Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hand Crafted Candy Casserole

So I got the very exciting Hand-Crafted Candy Bars from the library, and I am psyched! Immediately I was ready to make faux-Snickers bars (not that the careful authors identify them as such, but obvs you can kind of tell).

First, Alex and I made the nougat. We were to whip egg whites to stiff peaks while slowly pouring in hot sugar syrup. I had heard horror stories about attempting this technique, but particularly with four hands (mine and Alex’s) it went fairly smoothly. Two minutes or so away from stiff peaks, however, my electric mixer broke. Ok, stiff enough, we decided. We chilled it and then stirred in the peanut butter as directed.
Next up: Caramel. I already know how to make caramel, so the process wasn’t bad, although I’m not used to making wet caramel and didn’t realize how fast it was going to go. It came out a little darker and bitterer than ideal, but still pretty good, especially once the peanut butter was swirled in there too. So we chilled that too.

After roasting the peanuts, mixing those into the caramel too, and chilling everything for an hour while we made (a very successful) dinner (which I will tell about later), we were ready to assemble the insides of the candy bars! The nougat gets made into logs, the caramel gets poured on top, and it all gets refrigerated for ten minutes before getting dipped in tempered chocolate.

Unfortunately, as we discovered twenty minutes of refrigeration later, “stiff enough” nougat is… not stiff enough.

There was no way these could be dipped in chocolate – they couldn’t even be lifted off the pan. Refusing to be demoralized, we scooped the mush with a spoon into an 8x8, for Snickers casserole!

The remains of the "bars"... 

...made into casserole! ahahahaha.

Although tempering the chocolate was looking less necessary, since the plan now was just to pour it over the top, I wanted to try anyway, since it’s a stressful process – the temperature has to be so precise, and my first try several months ago didn’t work at all. (That is probably, however, because I’d halved the recipe, and it’s just too hard, particularly with my cheapo only-semi-instant digital thermometer, to temper chocolate in tiny batches because its temperature will fluctuate faster.) But this time it worked! Brilliant success! I used 72% dark chocolate from TJ’s pound plus bar, plus some leftover regular dark and some Callebaut I didn’t like very much, to add to the volume of chocolate and not waste it but not be the dominant flavor. Anyway, as soon as it hit 60 degrees (after bringing it up to 115, throwing in another handful of chocolate, and then down to 82 with the aid of an ice bath), I poured it all over the casserole and stuck it in the fridge.

And, ten minutes later, we discovered it to be delicious!

Hooray Snickasserole!

Next time, maybe I’ll make actual candy bars (with my BRAND NEW electric mixer, the price of which I am ashamed to relate). Don’t worry, I’ll keep ya updated right here :)

 Oh my god, I am obsessed. I am in love! I am so happy!

I finally have a dough hook!!!

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