Introduction: Ramen Crunch Chocolate Bars
One of the offices in the building threw away lots of chocolate kisses when they changed their mind about trying to make people happy.
Here Peter Luka and Bayard Wenzel compete to unwrap chocolate kisses during the first attempt to create a Ramen Crunch Bar. We learned a lot and the product showed enough promise for another attempt. A few days went by.
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Step 1: Hot Tanker on Terror Alert
Spring never seems to get to Boston until June and it was still May. I went out to walk in some rare sunshine. A heated tanker truck was pumping a thousand gallons of melted chocolate into the Tootsie Roll factory next door. I got two stainless mixing bowls and went back. I asked the truck guy if I could catch some when he unhooked the hose. He said "that's up to them" and pointed at the back door of the factory. I opened the street level door and went in onto a catwalk 40 feet above a maze of steam pipes, tanks, and big clanging machines. A man in white coveralls carrying a big wrench walked by on a lower level. I said "excuse me" but he didn't look or hear. He walked behind some machinery and disappeared. Another man in white appeared at the other end of the level and I shouted louder, but he didn't hear either and continued on his way.
I was at a junction of pipe fittings where the hot hoses came in from the truck. There were some tubs and buckets full of melted chocolate right there, probably from changing hoses from one pipe to another. One tub had light and dark chocolate swirled together. It thought "I bet that stuff won't get thrown in with the rest." I made sure of it by scooping out a quart or so of it with one bowl and setting it in the other so it wouldn't drip on everything.
When I went out the driver was up on top of the tank reaching into a porthole with a long handled squeegee. He was pushing melted chocolate toward the hose fitting at the back of the tank. I asked if I could get a picture of him up on the truck. He said "I'm really not comfortable with that.
We've been having a lot of terrorist problems lately."
me: "chocolate terrorists?"
he: "I'm not saying you're a terrorist, but um....".
I bid him a day without terror and strode off with my bucket of melted goodness.
Step 2: Bucket of Miracles
So there I was back in the anarchist utopia with a quart or two of melted chocolate. woohoo!
The day stretched before me like a highway lined with things to cover with chocolate.
Here's the miraculous pot of goo that has the power to transform ordinary substances to chocolate-covered ones.
Step 3: The Crunch Has Landed
Previous basic research into the properties of dry ramen packs has revealed the proper selection and handling techniques. Maruchan Chicken, the pinnacle of dry noodles. So delicious that MIT students sometimes die from scurvy from eating nothing else.
Step 4: Cleave the Gem Along the Lattice
A whole ramen pack is a little too thick and massive for modern tastes. You can split the pack into two slabs and then a few bar-shaped chunks.
Step 5: Transsubstantiation
The miracle occurs.
Step 6: On the Beach at Cannes
Glistening, bronzed, naked.
Step 7: And Back to Edmonton
Into the fridge or freezer to make it set up. Maybe you'd like to eat it while it's still warm and soft. That's okay also.
There's a process called "tempering" that keeps blotches from appearing on the chocolate later. It involves smearing the chocolate around on a marble stone or substitute so that it's well mixed while it's cooler than 90F degrees. That's what the other pix depict. Go ahead and skip it unless you want your product to look nice after sitting around for a while. It will taste the same.
Step 8: The Critics Rave
Now that's a tasty confection. Marion Dumas is from France, where they are known to care about food. These bars meet with her approval.
She didn't like the chocolate covered sauerkraut. Perhaps we need to test market with the German demographic.
The chocolate covered lentil sprouts were a good combination of very healthy and chocolate. I ate them all myself, so I don't know if anyone else would like them.