Saturday, May 06, 2006
canadian blogging by post # 1 : caramel hazelnut chocolate bar
When I chose chocolate as the theme for the first CBBP, I had in mind that I would contribute a recipe that everyone could make and appreciate. So, here is my favourite homemade chocolate bar. I suggest using good quality chocolate in the recipe. I used Callebaut milk and dark chocolate. Valrhona, Scharfenberg and Lindt are also safe bets.
The bar is constructed in layers. The base is made from milk chocolate, praline paste, and feuilletine, which is a small crunchy wafer. If you are not able to find or make praline paste, you can use Nutella. On top of the base, milk chocolate ganache is poured. Once the milk chocolate layer is frozen, dark chocolate ganache is used to form the third layer. If you enjoy true decadence, add a final layer of caramel sauce to finish things off.
Caramel and hazelnut chocolate bar
240g milk chocolate
75g praline paste or Nutella
145g cream 35%
200g milk chocolate
25g caramel sauce
160g cream 35%
220g dark chocolate
Fourth layer, caramel (optional):
140g cream 35%
Use a 9” x 13” sheet pan with at least 1” height
1. Melt milk chocolate in microwave for approximately 1 minute. Take out, and mix until smooth. If you still have chunks of chocolate, heat at 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted.
2. Once the chocolate is smooth, add praline paste or Nutella and mix until fully combined. Add feuilletine and mix until combined.
3. Then, pour the mixture in your sheet pan, spread evenly with a palate knife and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
1. Make a milk chocolate ganache: Heat cream on the stove or microwave until boiling and then pour cream over the milk chocolate. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then mix until the ganache is smooth. If there are still chunks of chocolate, heat in microwave for 10 second intervals until it is smooth.
2. Add caramel sauce to the mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Then pour and spread over the frozen feuilletine base. Work quickly using a palate knife to spread this mixture over the base, trying to get the layer as even as possible. Banging the bottom of the pan on the counter may help achieve a more level surface. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
1. Make a dark chocolate ganache: Heat cream on the stove or microwave until boiling and then pour over the dark chocolate. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then mix until the ganache is smooth.
2. Working quickly using a palate knife, spread this mixture over the prior layers, trying to get it as even as possible. Banging the bottom of the pan on the counter may help achieve a more level surface.
3. Place in the freezer for 1 hour before adding a caramel topping. If you are not adding caramel, leave the pan in the freezer for four hours before serving.
Fourth layer (optional):
1. Make a caramel sauce by placing 210g of sugar and 70g water in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook the sugar until the sugar turns a golden amber colour.
2. Once amber, work quickly. Take sugar mixture off the heat. Immediately add 140g of cream and stand back, as the mixture will bubble and splatter. Then, using a wooden spoon, mix until the cream and sugar are combined to make a caramel. If there are lumps of sugar that have not dissolved, return to the heat and stir until melted.
3. Let the caramel cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring a thin layer on top of the frozen bar. Work quickly, using a palate knife, to spread this mixture over the prior layers, trying to get it as even as possible. Once again, banging the bottom of the pan on the counter may help achieve a more level surface. Place in the freezer for four hours, or over night if possible.
To serve, cut the chocolate bar with a sharp knife that has been heated with hot water or a butane torch. This helps achieve a clean edge. I suggest cutting small, thin slices, as the bar is extremely rich. To bring out the flavours, I recommend letting the bar warm up for a few minutes before serving. You can keep the chocolate bar in the freezer for up to two weeks, but I am sure it will disappear before then.