This is one of those kind of pies. You know, the kind where you initially feel it is reserved for the evening tuck in, and instead you find yourself mid-afternoon unable (or unwilling) to resist. In which case you find yourself sitting at the computer writing a post about the very item you are eating, that very second.
Just think of that as a previous disclaimer to what might ensue (you might find yourself finishing the whole pie within a matter of a couple of days) and that this is a fair warning. This pie is good stuff people. I like to think of it as having the perfect balance between sweet and salty and that it truly is like the perfect candy bar.
I chose to make this recipe out of the cookbook I am obsessed with in 2012: Momofuku Milk Bar. This along with the Cornflake-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies, were the two recipes that I was immediately drawn to. Okay and the Birthday Cake too.
Like many Milk Bar recipes, this one does have many steps, although that is one of the things that makes the end result oh so good and worth it. Enjoy!
Candy Pie Bar
Sources: Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi
1 recipe Salty Caramel, melted (Recipe will follow)
1 recipe Chocolate Crust (Recipe will follow), refrigerated
8 mini pretzels
1 recipe Peanut Butter Nougat
1.5 ounces dark chocolate
1.5 ounces white chocolate
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1. Pour the salty caramel into the crust. Return it to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
3. Spread the pretzels out on a sheet pan and toast for 20 minutes, or until they haave slighty darkened in color. Set aside to cool.
4. Get the pie from the fridge and cover the face of the hardened caramel with the nougat. Use the palms of your hands to press down and smooth the nougat into an even layer. Return the pie to the fridge and let the nougat firm up 1 hour.
5. Make a chocolate glaze by combining the chocolates and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melting them on medium in 30-second increments, stirring between each one. Once the chocolate is melted, whisk the mixture until smooth and shiny. Use the glaze the same day, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
6. Finish the pie: Remove it from the refrigerator and using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the chocolate glaze over the nougat, covering it completely. (If the glaze has firmed up, gently warm it so it is easy to paint on the pie). Arrange the pretzels evenly around the edeges of the pie. Use the pastry brush to paint the remaining chocolate glaze in a thin layer over the pretzels, seeling in their freshness and flavor.
7. Put the pie in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to set the chocolate. Wrapped in plastic, the pie will keep fresh in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months; defrost before serving.
8. Cut the pie into 8 slices, using the pretzels as your guide: each slice should have a pretzel in it.
3/4 recipe chocolate crumb (Recipe will follow)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1. Pulse the chocolate crumbs in a food processor until they are sandy and no sizeable clusters remain.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and with your hands, toss the sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and knead it into the sand until it is moist enough to knead into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional tablespoon of butter and knead it in.
3. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch pie tin. With your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the chocolate crust firmly into the tin, making sure the bottom and sides of the pie tin are evenly covered. Wrapped in plastic wrap, the crust can be stored at room temp for up to 5 days or in the fridge 2 weeks.
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
4. Spread the clusters on a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool.
5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for up to one week at room temp.
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 gelatin sheet or 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Put 1/2 cup heavy cream, butter, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Make the caramel: Heat the sugar and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the sugar starts to melt, use a heatproof spatula to move it constantly around the pan- you want it all to melt and caramelize evenly. Cook and stir, until the caramel is a deep, dark amber, 3-5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bloom the gelatin.
4. Once the caramel has reached the target color, remove the saucepan from the heat. Very slowly and very carefully pour the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream into the caramel. The caramel will bubble up and steam; stand away until steam dissipates. Whisk the mixture together. If it is at all lumpy, or there are any clumps of hardened caramel floating around the cream, put the saucepan back over medium heat and heat the mixture, whisking constantly until all of the caramel has dissolved and the mixture is smooth; remove the pan from the heat.
5. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the caramel. Once the gelatin has dissolved, pour the caramel through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the butter. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then begin whisking. Whisk slowly at first to preven the hot cream from splashing, then continue whisking until the mixture is completely homogenous.
6. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. When ready to use, simply melt in the microwave container in 30 second increments.
Peanut Butter Nougat
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoons water
1 egg white
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 recipe Peanut Brittle (Recipe to follow)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Put the first measures of sugar and water in a tiny saucepan and genlty slush the sugar around in the water until it feels like wet sand. Do the same thing with the second measures of sugar and water in another tiny saucepan.
2. Place both saucepans on the stove and begin heating them up: Turn the heat up to medium under the first sugar measurement and keep the heat low under the second measurement. Heat the first sugar up to 239 degrees F, keeping track of the temperature with an instant read thermometer.
3. While the sugar is heating up, put the egg white in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, begin whipping it to medium-soft peaks. If the white reaches medium-soft peaks before the first sugar hits 239 degrees, slow your mixer way down and let the sugar catch up. Or, if you notice that the sugar is almost 239 degrees and the white is still a bit off, turn the heat way down under the sugar and turn the speed way up on the mixer. Ideally, the white will reach medium-soft peaks at exactly the same time as the first sugar measurement hits its mark.
4. Once the first sugar measurement reaches 239 degrees, remove it from the heat and very carefully pour it into the whipping egg white, and turn the mixer down to a low speed while doing this. Once all the sugar is successfully added to the egg white, turn the mixer speed back up and turn the heat way up under the second sugar measurement. Once this sugar reaches 248 degrees, remove it from the heat and pour it into the whipping egg white, taking the same precautions as with the first sugar measurement. Let the egg white whip until cool.
5. While the white is mixing, mix the peanut butter, peanut brittle, and salt in a large bowl until well blended.
6. Once the white has cooled to room temperature, turn the mixer off, remove the bowl and using a spatula, fold the white into the peanut butter mixture. Use immediately in the candy bar pie assembly.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanuts
1. Line a quarter sheet pan with a Silpat (parchment will not work)
2. Make a dry caramel: Heat the sugar in a small heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the sugar starts to melt, use a heatproof spatula to move it constantly around the pan, you want it all to melt and caramelize evenly. Cook and stir until the caramel reaches a deep, dark amber, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Once the caramel has reached the target color, remove the pan from the heat and with the heatproof spatula, stir in the nuts. Make sure the nuts are coated in caramel, then dump the contents of the pan out onto the prepared sheet pan. Spread out as thin and evenly as possible. The caramel will set into a hard-to-move around brittle mass in less than a minute, so work quickly. Let the brittle cool completely.
4. Break up the pieces and enjoy as is, or if using in a recipe, process in a food processor until the mixture is almost like sand.