Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Salty Sweet Chocolate Bars: Three Ways

Since I first made Nigella's sweet and salty crunch nut bars from Kitchen I started to toy with the idea of setting various salty, crunchy things in chocolate. And, over time, I came up with three particular favourites:

1. salted popcorn: because it's chewy and squeaky against all that silky chocolate.
2. salted peanuts and chopped Reese's peanut butter cups : because I love Reese's chocolate, especially Nutrageous bars.
3. salted peanuts and marshmallow: in homage to the American 'fluffernutter' sandwich of marshmallow fluff (yes, you can buy that in the UK now) and peanut butter.

And because variety is always good, I tend to make them now not in a big square cake tin but I make all three types in smaller rectangular dishes, so you can have a bite (aherm...) of each.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Salted Roasted Peanut Chocolate Bars


I use the washed up plastic trays from the Chinese takeaway and just line them with foil, so that will give you an idea of how large you'll need your individual trays. And if you like one of the flavours so much that you want a big version then don't let me stop you. 

Salty Sweet Chocolate Bars: Three Ways

For the chocolate, for all flavours:
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
For the popcorn flavour:
  • 15g (this is more than it sounds) salted popcorn, from a pack

For the salted peanuts/Reese's flavour:
  • 7 Reese's peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
  • 25g salted, roasted peanuts

For the salted peanuts/marshmallows:
  • 25g salted, roasted peanuts
  • 50g marshmallows, chopped
Marshmallow and Salted Roasted Peanut Chocolate Bars

Method:
  1. Break the chocolate up into pieces and put them into a small saucepan. Drizzle in the golden syrup and the butter and melt very slowly, stirring occasionally.
  2. Tip the salted popcorn into a mixing bowl and drizzle about a quarter of the chocolate mixture over the top. Stir with a silicone spatula, to try and coat all of the popcorn in the chocolate. Tip the mixture into one of the foil-lined trays and press down as much as you can, without breaking up the popcorn too much. Scrape all of the chocolate mixture from the bowl - this will save you some washing up. Dribble over a final 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate to fill in any gaps and then smooth it over with a spatula or spoon. Put to one side.
  3. Tumble 6 of the chopped Reese's peanut butter cups into the bowl you used for the popcorn, along with the peanuts. Trickle in enough chocolate to bind the peanuts and Reese's cups together and then scrape into another foil-lined tray. The peanut butter cups will melt a little, this is ok. Press down, trickle in a little extra chocolate to cover the gaps as before and smooth over the top. Scatter the pieces from the remaining peanut butter cup over the top. Put to one side.
  4. Finally, make the peanut butter and marshmallow chocolate. Tip the remaining peanuts and the chopped marshmallows into the scraped out bowl and then pour all but a few tablespoons of the remaining melted chocolate into it. Stir well to coat, and then scrape into the last foil-lined plastic tray. Scrape out the last of the chocolate from the saucepan and smooth it over. Transfer all of the three chocolate-filled tubs to the fridge and leave for about 3-4 hours, or until set. Cut up into cubes and enjoy.
Which would be your favourite? Do you have any salty-sweet favourite combinations?


Salted Popcorn Chocolate Bars