Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Bark

Halloween is an excuse to wear scary costumes, or watch a marathon of horror movies.
It is also a good excuse to eat a lot of CANDY!

Therefore I thought- what’s an appropriate treat to make for the office on this spooky holiday?…candy!
I came across this recipe in Bon Appetite’s October 2010 issue: Halloween Bark.

The article states that the cooking level of expertise is “easy” and the cook time including prep is only: 50mins.
Well..they were wrong. Chopping of the candy and melting of the dark chocolate took me about an hour altogether.
Everything was going just fine until I began to melt the white chocolate!
The recipe suggest you buy high quality white chocolate. Well let me tell you, I did opt for the more expensive white chocolate chips (Ghirardelli) over the Ralph’s brand for $1.99!
What a waste! I followed the instructions for melting the white chocolate from both Bon Appétit-and from the back of the Ghirardelli bag.

My chips were not melting; neither by stove top or microwave!! Perhaps there is a science to white chocolate…
Don’t all chips melt the same way?- it turns out they don’t! For this issue I emailed
(the next day) my friend/chef Kimmie. She explains that:
“White chocolate isn't exactly’s coco butter.  So it will not melt the same as chocolate...
Your looking to temper the white the best way to do that is to get a double boiler, and melt some chips slowly stirring constantly...then add more chocolate a little at a time...stirring constantly- until smooth.  Remember to keep the water in the double boiler very slowly simmering...if it gets to hot it will steam, which the steam could drip into the bowl making the chocolate seize up.  If the water in the double boiler is too cool, it won't melt anything.”
THANKS KIMMIE!- Kimmie also explained another method of using a heating pad..but I will save that for another day! ; )
(Also maybe you should write recipe instructions for bon appétit too!)
Needless to say there isn’t much that could go monumentally wrong when combining so many candies together into one! So if you can conquer the white chocolate drizzle I recommend this to anyone for a more sophisticated trick or treat candy!

Yields 2lbs, or 30 two inch pieces!
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
3 2.1-ounce Butterfinger candy bars, cut into irregular 1-inch pieces
3 1.4-ounce Skor or Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 3/4-inch pieces
8 0.55-ounce peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts
3 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
Reese's Pieces and/or yellow and orange peanut M&M's

1. Line baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. 
2. Pour chocolate onto foil; spread to 1/4-inch thickness (about 12x10-inch rectangle). Sprinkle with Butterfinger candy, toffee, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.
3. Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan. Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip spoon into chocolate; wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines. Scatter Reese's Pieces and M&M's over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate. *if you cannot melt the white chocolate or don’t have the you can see from my experience and pictures-simply sprinkle the white chocolate chips on!
4. Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes. Slide foil with candy onto work surface; peel off foil. Cut bark into irregular pieces.

No comments: