When I decided to do my first pimp I really wanted what any good pimp wants – to turn a small, regular thing into a ridiculously impressive HUGE thing for no reason other than to cause people to say, “That IS big”.
As it turns out most of my friends simply reassert the fact that I have too much time on my hands. They don’t seem to understand the challenge, nay, achievement of genetically engineering confectionery.
What to do? Well, I like Munchies, and they’re really small so – pushing the other projects coursing through my mind aside – I decided to do a faithful replica of a Munchie as BIG AS POSSIBLE!
Firstly, the ingredients:
10 x 200g bar of Tesco Milk Chocolate
2 x 200g bag Tesco toffee
1 x 284ml Tesco double cream
2/3 pack of Tesco Shorties biscuits
Approximate cost – £6.50 – Yes I did it on the cheap, but that’s a lot of chocolate!! And it’s not too bad, it’s certainly not cooking chocolate. I’d put it on a level with Nestle’s really.
20cm x 20cm x 7cm baking tin
regular baking tray
cake spatula – my dad always said there’s a tool for every job – and this is the tool for this messy job
various bowls and saucepans
1/ Firstly, grease the lining of the trays with butter, then line with baking paper
2/ Melt a LOT of chocolate in a pan. I opted not to go for the steaming technique due to the sheer volume required (basically a second trip to the shops the morning after the slightly tipsy night I started). I just put in a splash or two of milk to get the melting started then worked the added chocolate through the molten mass.
3/ Pour the molten chocolate into the baking tin and smooth it up the sides a little to give later chocolate something to cling to – have it about a centimetre thick on the bottom / top.
To cool this quicker I pooped it in the sink whilst I opened another bottle of wine. Oh, and my missus wants me to say the sink isn’t usually that dirty. (it is reall….ow).
4/ Next, I pounded up about two-thirds of the packet of biscuits in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin. Much more cathartic than using the food processor. Whack that into a saucepan and melt through around 75g of butter to make a mix that would stay in a ball if you squeezed it in your hand.
Wrap this up in cling film into a ball, pop it in the fridge, and get started on melting your toffee.
It needs mentioning at this point that I have stopped licking the spoon. I’m loving my second bottle of vino – a chianti I got in Venice – and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll finish this tonight, or ever, and if I do can I stomach more chocolate. The task has changed now. It’s me vs. Munchie. I know what I want to do, and must keep my wits about me. Slurp.
5/ I melted the toffee in a pan, and stirred through about half a pint of double cream to bring the soft toffee to a more caramelly place. I want this monster to BE a giant Munchie in all aspects, so consistency of the biscuit and the caramel filling is VITAL! Damn I’m anal.
6) Now, I’ve thought about the inside of a Munchie leading up to this, and the shape of it’s content. At 3 in the morning and half cut, I pretty much smell like the inside of a Munchie now, so it’s pretty easy to visualise it. I want a bowl that fits well into the baking tin to allow the caramel to form a pool – and inside that we need space for the biscuit ball to plop in.
Whilst cooling the baking tin in the sink, I’ve put a bowl in it (inside cling film) to make a mould for the caramel to go, and poured more molten chocolate round the sides up to the top of edges of the bowl (which should be a teensy bit shy of the tin lid. Stick that in the fridge immediately.
7/ on the separate baking tray I created a square to match the top of the baking tin – what will be the bottom of the Munchie, by cleverly using a chopstick rolled in tinfoil, and bits of sellotape. All the rest of any chocolate I have melted down from the EU cocoa mountain in my kitchen goes in this – a good two centimetres thick. In the fridge with you. Note to self, need a bigger fridge. Or don’t pimp snacks the same day you’ve done your big shop.
8/ Next morning, 5 hours sleep, and I’m going to finish this thing out of morbid fascination now. I’m daring to dream it might just work.
Whip all out of the fridge. Pull the bowl out of the baking tin to leave the space for caramel. It came out steadily but without trouble. Chuffed! Peel off the cling film and that’s ready for filling.
9/ Now the caramel – in a bowl the same size as the hole it’s destined for. It’s thick. It’s holding on for dear life to the baking paper it’s in, and I realise that’s good. The consistency is bang on. I lean it over the hole and run a long knife behind it, scraping it pretty neatly off the paper and into the hollow.
I immediately plop in the biscuit ball, which is firmly bound together now, shave a bit off the top to get it level with the edge of the tin and voila!
10/ Place the Munchie bottom from the baking tray firmly atop the tin. (not quite a perfect fit. You should see me with a circular saw – I keep B&Q timber in business)
I sealed the join with the remnants of the melted chocolate from the pan I neglected to wash from the night before. Now FRIDGE
11/ Four hours later. I can’t put this off any more. Judgement day. I flip it onto my biggest plate, and easily (?) peel the baking paper off. I’m doing this with all the confidence of a student hairdresser doing their first cut. Something will explode, surely, if I touch that….bit…..there……
No. All cool. She’s there in her glory. I take a metal rule and a flat-head screwdriver and oh-so-gently engrave the four concentric squares on the old pie-lid and Thar she blows!!
The Monster Munchie – She leeeeeves!!!
Here’s a we snap to see the original from whence it sprang
The big one is 20cm square, 7cm tall, and weighs in at 2.5kg. Come on!
The essential cross section – done with a carving knife repeatedly dipped in hot water….moment of truth…. See for yourselves.
Hopefully, this will also taste good. The amalgum of science and art sits here incarnate. In my fridge. I’m going to take it to my niece’s 6th birthday party on Monday. They’ll probably look at it prod it, and run off. I don’t care.
The Monster Munchie – It’s Alive!!!!