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PHAT Family Candy Bars

Recipes

PHAT Family Candy Bars

tastebu

Photos and Words by Fred Chang

So before you even get into the recipe, you might be wondering, what the heck is the PHAT family? As a part of BU’s Taiwanese American Student Association’s e-board, I was lucky enough to be inducted into a lineage dubbed the PHAT Fam, because we all had baby fat faces, which we would affectionately dub our “mochi cheeks.” As for what inspired this candy bar, it was from the original three progenitors in my line: my grandbig, Enya, who is one of the most exacting food critics I’ve ever met, my “auntie” Cathleen, who is warm, sweet, and caring, and my own big, Renee, who loves all things Asian. This candy bar takes the food trends that my grandbig adores, such as peppered dark chocolate and salted caramel, some Asian ingredients, like misugaru, that my own big prefers, and chocolate ganache, a particular favorite of Cathleen’s, and melds them together. Without further ado, this is the recipe to the PHAT Family Candy Bar.

Shortbread base
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons cold water
salt
misugaru powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, blend butter, 1/3 of the flour, and baking soda until it turns into a crumb-like consistency. Pour into a bowl, and mix in the remaining flour and salt. Form a well in the center, and add the heavy cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water. Mix. If the mixture is still crumbly, add in more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it forms into a smooth and malleable dough; the dough should just come off the surface of the bowl, without any parts still sticking to it. Lightly dust a surface with misugaru powder and roll out the dough to about 1/8 an inch thick. Place on a parchment baking sheet and transfer to a shallow baking tray. Trim edges. Prick dough with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Malted Ganache
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate
3 cups dark chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons malted milk powder
1/3 cup boiling water
a pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, bloom the gelatin with water (placing the gelatin into the refrigerator helps speed up the process!). Over a double boiler, melt chocolate, butter, and malted milk powder. Melt bloomed gelatin into boiling water and pour into the chocolate mixture along with the heavy cream, black pepper, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is separated, carefully add more boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth, pourable, and creamy.

Salted Brittle Crunch
1 cup toasted nuts (I used butternut squash seeds, but any nut or seed will work)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cups water
salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

In a pan, melt sugar with corn syrup, water, honey, and salt. Heat until the sugar begins to just turn golden brown. Add in butter and baking soda and stir off heat until incorporated, and pour onto a nonstick surface. In a food processor, blitz nuts into a coarse texture. Then do the same with the brittle once it is hardened and set.

Assembly: Make sure that the shortbread and shallow baking tray are cooled before doing anything. Fold the brittle crunch into the malted ganache. Pour onto the shortbread and with an offset spatula, spread evenly over the surface. Freeze until set, and cut into individual servings. Store in the freezer, and allow the bars to warm up at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.