The recipe that really jumped out at me from Einat Admony’s Balaboosta was her Kit-Kat Bars. It is kind of a variation on the classic peanut butter bars, which have a peanut butter and cornflake crumb base and a chocolate layer on top. This “Kit Kat” recipe swaps out peanut butter for Nutella in the base and puts a rich ganache on top.
Admony is the chef behind Taim falafel bar and Balaboosta restaurant in New York City (and she is opening another restaurant, too) . She says that the recipe for this dessert came from Israeli restaurant Keren (Haim Cohen’s restaurant which was big in the 90’s), where she had her first professional job as a line cook.
I loved the idea of a crunchy Nutella bar, but I wanted to make these pareve. I tried two different approaches: (1) I swapped out the Nutella for chocolate peanut butter and (2) I combined regular peanut butter and hazelnut truffle chocolate. Both work. although the version with the hazelnut chocolate is a little truer to the original flavor combination.
Bonus: If you would like to see Einat Admony making these bars, take a look at this video at Daily Candy.
Another Bonus: Recent interview with Einat Admony where she talks about Sukkot and gives her mom’s recipe for chicken with pomegranate syrup and walnuts.
Yet Another Bonus: Chef Michel Richard included a recipe for Le Kit Cat in his book Happy in the Kitchen. The recipe is similar to Einat’s recipe, but calls for peanut butter and milk chocolate instead of Nutella in the base and the topping is chocolate mousse instead of ganache. If you want to see yet another variation on this, plus some attractive plating, take a look at this recipe from New Jersey chef Jonathan Adams.
These Kit Kat bars look elegant and have a sophisticated taste–you would never guess that they are basically easy cereal bars.
My Version of Einat Admony’s Homemade Kit Kat Bars
Adapted from Einat Admony’s Balaboosta. Admony uses Nutella, which is dairy, and I wanted a pareve dessert. I tried this recipe twice, first substituting chocolate peanut butter for for the Nutella and then substituting a combination of plain peanut butter and Schmerling pareve Rosemarie chocolate (a hazelnut truffle candy bar). I substituted a can of coconut milk for the heavy cream. Since the amount of cream called for is 14 ounces, the exact amount in a single can of coconut milk, that substitution worked out brilliantly. If you want to see how Einat Admony makes this, go to this video.
Update: 7 ounces of hazelnut chocolate is even better than 3.5 ounces hazelnut chocolate in the base, not so surprisingly.
2 cups cornflake crumbs (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup chocolate peanut butter (like this), 7.25 ounces, 205 g. (OR 5 ounces regular peanut butter and
3.5 ounces 7 ounces Rosemarie hazelnut truffle chocolate)
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 Tbl. coconut oil, optional (original recipe called for butter, but the recipe works without it)
13 ounces bittersweet chocolate (10.5 ounces “Schmerling 72%,” 3.5 ounces 50% bittersweet chocolate), chopped
14 ounces coconut milk (original recipe uses heavy cream)
Line a 9″x13″ pan with nonstick foil.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cornflake crumbs, the peanut butter and the chocolate (and coconut oil, if using). Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.
In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk to almost boiling. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Whisk to melt the chocolate into the coconut milk. You can also pulse the hot coconut milk and chocolate in a food processor until smooth. You can also melt the chocolate and coconut milk together in the saucepan, whisking until smooth. Pour the ganache topping over the cornflake crumb base and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge or freezer, until set. Cut into narrow finger-shaped rectangles (like the Kit Kat candy bar).
Yields 24 bars, each about 4.5″x 1″.
Note: I also experimented with adding a Tbl. of ground hazelnut coffee to the cornflake crumbs. It boosts the hazelnut flavor, but it also adds coffee flavor and increases the intensity of flavor in general.
Another note: You could use crisp rice cereal instead of cornflakes (and I think chocolate flavored crisp rice cereal would work especially well). If you are set on a strong hazelnut flavor and you are able to get some praline paste or hazelnut paste, you could use that in combination with melted chocolate instead of chocolate peanut butter or Nutella. The next time I make this, I intend on trying a mix of 5 ounces praline paste with 3.5 ounces chocolate.