I find the physical format of the book puts me off using it; basically it is a very heavy book weighing over 2.5 kg and an awkward square shape. Too big to fit in my book stand it has to sit flat on the counter and then seems to take up half of my work space measuring 28cm x 56cm when open. But I whinge too easily, and this is really a very well written bakery book that has not skipped on any of the details you will need to get a professional level of product consistently right.
100g unsalted butter
225g store bought marshmallows
127g Rice Krispies
130g bought dairy caramels (I added 2 tbs double cream to aid melting) ##
260g high cocoa content, tempered# milk chocolate (I worked with a larger amount to make dipping easier)
Fleur de sel for sprinkling (I missed that bit out)
I made my treats into bar shapes but the recipe calls for rounds that are formed in a silicone mould with 6.5cm diameter cavities. I'll keep my notes to the bars as these are so much easier to work with and can be cut to whatever size you want.
- Line the base of a 2cm deep brownie/deep baking pan (20cmx30cm size approx) with parchment paper and grease the sides if pan is not none-stick.
- Weigh the Rice Krispies into a large bowl.
- Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan on a low heat and then add the marshmallows.
- Using a silicone spatula (or other nonstick spatula) stir the marshmallows until melted and then pour onto the Rice Krispies. The mix gets very gloopy.
- Quickly stir all to coat the cereal evenly and then tip out into the lined baking tray and level as quickly as possible.
- While the base is cooling gently melt the caramels over a low heat. I added a couple of scant tablespoons of cream to get a slightly softer caramel but this is personal choice as I am wary of chewy caramel and my dentist bills. You just need a little, you are not making caramel sauce.
- Once the caramel is melted, pour it over the marshmallow crispie base, spreading it out evenly and leave to set.
- Once cool turn the base out onto a board and using a sharp knife cut into the size squares or bars you want.
- Line up the cut bars on a sheet of non-stick paper or a silicone mat (they get sticky!) and arrange another tray lined with non stick paper to take the pieces once they are dipped.
- Get your chocolate ready to dip by tempering it using whatever method you prefer#.
- Arrange your dipping setup by having the undipped pieces on one side of the chocolate bowl and the tray for placing the dipped pieces on the other side. I am right handed so I place undipped pieces to the left of the bowl and the dipped pieces on the right hand side. As you are placing a dipped piece onto the tray put in down on the far right hand top corner and work towards yourself and then down a row so each time you are not carrying anything over the top of an already dipped item. This avoids those many random drips landing on already dipped pieces. That's the theory, I am not very disciplined so tend to mess the system up every time.
- You want work fairly quickly so the chocolate does not cool too much and go out of temper.
- Keep stirring the chocolate between dipping every 2-3 blocks so you keep the temperature uniform throughout the bowl. I use a narrow silicone spoon that I keep in the bowl while I am working but be sure the handle is long enough that it will not fall and get submerged into the pool of chocolate.
- Keep the caramel layer on the top, if you think the item has flipped over in the pool of chocolate flip it back before trying to lift out as the fork will sink in to the caramel if the item is lifted out upside down.
- Use a chocolate dipping fork or a large narrow tined dinner fork, this helps to drain off excess chocolate. A plastic fork with the middle tines snapped off may also work but is better on smaller items.
- Carefully place a bar into the pool of chocolate, caramel side up and using the stirring spoon flood the top surface with chocolate to get a complete covering and then lift out and allow the excess to drain off into the bowl before transferring the bar to the separate sheet.
- Gently tapping the fork handle onto the side of the bowl can help but be careful as all too easily the whole bar will just drop off the fork.
- If too much chocolate stays on the piece it will run off into a large base (see below) when the item is placed on the cooling paper which looks a bit clumsy but who complains about extra chocolate.
I am submitting my 'Fuhgeddaboudits' to this month's We Should Cocoa - Marshmallows blog challenge which is being guest hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt who chose marshmallows as the special ingredient for August. The 'We Should Cocoa' monthly challenges are managed by Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog where you will find all manner of delicious chocolate recipes.
# The Callebaut Institute in Banbury have produced a video of how to temper chocolate in a microwave which is a very clear and tells you what you are doing to the chocolate to get it in temper. They are using their own products but of course the process is the same for all bought 'real' chocolate, bars just need to be chopped up. Link: Beverley Dunkley on Microwave Tempering.
##This only gave a thin layer of caramel, I would double the amount next time.