by Kelley Redmon
It’s Summertime! The official “it’s summertime so break out your shorts” heat wave hit San Luis Obispo County (and most of California from what I hear) this past weekend. Now with summer here and the heat wave in full effect we have a dilemma: endless parties and potlucks that you need to bring treats for! When its hot outside the last thing you really want to do is turn on the oven or stove in your kitchen and start cooking, so I went on a hunt for no-bake treats. I have been eyeballing a recipe in one of my Food Network Magazines (awesome magazine by the way) for a candy bar cake that is modeled after a Snickers bar. What really caught my eye about this recipe was that it was both easy and no-bake since it uses store-bought items rather than cooking them yourself (such as pound cake). While you can be ambitious and cook the cake and the dulce de leche yourself from scratch, I opted for the “easy” route to avoid the oven at all costs. The final product got the stamp of approval from my official taste tester (my boyfriend) who happens to be an expert on all things Snickers bar related. Yay!
Note: You can also make this cake as one big long cake, but since I wasn’t making it for a party I wanted to spread the love around (bring a couple to work, give a couple to friends, keep a couple around the house for my boyfriend and I). I decided to cut the angel food cake into 8 small sections for “mini” cakes.
For the Cake:
1 – 12 oz. frozen pound cake (I used Sara Lee)
For the frosting middle layer:
3 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of room temperature unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons of milk
1 – 1 lb. box of powdered sugar (I only used .5 lb because I don’t like super sweet frosting)
For the peanut layer:
1 cup of salted roasted peanuts (make sure the only seasoning is salt)
2 cups (or 1 can) of dulce de leche (my grocery store hides this in the “international” aisle, but sometimes can be found in the baking aisle with the evaporated milk – also, do not confuse with La Lechera which is sweetened condensed milk NOT caramel. You can turn La Lechera into Dulce de Leche… but this will involve turning on the stove)
For the top coating:
10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Trim the edges off of the cakes, as well as the domed top to make it flat. Cut cake horizontally (this will make 2 cakes that are about 1 inch thick). If you are making one big cake, stop here and place the halves side by side to make 1 long cake.
2. If you are making mini cakes you can now cut each of these into 4, making a total of 8 mini cakes. If you can do this evenly then kudos! Mine were all different shapes and sizes at this point.
3. Put the 3 oz of chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until melted. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN. I needed about 45 seconds and then I stirred until the rest of the pieces were melted.
4. Beat the butter, 3 tablespoons of milk, and powdered sugar with a mixer (as I mentioned above I only used half of the box of powdered sugar, because I don’t like it too sweet, but you can use whole box if you really like that “thick frosting” taste and texture).
5. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add more milk if needed to make it more spreadable (I didn’t need the extra milk because it wasn’t as thick with the less sugar).
6. Lay the cake on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet (I lined the baking sheet with wax paper to avoid having to clean it later). If you are making one long cake I recommend placing the cakes on a thin piece of cardboard for easier moving onto a platter later.
7. Spread the chocolate frosting layer on the cake in a 1/2 inch thick layer (1 inch thick if you are making 1 long cake). Make the edges slightly higher than the middle. Smooth the frosting as much as possible. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
8. Mix the peanuts and the dulce de leche in a bowl.
9. When the frosting layer is firm, pull from freezer and spread the peanut layer onto the frosting layer as flat and even as possible. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
10. To make the chocolate coating, microwave the 10 oz of semisweet chocolate chips with the cold butter pieces in 30 second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth. Note: The chocolate almost started the seize up on me, making an icky texture, but I was able to fix it by adding a tiny bit of milk, but DO NOT microwave anymore at this point.
11. Pour the chocolate onto the cake and spread it evenly over the top and sides, smoothing with a spatula. This is the messy part where you will be glad I told you to line the baking sheet. Freeze until chocolate cools slightly, about 6-8 minutes. Note: Make sure you have enough room in your freezer for the growing layers. You can see below I had a slight mishap with the cake smearing all over the top of my freezer.
12. Starting at the end of the cake dip the smooth edge of the spatula in the chocolate and gently pull up creating a small wave, and repeat until you get to the other end of the cake. This will create that “drizzled” look you usually see on the top of a candy bar. Note: I forgot to take the cake out of the freezer in time, and was unable to do this since it was already too firm. Oh well it still tasted yummy!
13. Get fork and dig in! Refridgerate leftovers (if you have any) to keep the cake from melting in the summetime heat!