by Stephanie Zonis
For the milk chocolate fan in most of us, I give you these mildly chocolate, dense bars, topped with marshmallows and almonds, then covered with a chocolate topping. Fun for bake sales or any occasion, really, and especially appreciated by the younger set, as they are on the sweet side. I use a little semisweet chocolate in the Topping, for a slightly stronger chocolate flavor, but you can use all milk chocolate, if you wish. You can, of course, substitute other nuts for the almonds--try pecans or even peanuts. Whatever you choose should be unsalted. One caution: these must stand before they are cut into bars--the Topping needs a chance to set.
These can be stored airtight at cool room temperature for up to 4 days. I wouldn't recommend refrigerating them, as the marshmallows don't seem to take well to that, but they do freeze.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pats
4 ozs. best-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, graded "large", plus one egg yolk,
preferably at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-3/4 cups lightly packed, soft,
fresh miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped unblanched (skin on) almonds
6 ozs. best-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 ozs. best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp. solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup finely chopped, unblanched (skin on) almonds
Adjust rack to center of oven. Line a 9-inch square pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or use two layers of regular weight foil). Lightly grease the bottom only with solid vegetable shortening.
In small heatproof bowl, combine butter pats and finely chopped chocolate. Place over hot water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. (Milk chocolate can be stubborn about melting. If yours refuses to melt completely, process the mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade just until smooth.) Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Into small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine eggs, yolk, sugar, and vanilla. By hand, with large spoon, beat together until well-combined, about 1 minute. with a fast stirring motion, add melted chocolate mixture (which may still be slightly warm), and incorporate well. Stir in sifted dry ingredients just until blended. Turn into prepared pan and spread level, making sure batter is pushed into corners.
Bake in preheated oven 22 to 24 minutes, turning back to front about halfway during baking time. Toothpick inserted in center should emerge with some moist crumbs still clinging to it; do not bake until completely done. Remove to cooling rack. Turn oven off, but close oven door.
Immediately sprinkle marshmallows all over top of bars, as evenly as possible. Return to turned-off oven; close oven door. Let stand in oven for exactly 2 minutes (marshmallows will swell up a bit, but they shouldn't melt). Remove to cooling rack. Sprinkle chopped almonds as evenly over marshmallows as possible.
Start to prepare Topping. In small heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolates and shortening. Set over hot water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water.
By small spoonfuls, spoon Topping all over marshmallows and almonds. Spread as evenly as possible with back of spoon. All of the marshmallows and nuts should be covered, but the top surface will be bumpy--OK. Quickly sprinkle on finely chopped almonds, as evenly as possible. with back of clean, small spoon, gently pat finely chopped almonds slightly into Topping.
Cool completely before covering airtight. Allow to stand at least 6 hours or overnight before cutting. To cut, use a large, very sharp, straight-edged knife. You'll need to cut mostly with the knife point and the part of the blade closest to it; do not "drag" the blade across the top surface, or the Topping will crack. It will be necessary to rinse the knife blade under hot water, then under cold water, frequently (if you want clean cuts); shake the blade off well before cutting again, but don't dry it. Store airtight at room temperature.
Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You may: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your computer for your own personal use only; and reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.
This page created September 1999
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