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Friday, May 6, 2011

Three Musketeers Bars

Some things in life are easier than they look. Like navigating a foreign train station. Or fitting all of those clothes in your tiny suitcase. Maybe even riding a bicycle and looking at your watch at the same time (something that I am totally incapable of doing!). This it also true with candy making.

We all do it. We buy a chocolate bar or candy cup or marshmallow treat from the store and chow down. At no point in the time when we rip open the plastic wrapper to when we’re licking chocolate from our fingers do we think about the work that went into making our snack. We think nougat, yum. Peanuts, yum. Caramel, double yum. I think it’s time we break into those tricky candies on Candy Challenge 2011!

We’ve conquered marshmallows and taffy, sponge candy and mallow cups. Now it’s time to make our own Three Musketeers bars! Yes, we can! And let me tell you, they will be delicious.

If you have made marshmallows before then this will be a piece of cake for you. If you have a stand mixer it will be even easier (if you don’t, then prepare to get some serious arm muscles!). This recipe makes a huge amount of candy, be prepared to share or get really hyper from all the sugar. I’ve accompanied this recipe with some step-by-step pictures. Don’t be too nervous, just be ready to clean lots of sticky bowls once you’re done.

Homemade Three Musketeers Bars

2 egg whites
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tbsp vanilla

¾ cup milk powder (my box is labeled Instant nonfat dry milk)
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup powdered sugar

1 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 ox bittersweet chocolate

2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup water
1 ½ cups light corn syrup

1 package chocolate candy melts

Oil a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. Mix together egg whites, corn syrup and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a regular bowl if you’re using a hand mixer). Sift together the milk powder, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Melt the unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate in the microwave. Mix the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium pot. Now all of the ingredients are ready to go!

Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the cover on the pot and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and clip on your thermometer (I’ve upgraded to a digital thermometer, it has an alarm to let me know when I reach certain temperatures). Heat until you reach 233° F.

Once the temperature hits 233° F, begin whipping your egg white mixture on high. Continue cooking the sugar. Once it reaches 257° F, remove from the stovetop and slowly stream the hot syrup into whipping egg whites. You want to hit the sweet spot in between the bowl and the whisk. Continue whipping for 8 minutes. The mixture should be cooler to the touch, very shiny and glossy.

Switch to the paddle attachment and add the powdered ingredients on low speed. Mix just to combine. Add melted chocolate and mix until you see no more streaks of chocolate. Pour/scrape out of the mixing bowl and into your prepared 9x13 pan. Oil your hands and press into a flat slab. Allow to cool for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

This stuff will be pretty tough to deal with

Turn out the slab of chocolate nougat onto the countertop. Using a big knife, cut the slab into strips. Then use the same knife, or a bench scraper, to cut the strips into squares.

Melt chocolate candy melts in a bowl set over simmering water. Remove from the heat and dip the nougat squares in chocolate, following the pictures below to achieve the waved tops.

Allow the candies to set in the fridge. You can store them in the fridge or enjoy them right from the freezer. Delicious!

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