No bake crunchy chocolate bars with salted peanuts and halva: delicious and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have at home like chocolate, butter, dried fruits or nuts. The perfect snack to prepare in bulk and keep in your freezer for those times when you crave a sweet treat.
Now that the entire country is in lockdown, there has never been a better time to get in the kitchen and get cooking and baking… Or so everyone keep telling us. I am not quite sure that staying at home for a prolonged lenght of time will turn us all in excellent cooks.
Personally, I have cooked at home a lot more in the past two weeks than I normally do. I haven’t travelled or been to a restaurant in weeks. But did I get creative with my cooking? Did I try new recipes? Did I finally use one of the many cookbooks lining my shelves? No, I did not. With a few exceptions (a slow cooked daal makhani my husband made on Sunday and a lemon cake I baked from Ottolenghi’s Simple book), the food I have cooked and eaten these past few weeks has been the same as usual. A variety of salads, soups, a “lazy pizza” made with store-bought dough, avocado on toast, couscous with veggies and halloumi, and a lot of pasta. The truth is: my mind is occupied by thoughts and worries about the current crazy state of our planet that I have hardly been able to focus on anything else.
And yet I know that it is now, in a moment of peak stress and anxiety, that activities like baking and cooking are most helpful. They give you something else to focus on. They distract you, at least for an hour or two. It can be incredibly gratifying to create something from scratch. Most importantly, it keeps your hands occupied and away from your smartphone.
And so, I am going to make an effort to cook and bake more. Some days it will be something different and challenging and time-consuming; other days it will be a simple dish or sweet treat that requires minimal effort. And that’s fine. These crunchy chocolate bars with salted peanuts and halva definitely fall in the second category.
You can prepare them in 10 minutes, plus about 2 hours of chilling in the fridge. You will reap the rewards of your work for days (stored in an airtight container in the fridge). You can also freeze the chocolate bars to enjoy whenever you have a chocolate craving. Simply remove them from the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
These no bake snacks are equally delicious and perfect to satisfy sweet cravings: Almond Butter and Cacao Energy Bites; Almond, Tahini and Dark Chocolate Energy Balls; Speculoos and White Chocolate Truffles.
The original recipe is from Nigella’s Kitchen cookbook and I found it on A Spoonful of Sugar blog. I have adapted with what I had available at home – I know we are all struggling to find some ingredients at this time of panic buying.
The recipe is a mixture of melted milk and dark (bittersweet) chocolate, butter and golden syrup (I used maple syrup) mixed with salted peanuts and crushed Crunchie bars. Crunchie is a brand of chocolate bar with a honeycomb toffee sugar centre. If you can’t find them, you can use honeycomb or toffee. You could also make honeycomb, the recipe is on Nigella’s website, here.
I replaced honeycomb with halva. You can find halva in another recipe on this blog: pistachio & halva cookies. I also replaced golden syrup with maple syrup.
- 200g dark chocolate
- 100g milk chocolate
- 125g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 250g roasted & salted peanuts
- 150g halva
In a saucepan, break up the chocolates into pieces and add the butter and golden syrup. Melt gently under low heat.
Tip the peanuts into a bowl and crush the halva on top of them.
Take the melted chocolate mix off the heat and pour over the peanuts and crushed halva. Mix together and pour into a baking tin (approx. 30x20x5cm) lined with parchment paper.
Smooth the top of the mixture and make sure it gets into all the corners.
Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until its set, then cut into as many pieces as you like.