About a month ago, my husband felt an irresistible urge to try making a homemade version of the worldwide known Twix chocolate bar. We had a piece of that delicious treat in a small café of “La Petite France”, a famous district in the city of Strasbourg where is held every year the world’s largest Christmas Market, and where we had been in December 2018 (read here).
Served with a medium-size latte on the side, this homemade version of the Twix came as a rectangular piece of pie, with nicely cut edges. To us, French foodies, we thought that improving the crust texture would make this treat even more interesting, so my husband went for a shortbread type of crust with a recipe of my own – the one I use when I make my lemon fondant. The idea also was for him to learn how to make a crust by using a metal circle my mum had offered him, but that he had never used until then. The circle allows for a nicely colored and crunchy crust when used properly.
Telling the full story would be admitting that he actually made this pie twice, two weekends in a row, because for the first one he went for the store-bought pie-crust. After finding out this was not delivering in terms of texture and flavor, he then re-worked it the next weekend and went for the homemade one. The difference was so obvious – and the process so easy – that he learned his lesson and swore to never hesitate again.
The other (and bigger) challenge of this pastry episode was to come to master the Art of Caramel. Indeed, for the caramel to not be sticky nevertheless remain soft though not melty, well, there was no room for a recipe impro. However, plain caramel would have been a bit dull for a real “all-the-way” experiment, therefore we opted for salted butter caramel cream, with still in the back of our heads the fond memory of our trip to Guérande in South-Brittany with my siblings a few years ago, when my sister-in-law had us taste local caramel cream – with a spoon. And then Jerome finally topped his tart with melted chocolate, hoping for a crunchy layer that would not ruin the whole caramel and crust performance. Success! Now… has anyone got any good suggestions for physical exercise and how to fight hyperglycemia?!
- For the crust, visit the Lemon and Lime Fondant recipe page
- 200 g of dark chocolate for pastry purpose
- 200 g of refined white crystal sugar
- 80 g of salted butter (a bit more than half a stick)
- 80 ml of whole cream (thick or liquid doesn’t matter, as long as it is not “diet” or light, we need the properties of the fat here)
- First prepare the crust. While doing so, preheat the oven at 180 degrees C, and lay a baking sheet over the baking tray of your oven, then place a metal baking circle in the center.
- When your dough is ready, line it within the circle onto the tray, and bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until the crust looks golden and amazing. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down to room temperature.
- For the caramel, heat the cream without boiling it (it is tolerated to proceed with the microwave oven of course).
- In the meantime, start the caramel in a saucepan. Pour the entire volume of sugar and heat it up.
- After a minute or so, with a wooden spatula (compulsory), start moving the sugar very slowly so that you help the white crystals touch the bottom of the saucepan and benefit from the heat. Do not add any liquid at this point, just sugar. When melting, the white sugar is going to turn golden then brown. Regulate the heat, not too low so that the process can allow for the caramel to develop, not too high so that the caramel doesn’t burn (which would give an awfully bitter flavor to the end product).
- At some point, the edges of the caramel will turn browner than the rest, keep stirring so that the color of the whole preparation turns back to even.
- Do not overdo it. When the color is nice and golden to light brown, pour the heated cream. Watch out for splashes. With a whisk, stir vigourously until totally combined.
- Cut the butter stick in cubes, and add them one at a time while stirring in between. The butter will add some onctuosity and shine to the caramel.
- When all the butter is melted and the caramel is well shiny, pour it onto the crust. The caramel should have a mirror effect at this stage.
- Let the caramel cool off at lukewarm temperature – about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, heat another saucepan and melt the dark chocolate. When totally smooth, pour the chocolate on top of the caramel and let it dry.
- The homemade Twix is ready when the chocolate has turned dry and hard.
- Are you able to wait for the next day before tasting it?
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2020 All Rights Reserved.