In my strawberry, peach and ginger crumble post I went on about how I was ready for summer and a glut of fruit. I still am, but this week I just needed something comforting and moreish. Something chocolatey, buttery and not at all good for me.
The really refreshing thing about these bars is that there’s no baking involved. I haven’t had a day free of baking in a long time. As the rain trickles down your window, all you really want is something fuss-free that you can just shove in your mouth shamelessly.
These would also make an amazing cinema snack (because we all know cinema food is waaaaay overpriced, and will never taste as good as this.) These are also so easy you can have a go at them with your kids. Pre-warning: you will have children covered in peanut butter, licking each others faces.
These bars really remind me of the marshmallowy treats you were offered as a kid at birthday parties, only these are layered with rich flavour. I can clearly remember being about 8 and going to a friend’s birthday party; glitter sprayed hair and wearing a silver feather-lined cardigan, the height of 90s fashion.
At this age, my mum didn’t keep any fizzy drinks, crisps or mass-produced sweets in the house. So you can imagine the crazy, sugar fuelled kid I became when these things were on offer without any restrictions. My friends mum would bring out the rice crispy treats and I would slyly walk over to the plate and snap one up, my eyes gleaming like a rich man who had just found gold. I can remember I used to feel impolite eating more than two when I really wanted ten.
Ok, so these bars don’t taste exactly like the old rice crispy treats but instead, more of an adult version with coats of peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Just a quick note: Me and the guys from the pastry team at work were featured in this months ‘ganache’ magazine. It’s pretty cool to see yourself in a magazine with the people you work so hard with everyday. The amount of time you spend at work as a chef makes those people your family; a very crazy, disjointed and sleep-deprived family.
Ingredients – makes approx. 20-25 medium-sized bars
Rice crispy base
- 120g rice krispies
- 110g caster sugar
- 80g melted butter
- 220ml water
Peanut butter layer
- 140g milk chocolate
- 260g crunchy peanut butter
- 125g dark chocolate
- 85g butter
Rice crispy base
- Butter an 11 by 10 inch baking tin (can be smaller, but no bigger) with butter and line with a strip of baking parchment, making sure to leave tabs on either side of the tin so that you can remove the bars with ease. Have your melted butter ready as well as your rice krispies weighed out into a bowl. Place the caster sugar and water into a saucepan; put onto medium-high heat. Stir the solution together so that the sugar isn’t sitting at the bottom of the pan. Boil the sugar until it comes to 115 degrees C; do not stir whilst the sugar is on the heat as this will result in crystallizing the sugar.
- Quickly add in the melted butter and pour over your rice krispies. Immediately stir this together, making sure to coat each rice krispie.
- Pat the rice krispie layer into your buttered baking tin into one even layer. Leave to cool and set. You want to do this quickly so that the rice krispies are still warm or they will clump and set in the bowl.
- Place the peanut butter and milk chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir until the chocolate and peanut butter have melted together. Pour this over your rice krispie base, tilting the baking tin from side to side until the mix is in one even layer.
- Place in the fridge for approx. 1 hour until the peanut layer has set.
Dark chocolate layer
- Exactly like the peanut layer, place the chocolate and butter in a small bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir until the two ingredients have melted together.
- Take your baking tin out of the fridge and pour the chocolate layer over the top of the peanut layer. Tilt the pan until the chocolate is in an even layer.
- Place in the fridge for another hour until the chocolate layer is set and cold.
- Take the tin out of the fridge and, using the baking paper tabs on either side, pull out the bar from the tin. Place this onto a chopping board and heat up a large knife under a hot tap. Wipe the knife so that it isn’t wet and trim the sides of the bar. Cut into squares.
- Store in an airtight container, in the fridge.