Unveiling the 8 pound loaf of candy.

Original Announcing Candybar2 Base layer poured. Cookie layer created. Caramel tries to slink away. News of Nutella. The final layers are completed. Unveiling the 8 pound loaf of candy. Unveiling the 8 pound loaf of candy. Editable
version 8 of 8

It has been a year since my last giant chocolate experiment. I've done other, less unreasonable candy making and chocolatiering projects in the interim. Making simple things has improved basic competency, but the most important lessons are learned attempting things beyond one's comfortable skills. This candy bar shall be correspondingly more ambitious and more delicious. Goals for Candybar2:

  • Better ingredients
  • More variety
  • Even bigger
  • Tempered chocolate

The first two will not be difficult. Candybar1 was made using the cheapest ingredients possible. It was made as fast as possible, largely put together in two days. Start earlier, move carefully, plan methodically and quality will naturally follow.

Size should follow suit as well. More variety means more layers, which will make the loaf rise to triumphant heights. Of course, simply starting with a wider and longer base is another option.

Tempering is still a bit insane. More experience, better equipment and boundless confidence should make the difference now. While it is a lot of work, tempering is entirely worth the effort. Tempering adds crystalline structure which greatly increases the structural integrity and thermal stability of the chocolate. Basically, untempered chocolate will melt at room temperature and squish between your fingers. Tempered chocolate melts at body temperature and crisply snaps under sufficient force.

Lisa (2009-02-18-09-33-13)

Also, tempering chocolate prevents "chocolate bloom" the white stuff that shows up when chocolate bars get left in a hot car and then cooled again. The "bloom" is actually free cocoa butter that diffuses to the surface. I think chocolate also becomes rancid faster when it is untempered because of this "blooming" process. That's why I always eat chocolate right away when it melts in the car.

This year's layers include:

  • caramel
  • cookie
  • marshmallow
  • cherries
  • peanut butter
  • almonds
  • nutella
  • lots of chocolate


Layer Zero.

The base was made using a bread pan for the mold. I decided to do something a little strange to this layer. The base takes a lot of abuse. If it is too soft it will collapse under the weight. If it is too brittle it will snap at the slightest twist. A large amount of granulated sugar was mixed in to improve the stability. Four ounces of sugar were blended into the eight ounces of chocolate. The result was thermally stable and had a forgiving amount of flex. Its texture was a little strange, most similar to a nonpareille.

Lisa (2009-02-18-09-37-01)

I noticed as I was eating the candy bar that the bottom chocolate layer was the most delicious and texturally interesting. And now we know why - MORE SUGAR.


Cookie layer.

Much much lazier with the cookie this year. Simply crumbled up the vanilla wafers and poured chocolate over the bits. Frankly, last year's cookie layer was really weird. This is both less weird and so much less tedious.


Caramel: not structurally sound.

This year the caramel would be pure, and not blended with nuts. I also opted not to freeze the layer, thinking I could simply freehand pour it. The pouring went pretty well. The molten caramel was generally well behaved. The problem came when it was time to cap it. While waiting for the caramel to cool, large portions slid down the sides, as if Salvador Dali was making the candy. Not sure why it was so much softer this year, but whatever. I piled the caramel back on, capped it with a layer of chocolate, ...


Nuts to caramel!

... and while the chocolate was still molten I pressed in as many almonds as would fit. This is when the chocolate's temper is put to the test. The loaf is stored at room temperature, so everything is softer and more willing to flow. The thin walls of chocolate along the sides need to retain the outwards pressure as more layers are piled on. Last year, I could have not bothered with chocolate side walls, as the entire bar was kept solid in the refrigerator.


Tasty trouble.

This is not how a candy bar should look. There should not be gaps in the sides like that. Why did this happen? I forgot the most important rule to a fast and easy candybar: Never freehand layers! Freehanded layers have a tendency to go convex, so you need to either save them for last or alternate them with cast layers. The Nutella was cast in the freezer, but it is on top of three hand poured layers. Whoops. I will do my best to plug up the gaps with extra chocolate, and try very hard not to serve anyone the heel of the loaf.

Lisa (2009-02-18-09-37-59)

I really disliked the nutella layer. It was too similar to the other chocolate layers, so it somehow felt... wrong. Like the chocolate had melted and become cakey and disgusting.


Should I add a jelly layer next year?

10 ounces of peanut butter were frozen into this slab. The gaps from the nutella layer were completely filled.


Fluff needs a pastry tube and fast hands.

Marshmallow fluff has taught me about many things. Like thermal expansion. Moral of the story: marshmallow fluff expands with considerable force. Another half a pound of chocolate was poured over the marshmallow for reinforcement. This layer also cracked, as the marshmallow further lifted the chocolate. Another eight ounces were applied when it finished warming up. Altogether, it looks pretty good from the outside.

Kyle (2009-02-19-18-39-37)

So after letting some of the candy bar sit out for a few days, the marshmallow became much more firm. Will have to try purposefully dehydrating the fluff before laying it.


If it were white chocolate, a Moby Dick reference might be in order.

This monster of chocolate weighs in at just over eight pounds. It is 9" long, 4.5" wide, and 5.5" tall. Half its weight is chocolate. Each pound of chocolate required about two hours of folding to achieve a good temper.

ara (2012-09-03-21-50-09-690)

Like what you are doing. Would you consider using loaf pan, lightly oiled, then lined w plastic wrap (also oiled) and then begin the stacking process.

Using slightly oiled sided pan helps keep all edges even and with no, hopefully, unfilled spaces. Plus when finished it could be unmolded and/or placed back into pan with little fuss muss.

Also - are the almonds toasted first?

Might try toasted coconut = will be trying out your candybar2


18,000 Calories of hedonism.

Each slice from the loaf was about 500 calories, a meal in its self. Like last year, we could only serve half of it at the unveiling party. It was bigger, more varied and tastier than last year's. It has been declared a delicious success.

Sebastian Weigand (2009-05-22-20-12-45-156)

w00t! I wish I had been there, it looks tasty!