Monday, February 22, 2010

Homemade Sky Bar-ish Candy

Sky Bar. That's the original. This is not a genuine Sky Bar, this is an homage to a Sky Bar.

Obviously, I skipped the peanut part due to Danny's allergies. I do think for subsequent attempts, I could make a basic fondant and flavour it with powdered malt and crushed cornflakes to replicate the filling. If anything, it would be close to a Butterfinger. Maybe I'll try that next. Since I was so successful with the Twix experiment, I thought a multi-sectioned candy bar might be fun to try.

Until I had a child with allergies it never would have occurred that these were worth trying. Now, I'm really taken with the idea of replicating my favourite childhood candies in a nut-free environment for my son.

I still can't really get over the fact that this worked. Instead of making a fourth flavour, I simply repeated the fudge because everyone agrees it is exceptional fudge. It still gets four sections which is what I was going for. These are much heavier and substantial than an actual Sky Bar. One bar can easily feed a few people. If you cut it lengthwise, everyone can have a slice including all the flavours.

You will want to do this in stages-the caramel keeps fresh longest, so make that first. The marshmallow really ought to go last, unless you live in a very dry environment. I coated mine in bittersweet chocolate, but you should use whatever you like.

These would make a really lovely addition to an Easter basket, or an impressive hostess gift. Hell, I'd invite people over if they'd bring me homemade chocolate bars.

For The Caramel:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Coarse salt

Butter an 8x8x2 pan generously and sprinkle the bottom with coarse salt. Set aside.

In a large, heavy pot combine everything except the vanilla sand salt. Cook, stirring until mixture reaches 248 degrees F.

Remove from heat, beat in vanilla and pour into pan. Sprinkle top with coarse salt. Let set until cool, then turn out on a board and cut into slabs. If you're using this to make Sky Bar knock-off candy, cut the slabs large so you can trim them to size in the mould. Any extra can be cut-up and individually wrapped as caramels.

For The Fudge:

4 tablespoons good quality dark cocoa powder
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn syrup
Generous pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Generously butter an 8x8x2 pan

Combine cocoa, sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt in a heavy pan. Cook, stirring frequently until it reaches the soft-ball stage (236 degrees F.) Remove from heat, cool slightly and then beat in butter and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Let harden, then cut into slabs similarly sized with the caramel. Wrap tightly in cling film until needed.

For The Marshmallows:

2 tablespoons gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1 egg white

Line an 8x8x2 pan with parchment.

Soften gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. In a large heavy pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water. Cook to 240 degrees F. without stirring. While it cooks, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form.

Remove syrup from heat and add gelatin stirring until dissolved. Let cool ten minutes.

Beat syrup into egg whites with mixer on high speed and beat until it forms soft peaks. Pour into pan and let cool completely. At least 8 hours, or overnight.

When cool, turn out of pan onto board. With a damp cloth, moisten the parchment paper (now on top) and gently peel away. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Cut into similar sized slabs, and coat sides with sugar. Keep pieces in an airtight container between pieces of waxed paper, but use as soon as possible. I took my extra marshmallows and coated them in chocolate.

Assemble that sucker:

I used mini-bread tins lined with parchment, but obviously if you have candy bar moulds, that will work better.

Melt the chocolate of your choice, tempering if you want to get all fancy-n-stuff (tm).

Spread a layer in the bottom of the lined pan. Atop that, cut pieces of candy to size and place them in side-by-side. Top with additional chocolate getting it down the sides with a butter knife, if you can. Let harden. Trim any excess stray chocolate. Store tightly wrapped in cling film.

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