Note: This recipe is part of our Harry Potter-themed dessert menu.
Sadly, there aren’t many times in one’s life that demand the making of Chocolate Frogs.
Unless you’re a herpetologist. Or a Harry Potter fan.
But that doesn’t mean they’re pointless. On the contrary, it means you have a golden opportunity to unleash something absurd and delicious into the world.
Yes, the lucky recipient will think you’re insane. At first. But then they’ll take a bite and declare you the Mayor of Awesometown.
Because these frogs are based on the perfection that is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
The key to getting the filling right is natural peanut butter. When you combine it with confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt, it gets that dry and slightly crumbly texture that keeps it locked between the chocolate layers, instead of squirting out like regular peanut butter.
As for the chocolate, I just grabbed a bag of Hershey’s milk chocolate chips and melted them instead of tempering nicer chocolate. Tempering will give you a smoother, more stable chocolate shell for your frog – one that has a nice snap when you bite down into it and can handle being stored at room temperature – but I was in the mood to use what I already had: the chocolate chips. They contain too many additives for tempering, but if you’re going to eat your frogs within a few days, chips will work just fine.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for assembling the frogs. Basically, you pour a few spoonfuls of chocolate into each frog mold, and use a silicone pastry brush to guide it up to the edges and into all the crevices. Once that layer is chilled, you work the peanut butter filling like Play-Doh, roughly shaping it to fit the hollow cavity of the frog mold. Then, you add enough of the remaining chocolate to touch the first layer at the edges (so that they create a seal) and surround the peanut butter.
Now, you have the power to turn anything in the universe into a chocolate-peanut butter cup, which is so much more badass than having Thor’s hammer or Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility.
The world needs more weird and wonderful things.
Rebecca Crump (EzraPoundCake.com)
Makes 8 frog-shaped candies
- 1 pound milk chocolate OR 1 (12-ounce) package milk chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Filling:
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Special equipment: chocolate frog mold (and a thermometer that reads from 40-140 degrees F, if you’re tempering the chocolate)
- If you’re using milk chocolate chips, you don’t have to temper them. Just place them in a bowl, microwave them for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until most of the chips are melted.
- To temper pure milk chocolate in the microwave: Place the chocolate in a bowl, and microwave it at 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove it, stir, and warm it for another 30 seconds. Repeat until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir the chocolate until it’s completely melted. When it reaches 87 degrees F, it’s ready.
- To temper pure milk chocolate on the stove: Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir the chocolate until it’s mostly melted and about 95 degrees F. Remove the pan of chocolate from the heat, and keep stirring it until the chocolate completely melts and its temperature cools to about 87 degrees F.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into one of the frog molds. Use a silicone pastry brush to coat the inside of the mold, guiding the chocolate all the way to the edges. Carefully lift up the mold and look underneath to make sure the frog is completely covered with chocolate, especially around the eyes. Repeat with the rest of the frogs, and place the mold in the refrigerator to set.
- To Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In the meantime, stir together the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt until they are well combined. Using a small ice cream scoop, divide the peanut butter mixture into 1 tablespoon scoops. Place the scoops on a plate or small sheet pan, and chill them in the fridge.
- When the chocolate in the frog mold has set, lightly coat your hands with confectioners’ sugar to work with the peanut butter balls. Divide each ball in half, and roughly flatten and shape it to fit into the mold, leaving room for the top layer of chocolate. (You might need the entire 1-tablespoon ball of peanut butter, depending on how much chocolate you used to coat the mold.)
- Chill the mold in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
- Fill in the rest of the frogs with the remaining melted chocolate by spooning or piping it into each mold, making sure it fills in all the way to the edges to surround the peanut butter center with chocolate. Return the mold to the refrigerator to let it set.
- When the chocolate has completely set up, whack the bottom of the mold on your counter, and either invert the mold onto a plate, or ease the frogs out one by one by gently pushing the bottom of the mold and using a butter knife to carefully pry each frog out. If you did not temper the chocolate, store your frogs in the refrigerator.