For my 40th Birthday, my husband took me to Michel Richard’s Restaurant Central in DC. Michel Richard is a fantastic chef and I think of Central as his comfort food restaurant, delicious and accessible. I ended my decadent meal with one of his signature desserts, Michel’s Chocolate Bar also known as Le Kit Cat. A crunchy chocolate truffle base is topped with a rich whipped chocolate ganache and serve on a pool of luscious hazelnut caramel. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. And it should be because it costs $9! So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that he had published the recipe in one of his cookbooks and it had made it’s way onto the Internet.
I can attest that this version of the recipe is just as good as the real deal, but at a fraction of the price. Also, this no bake bar is surprisingly easy to make.
Michel’s Chocolate Bar aka Le Kit Cat
Adapted from a recipe by Michel Richard
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (Jiff, Peter Pan, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 7 ounces milk chocolate melted and at body temperature
- 1 ¼ cup crushed cornflakes (I used organic, you could also use gluten-free)
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces 60% semisweet chocolate, melted and at body temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (about 2 oz.)
- Unsweetened Cocoa
- Fresh Raspberries
Line an 8-inch pan with plastic wrap, letting it overhang on all sides.
MAKE THE BOTTOM LAYER
Place peanut butter and oil in the bowl of a stand-mixer and beat on medium-high speed until combined and light in color, 2 to 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to low and add the melted milk chocolate until thoroughly combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the cornflakes.
Pour into prepared pan and level with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
MAKE THE TOP LAYER
In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the melted semisweet chocolate in a medium size bowl and fold in half of the cream to lighten it and then quickly fold in the remaining half. Pour the mixture over the bottom layer, making sure to reach the corners. Beat against the work surface to eliminate any air. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (At this point the dessert can last 3 days)
MAKE THE HAZELNUT SAUCE
Add the water to the sugar on a medium size saucepan and stir to saturate. Set on medium-high heat. When the sugar mixture starts boiling reduce heat to simmer. Meanwhile combine the milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream and heat until warm. Turn off the heat, and set aside in a warm place. When the caramel turns to a light amber color, take off the heat and add the hazelnuts. Swirl until they are evenly coated.
Add the milk-cream mixture and return to a boil for 2 minutes.
Put the hazelnut-cream mixture in a blender and grind till the hazelnuts are finely ground. Be careful since the liquid is very hot. If the sauce isn’t very saucy, you can add an extra 1/4 cup of cream to the blender.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve discarding any solids that remain. Cool and then chill.
One hour before serving, lift the block from the pan using the overhang sides. Peel off the plastic and cut it into 4×1 inch bars with a large warm knife. Have deep container of hot water nearby; dip the knife into the water, and dry with a kitchen towel before each cut. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the tops of the bars with cocoa powder; Brush gently so the cocoa fills in any small holes. Ladle sauce on the bottom of plate.
TASTING NOTES: Yummm. The bar is perfection, difficult to stop eating. Crunchy, rich, chocolatey, satisfying. I will say that while the hazelnut cream was delicious, it may be more trouble than it is worth. You could also serve this with a a standard caramel or a fresh raspberry sauce. In fact, next time that is what I’m going to try.
UPDATE: I had a hard time not eating the crust in it’s semi-liquid form. It was seriously delicious. After spending a couple of days thinking some relatively naughty thoughts about making the crust into a truffle filling, I created Crunchy Munchy Truffles and they were crunchy munchy yummy. This candy incarnation will most definitely turn up in my 2011 Holiday Candy giving.