Sweet and Salty Crunchy Nut Bars
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (or 1 heaping cup chips)
- 4 ounces milk chocolate (or 1/2 cup chips) (or 11 ounces milk chocolate instead)
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup (recommended: Lyle's)
- 2 1/4 cups salted peanuts
- 6 ounces honeycomb candy
- Special equipment: 1 (10-inch) springform pan or 1 rectangular aluminum foil pan approx. 13 by 9 by 2 inches
Be still my beating heart! Or perhaps this is not the best thing to say here, given the likelihood of this lusciously over-the-top piece of chocolate excess inducing just such an outcome. I wouldn't want to make this very often, so impossible is it to walk away from with any conviction. I fear it is the kitchen equivalent to crack cocaine.
Still, as the French say "Everything in moderation, even moderation." This is gloriously intemperate, riotously vulgar. I love it.
The key is the blaring balance between sweet and salty: it's like several klaxons going off in your head as you eat. And it's strange that while I would normally eschew an all-milk chocolate offering, I prefer it here to the bittersweet-and-milk mixed version. Not that either is bad, and since the jury is matched on this, I feel it only right to alert you to either option. For what it's worth, I like the darker version in the round pan and cut into panforte-type skinny wedges, and my preferred milk chocolate version set in a rectangular pan and cut into chunky, squat slabs (rather as I feel and look like after eating too many of them).
Line your springform pan with aluminum foil or use a foil pan.
Take the melted chocolate mixture off the heat and stir in the peanuts and crushed honeycomb candy, then tip straight into the springform pan or foil pan. Smooth the top of the mixture as much as you can, pressing down with a silicon spatula or vinyl-disposable-gloved hand. Put into the refrigerator for about 4 hours, and once set, cut into slices as desired.
Make Ahead Note: The bars can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer slices to airtight container, layered with parchment paper, and store in refrigerator. Keeps for 3 to 4 days.
From NIGELLA KITCHEN by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2010 Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.