While I have a
slight obsession with with showing up on time (and, for some illogical reason, an apparent propensity to make friends with people who are chronically late), I am very much late to the pop-culture party.
(I’d like to take this moment to remind you that on my blog, I am an equal-opportunity segue-user.)
Not having cable, or, if I’m honest, the attention span, for TV, I’m usually the one sitting off to the side of a conversation about Making a Murderer smiling and nodding like I know what’s going on. If I don’t know the other participants well, I will excitedly claim that I have heard so many great things about it and as soon as I find the time I will sit down and binge watch the whole thing. My better friends will get a more truthful addendum: or, actually, I probably won’t.
You, my dear randoms on the Internet, get to know the full truth: I tried to watch the first eight minutes, gave up, and made homemade mars bars.
My gauge for whether or not I will continue on with a tv show is whether or not it can distract me from whatever I’m making in the kitchen. I think in this case, we can all appreciate that Making a Murderer wasn’t, for me, everything that it apparently is for everyone else.
Luckily, I didn’t discover Sherlock until after the mars bars were done. So if anyone wants to re-have those oh-my-gosh-it’s-so-good conversations about Sherlock that I smiled and nodded through about six years ago, I’m ready now.
(Except Tami. If you need to re-hash the conversations we had when you were super pregnant about watching Sherlock and finding Benedict Cumberbatch attractive… I’m not there yet. I fervently hope I will never be there.)
Maybe one day I’ll be ready to have oh-my-gosh-it’s-so-good conversations about Making a Murderer, but in the meantime, mars bars!
Homemade Mars Bars
There are a lot of steps to these, but I promise they’re worth it. Also, you’ll need a candy thermometer.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 egg whites
- 2 ounces milk chocolate
- 1/3 cup chocolate malt powder (I used Milo)
- pinch of salt
- About 40 bulk caramels
- 1/4 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)
- pinch of vanilla powder (or seeds from one vanilla bean, or one teaspoon of vanilla extract)
- About 3/4 pound of milk and dark chocolate, divided
Round 1: Chocolate
- Melt about half of the 3/4 pound chocolate (I won’t prescribe how – I melt mine over the stove on low, but do your thing).
- Pour it into the base of silicon 9″ square pan. I use silicon because it is by far the easiest to remove the mars bars later, but you can also use a regular pan lined with parchment or foil.
- Put it in the fridge or freezer to cool completely. You need it completely solid before you add the next layer.
Round 2: Nougat
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar, water, corn syrup, and maple syrup until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Stop stirring, and insert the candy thermometer. Cook until the thermometer reaches 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the meantime, melt the 2oz of milk chocolate. Set aside.
- When the candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium.
- When the candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees, remove it from the heat. With the mixer on high speed, slowly(!) pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl.
- Continue beating on high for about five minutes, until the sugar and egg mixture is shiny, white and stiff.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add the melted chocolate, chocolate malt powder, and salt. Keep stirring until everything is combined.
- Scrape the nougat on top of the chocolate layer in your prepared pan. Use slightly damp fingers to press it flat. It’ll look ugly, but we’ll be covering it with another layer soon.
- Let the nougat cool in the fridge, though you can proceed with the next step immediately.
Round 3: Caramel
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the caramels with the whipping cream and vanilla. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn!
- When it’s melted, pour it over the nougat.
- Let it cool in the fridge, though you can still proceed with the next step immediately.
Round 4: Chocolate
- Melt the remainder of the chocolate, and pour it over the caramel layer. I melted the milk and dark separately to get a fun design, but use your creative judgement.
- Let it cool completely! I’m talking at least a few hours in the fridge.
To serve, let it sit on the counter for about half an hour, and slice it with a hot knife.