Thursday, June 17, 2010

Twix Pie

I have a friend. He is remarkably persistent and he has a sweet tooth that rivals mine. My friend loves Twix candy bars. He loves them so much that he gave me this recipe about six months ago with a polite request to make this pie. I told him I would and I meant it. However, with a pile of recipes a mile high, this one kept falling into the, I'll do this one late category.

Then a mutual friend had a birthday approaching. This mutual friend also happens to love Twix candy bars and therefore, my friend who gave me the recipe, kindly and with a hint of desperation, asked me to make the pie for our friend's birthday. I tried to dodge it and then, this so-called friend pulled out the big guns. I saw that this recipe required homemade caramel which is remarkably easy to botch and I mentioned, very passively, that I would have to make the caramel. My friend replied, "Oh, well, if this is too difficult for you, I understand." To say that this friend, who is fully aware that I am a baking fanatic, hit me where it hurt, is an understatement.

Of course, we all know what happened. I told my friend that those were fighting words and immediately went home to make this pie. Did his tactics work? Without a doubt and I took the bait like a ravenous shark smelling blood for the first time. In the end, I am glad I made this pie because it was undeniably good. Warning though, it is incredibly sweet and I would not suggest having this one at an office meeting. Everyone will crash hard and will not be able to keep their eyes open for the remainder of the day. If your goal is to take a nap, this pie is for you! Enjoy! AJ

Recipe from Ahmed on Group Recipes

1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Caramel filling
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate ganache
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

For crust:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Butter 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add 1/2 cup butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks; process until moist clumps form. Add cocoa powder; blend in using on/off turns. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack while preparing caramel filling.

For caramel filling:
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until mixture is deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully,sugar may burn so fast.
Remove from heat; add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add butter and stir over low heat until caramel is completely smooth. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; stir in salt. Cool 10 minutes. Pour warm caramel into crust. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 45 minutes.

For ganache:
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let stand until slightly cooled but still pourable, about 10 minutes. Pour ganache evenly over caramel filling. Refrigerate tart uncovered until chocolate is firm, about 2 hours. do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

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