If you can get your hands on good-quality milk chocolate, like ScharffenBerger, Valrhona, or Michel Cluizel, this candy is the ideal version of the nestle crunch bar.
Yield: 40 to 48 candies
7 ounces milk chocolate (37 percent cocoa solids or more)
2 cups rice krispies
special tools and pans:
Bain-marie (see Notes)
Digital candy thermometer
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment, aluminum foil, or wax paper
Temper the milk chocolate:
Follow the instructions on this page to temper the chocolate (and see the Note on tempered chocolate). Once it is ready, add the rice krispies and fold the cereal into the chocolate until all of it is coated.
Shape the candies:
Using two small teaspoons, scoop and scrape the candies into small mounds on the lined cookie sheets. Try to make the mounds higher and not wider by adding small amounts of chocolate crispies to the top of the candy. Place the candies in a cool, dry place to set. Do not refrigerate. If the chocolate is well tempered and it is not too hot in the room you are working in, the chocolate should become shiny and dry within 5 to 10 minutes.
Storage: These candies will keep, sealed and in a cool, dry environment, for 1 week.
Bain-marie is the French cooking term for a metal bowl or container that can sit over or in simmering water to keep the contents of the container or bowl hot—basically, a makeshift double boiler. Fill a pot large enough to hold a medium-sized mixing bowl on top with 1 inch of water and set over low heat. When the water is simmering, set the bowl on top of the pot. If you are using a bain-marie for a sabayon, simmer the water over medium-high heat.
How to temper chocolate:
You will need a digital thermometer to temper chocolate. The room you are working in needs to be between 62°F and 72°F. If the temperature is significantly higher than 72°F, it will be difficult to temper chocolate, so I don’t recommend attempting this process in the heat of the summer. Make sure your cutting board, knife, bowl, and rubber spatula are clean and completely dry. Foreign particles and water will prevent the fat from crystallizing in the optimal formation. Prepare a bain-marie. Chop the chocolate into ½-inch pieces. Scrape 90 percent of the small pieces of chocolate into the bowl of the bain-marie. Melt the chocolate, stirring every minute or so, and remove from the heat when it reaches the temperatures listed on the chart below for the chocolate that you are using. Add the reserved 10 percent of the chopped chocolate. This chocolate will function as a seed crystal-it is already tempered, and the fat molecules in the melted chocolate will follow the same crystal formation. Stir and scrape the chocolate with a rubber spatula every 4 minutes until it cools to the temperature on the chart below.
Test the chocolate to see if it is ready by smearing a small droplet on a clean counter surface or piece of parchment or wax paper. If the room you are working in is not too warm (over 72°F), the smeared chocolate should dry within 5 minutes. If you have smeared it on paper, you should be able to peel the paper off the chocolate. If you smeared it on the counter, it should scrape off easily. If it is not drying and setting, stir the chocolate and allow it to cool another degree or two before testing it again.
Allow the bain-marie to continue to simmer as you dip your cookies. As the tempered chocolate cools, you can reheat it very gently within the temperature range listed below.
Heat dark chocolate to 120°F. Cool dark chocolate to 82-87°F.
Heat milk chocolate to 112°F. Cool milk chocolate to 81-84°F.
Heat white chocolate to 110°F. Cool white chocolate to 81-84F.