Peanut Butter Perfection
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008.
Makes 16 small bars
For the Crust
1 3/4 cups Crisped Rice Cereal
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Caster Sugar
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
3 tbsp Salted Butter (I reccomend salted here, to balance out the sweetness)
For the Filling
200g Milk Chocolate
25g Dark Chocolate
1 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
For the Topping
75g Dark Chocolate
1 tsp Golden Syrup or Agave Nectar
50g Butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
First line a 20cm square pan, or a similar sized circular or rectangular one, with foil and lightly grease the pan with flavourless oil or butter. Put your rice cereal in a large bowl and set aside, then combine in a small saucepan your water, sugar and syrup, and stir together gently, so that it does not splash the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a medium-high heat and wait until it begins to bubble vociferously and look syrupy, as opposed to liquid. Mine took about 3 to 5 minutes. If you have a sugar thermometer you can use that, you are looking for the soft ball stage or 110 C/235 F.
Once it looks right, you should remove from the heat and add in your butter, carefully stirring to combine. Working quickly and carefully, pour this over your rice cereal, and stir to coat all the grains. Tip this in to your prepared pan and spread and press across the bottom with a spatula. Leave this aside to get to room temperature, while you prepare the filling. EASY! Just melt together all of those ingredients, either in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or, as I did, in the mircrowave for about a minute and a half. I checked mine every 30 seconds, because I have a special talent for burning chocolate. Just take it out when it’s mostly melted, and stir until it is all smooth. Pour this over your base, and coax it right to the edges with a spatula, or the back of a spoon. Now, stick it in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
Finally, once your filling is set, you can melt together the topping ingredients using your preferred method, though it will obviously not take as long, and then pour glossily over your slice. Be very careful when spreading this out, and try to touch it as little as possible to it stays gorgeous and glossy. Now it just needs to set for another half an hour or so, and then cut into squares, four down four accross and share….or not.
P.S. If it is very cold where you are, I would reccomend letting the icing set out of the fridge for the last half hour, as it will retain it’s glossiness better. Unfortunately it seems to go a bit dull in the fridge. It doesn’t seem to put anyone off though!