tin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
3. Beat the peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter using an electric mixer. The mixture should be well mixed but a little firm and lumpy.
4. Remove the chocolate shell from the tin and set aside.
5. Scrape the peanut butter filling into the empty tart tin and press firmly until you have a compressed, even disc of peanut butter filling. Cut away a 5 mm border from the outside edges of the peanut butter disc using a knife. Then slide an offset spatula under the filling to release it from the base and transfer it. It will behave a little like pizza dough as you transfer it to the chocolate shell. It should sit just below the edge of the shell.
6. Return the entire peanut butter cup to the tart tin (make sure it's clean).
7. Melt the remaining chocolate and pour it onto the top of the peanut butter cup. Use a ruler to even out the top of the peanut butter cup and make it perfectly flat and smooth. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
8. Store and serve at room temperature. Cut with a hot knife to avoid cracking.
115 g white compound chocolate
24 vanilla sandwich cookies (as shown in picture)
12 birthday candles
Small round edible pink pearls or dragées
1. Melt the chocolate to pouring consistency.
2. Take a cookie and place ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate on top. Place a second cookie on top to create a four-layer biscuit and allow to set.
3. Cut the top 2.5 cm off a candle and set aside along with 8 round pearls and some sprinkles. Take 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate and drop it in the middle of the top cookie. Tap on the work surface until the melted chocolate drizzles over the sides.
4. Add 8 pearls as 'cherries' around the outside edge, place the candle in the centre, and top with sprinkles. Repeat to make a total of 12 birthday cakes.
Kids in the Kitchen: Get the kids to help stick the cookies together and decorate. This can get a little messy, but there's almost no preparation and loads of room for creativity.
MAKES 10 FROZEN POPS
900 g coarsely chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
225 g cream cheese, at room temperature
60 g icing sugar
Pink food colouring (optional)
125 ml thick (heavy) cream
100 g crushed shortbread biscuits
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
10 wooden popsicle sticks
1. Place the strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Allow to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and icing sugar and beat until very well combined. Pour the strawberries and any accumulated juices into the cream cheese mixture and gently fold in. For an enhanced strawberry-looking pop, add a little pink food colouring.
3. Fold in the cream using large sweeping motions. Do not overbeat.
4. In a medium bowl, stir the shortbread crumbs and butter together. The mixture should resemble wet sand.
5. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into a popsicle mould with ten 90 ml capacity cavities, filling each three-quarters full. Bang the mould on the counter to compact the mixture.
6. Spoon in the biscuit crumb mixture and press down gently to compact, add the wooden sticks, and freeze for 6 hours (overnight is best).