After 10:00 pm, I am driven by a sweet-tooth so fierce that I never keep actual sweets like ice cream or cookies on hand; I'm afraid of what would happen. Then I find myself foraging through the cupboard, looking for something that will satisfy my craving.
When I stumbled on the milk chocolate disks I usually use for dessert-making, I had a vision: peanut butter cups. Chunky organic peanut butter sandwiched between really good chocolate ... instant and brilliant to my mind. I tried out the idea with both Valrhona chocolate and Guittard (which has a more overtly peanut-butter-cup shape) in a side-by-side tasting to discover how much better Valrhona really is: more deeply flavored, creamier, stunningly good.
Then I swapped out the peanut butter for some Hazelnut Praline I had in the fridge and found myself savoring the taste of gianduja—chocolate with roasted hazelnut—that made me think of a wild truffle-hunting trip to Piemonte, Italy, where they love the stuff. I'd once hauled back kilos of gianduiotti, the little foil-wrapped candy shaped like an upturned boat, from Turin, and parceled them out until they were, finally, gone.
This improvised two-ingredient midnight snack will deeply feed a crazy hunger. (The picture is the recipe ... ) Valrhona milk chocolate "feves" are available at Whole Foods Markets, or by mail-order here.