Thursday, June 27, 2013

Snickers Bars

I made these awesome "Snickers" bars for Jim for Father's Day. He loves Snickers and especially loves them frozen so I knew that this dessert would be a hit. It took a lot of work but didn't disappoint. It doesn't have caramel like the actual candy bar and I thought about adding some but I think the caramel would freeze into a jaw breaking layer which is why it was left out of the recipe in the first place. The recipe comes from Breanne Varela of Tavern in LA and was in Bon Appetit Magazine a couple of years ago.
Note, I made this recipe over 3 days which eased the work load: Day 1 the base; day 2 the nougat and Bavarian cream; and day 3 the chocolate coating.
"Snickers" Bars
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 1/2 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1 c. creamy peanut butter (not natural style)
3/4 c. puffed rice cereal
Peanut Nougat
1 large egg white, room temperature
1/8 t. plus 3/4 c. sugar
3 T. honey
1 T. light corn syrup
1/2 c. toasted salted peanuts, chopped
1/2 t. kosher salt
Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream
4 T.  whole milk, divided
1 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin
1 c. chilled heavy cream, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 T. sugar
9 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, melted

Chocolate Coating
9 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
2 1/2 T. unsalted butter

Base  Coat an 8x8x2" metal baking pan with nonstick spray; line with plastic, pressing to smooth out any wrinkles. Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl; set over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in peanut butter, the cereal. Press over bottom of prepared pan in an even layer. Cover; chill for 1 hour.

Peanut Nougat  Line a baking sheet with parchment; coat with nonstick spray. Place egg white in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy. Add 1/8 teaspoon sugar; beat until peaks begin to form. Bring honey to a boil in a small saucepan. With mixer running, gradually add honey to egg white. Set aside.

Stir 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat; boil until mixture reaches 275 degrees, 5-7 minutes.

Return mixer with egg white to medium speed. Gradually add syrup to egg white, allowing it to drip down sides of bowl. Beat until glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes. Fold in peanuts and salt. Spread nougat over prepared sheet into an 8: square (about 1/4" thick). Let cool for 1 hour.

Invert nougat over base in pan; peel off parchment. Spread over base in even layer.

Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream  Place 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand to soften, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 cup cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in a medium bowl; gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Return to same pan. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened and a thermometer registers 175 degrees, about 3 minutes. Add gelatin; whisk until dissolved.

Place melted chocolate in another medium bowl. Pour cream mixture through a strainer into chocolate; whisk until smooth.

Beat remaining 3/4 cup chilled cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding just to blend between additions. Pour Bavarian cream over nougat, spreading in an even layer. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Chocolate Coating  Place chocolate and butter in a bowl set oer a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Invert 8: pan onto a work surface; remove pan and peel off plastic. Turn over. Cute into 6 slices, then halve each slice crosswise. Transfer pieces to prepared baking sheet, base side down. Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate over tops and sides of bars. Freeze to set, 30 minutes.

Do Ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil; freeze.

Note: I found the bars pretty rich and impossible to eat one whole bar. I halved the bars and made "minis" which were perfect.

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