Showing posts with label Pindarotsjes (Dutch Chocolate Peanut Clusters). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pindarotsjes (Dutch Chocolate Peanut Clusters). Show all posts


It's the simple things that make life extra special. I was reminded of that again today when I kicked back with a cup of rooibos tea and a stack of Christmas cards, after working on today's recipe, pindarotsjes, chocolate covered peanut clusters. For a great snack, gift or little treat, all it takes is a handful of roasted peanuts, and a bit of chocolate. And patience, mind you, but it's worth the effort, and they make for a great gift. 

I tried to find out when peanuts first came to the Netherlands, but I was unable to find any specific information. The earliest reference I was able to find was in a book from 1866, where the author, Albert Helman, called them "olienootjes", oil nuts, which is a term I heard from the older generation when I was growing up. 

Nowadays we call them "pindas", and boy do we love them! A sandwich with peanut butter (with hagelslag!) is a kid's staple, the equivalent of the American peanut butter and jelly, and we love our French fries with a generous serving of hot peanut sauce. But even earlier than that, peanuts showed up on our collective tables in the form of confectionary. Pralines, toffee and candy bars, all made with peanuts, were very popular, as you can see here in an advertisement from Jamin from 1921, proudly announcing "Peanut Week", and offering a variety of peanut confections for purchase. 

The chocolate confection I made today is called "pindarotsjes". Its name literally translates to "little peanut rocks" and I can't say the imagery is amiss. A small handful of roasted peanuts is folded into tempered chocolate and set aside to harden. You can imagine that this must have been a special treat (and the most expensive one in Jamin's Pinda-Week!). 

Tempering chocolate is not difficult, but it takes a bit of patience, and a steady eye on the temperature. You will need a digital thermometer or candy thermometer to keep track of the temperatures, a bowl for melting and mixing, and a small ice cream scoop (#40) or a couple of spoons to form the treats. I've added some suggestions at the bottom of this post, in case you're looking to expand your kitchen supplies! 

If you heat chocolate too high, it will not set and you will end up with a sticky, gooey chocolate mess. If that happens, I would suggest to blend the whole thing into a paste, and use it on toast. But if you can muster the courage, I would highly recommend trying to master the technique, as it produces beautiful, shiny, snappy chocolate. 

And if you don't like peanuts or dark chocolate, not to worry. This can also be made with almonds, hazelnuts, or even a mix of nuts and dried fruits, as well as with milk or white chocolate - just make sure they're good quality chocolate, with cacao butter. 


10 oz (300 grms) roasted, unsalted peanuts (or any other nut or nut combo you like)

15 oz (450 grms) dark chocolate, chopped and divided

Carefully melt 10 oz (300 grms) of the dark chocolate. You can do this either over a bowl of warm water (make sure no steam or water comes near the chocolate because it will seize up), or at short 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring regularly. Keep your eye on the temperature of the chocolate but don't let it go above 120F/49C for dark, 115F/46C for milk and 110F/43C for white chocolate. 

Let the chocolate cool down to 82F/28C for dark, 80F/27C for milk, and 78F/26C for white, while stirring gently but frequently - stirring is an important step for the crystals to do their thing. While it cools, cover a baking sheet, or large cutting board with a piece of parchment paper and get your ice cream scoop ready. You can also use a couple of spoons.

When the chocolate has cooled down enough, add the remaining chocolate into the bowl and stir it in. We are going to bring the temperature up to 90F/32C (dark), 86F/30C for milk, 82F/28C for white, the same way you melted the chocolate before. Remember that this time we are only going to bring it up a little bit so use your digital thermometer to keep track! 

When you've reached the intended heat, fold the nuts into the chocolate making sure they're well covered, and scoop out servings onto the parchment paper. You have to work quickly, because the chocolate will set rapidly. 

Once you've scooped all the peanut clusters onto the paper, set it aside to harden. Just at room temperature, or in a cool area of the house, it won't take long to set. The hard part is going to be trying to hide them from the rest of the family ;-)

Makes approximately 24 pieces. 

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