Martin Picard’s Sugar Shack Chocolate Bars

30 Mar

It took four days, eight bottles of maple syrup, and close to a pound and a half of chocolate to make these crazy-decadent Martin Picard creations. Yield: 6 bars.

Was it all worth it?

You bet!

Martin Picard’s sugar shack chocolate bars are essentially home-made Snickers bars. Magical home-made Snickers bars! There’s a layer of handmade maple nougat, then a crunchy strip of milk chocolate crisp, with melt-in-the-mouth maple nuggets thrown in. On top of that, is a thick smear of maple caramel, topped with salted peanuts. And finally, a milk chocolate outer shell that shatters just right when you sink in your teeth. Sigh.

As I look at the photographs and think of the chocolate bars handed out to friends, I feel the way you would after giving away a litter of puppies–a mix of relief and grief. Maybe I should have kept just one

But for the sake of my waistline, my teeth and my cheek muscle–which was twitching involuntarily by the end–those babies had to go.

I’m breaking up the recipe into separate posts, so as not to overwhelm. Click on each element for ingredients and instructions on how to make it.

Here’s the timeline I suggest:

Day 1: Make the maple sugar and nuggets, then leave to dry out 24 hours
Day 2: Make the nougat, then leave to dry out 24 hours
Day 3: Make the chocolate crisp; leave to dry a few hours + Make the caramel and leave to cool around 1 hour in the fridge. Assemble and coat bars.

(I took an extra day thanks to a few false starts.)

The good thing is, if you make a full batch of maple sugar and nuggets, that will knock a day off the process second time round.

Okay, to the recipe…

The very best of luck!


Chocolate Bar (Assembly)

Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Crisp
90g (2/3 cup) salted peanuts
550g (1 lb & 3 1/2 oz) milk chocolate

(You will only need about 370g (13 oz) of the chocolate for the bars, but you will need more than that to dip them completely. You can let the remains harden in a plastic container for later use)

1. Spread a little caramel onto the individual nougat strips then place the cut-to-size chocolate crisp strips one on top of each nougat strip, pressing lightly so that they stick.

2. Make a cone with a sheet of parchment paper and pour the caramel into it. Cut off the tip and use the cone as a pastry bag.

3. Pipe a strip of caramel along each bar, leaving 1 cm (3/8 inch) free at either end. This prevents the caramel from dripping down the sides of the nougat and leaves room for the peanuts. You need to work quickly, because the caramel tends to run.

4. Quickly stick a few peanuts onto the caramel, pressing them lightly, but being careful not to flatten the caramel. Refrigerate.

5. Melt the chocolate following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Do not let it cool.

6. Using a fork, dunk the bars one at a time into the chocolate. Be sure to submerge them completely. Drain the excess chocolate from the bars, so they are coated in a thin layer. (The thinner the layer of chocolate, the better it shatters and the more pleasant it is to bite into.)

7. Place the bars on parchment paper and let them harden at room temperature. The ideal temperature is 20 C (68 F). If the room is too hot, let the bars harden for a brief time in the fridge.

The bars will keep 4 days at room temperature. Do not store in fridge, or the nougat will become too hard.

Adapted from Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, by Martin Picard

Note: You could easily make twice as many of these by cutting twelve pieces instead of six; just a few mouthfuls is plenty, and sometimes it’s good in life to leave people wanting more.

3 Responses to “Martin Picard’s Sugar Shack Chocolate Bars”

  1. Alison March 31st, 2012 at 9:50 AM #

    These look g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s !!! And I’ll just bet they taste even better than they look. Could you whip up another batch? Kidding…

    You are a candy making force to be reckoned with.

    • Cori Wade March 31st, 2012 at 10:18 AM #

      looks so Yummmy

  2. Jimmy Forsman April 3rd, 2012 at 11:46 PM #

    I am more of a savoury kind of guy but damn, that look good for real.

    Perhaps it’s time to go join the sweeter side.

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