“Tcho-co-late!” I don’t think I’ll ever let my nephew, who is just two-and-a-half years old right now, forget that after learning to call out to his parents, it was chocolate that he learned to identify next. Of course, in a food-crazy household like ours, this is a welcome sign. The little darling loves anything ‘meetha’ (sweet), but it’s the tiniest bite of chocolate that makes him do cartwheels and splits _a la _Ranbir Kapoor in ‘badtameez dil’. Being the designated dessert-maker at home, I can’t deny chocolate’s mesmerising power to dial up the drool-worthy quotient of almost any dessert it’s added to.
One look at these rice crispy treats will show you exactly what I mean. This is a simple ‘no-bake’ treat that has two main ingredients – puffed white rice or what we call ‘muri’ in India, and marshmallows! There’s a bit of butter and salt to help it all come together too, but it’s the wicked addition of melted chocolate that just elevates the flavour and texture of these rice crispy treats.
Warm, melted butter helps melt the marshmallows and the puffed rice is quickly added to get coated in this mixture. Keeping the ingredients and pan lined up and ready is really important to this recipe. You’ll need to move quickly as you transfer the sticky puffed rice mixture to a slightly greased, parchment-lined baking pan. I’ve found that the spatula fails me here, it’s just far more fool proof to transfer the mixture by hand. If you manage to dampen your hands with water before you do this, you’ll find yourself going through the entire batch swiftly, without getting any of it stuck to your hands. Just watch the temperature though, because the melted marshmallows can be deceptively hot as you drown and toss the rice cereal in it. Once that’s out of the way, it just needs a bit of resting time to cool. And then melted chocolate does its thing!
I’m usually eager to bite into what I’ve made right after I’m done snapping up pictures, but this time, I couldn’t even get myself to get a tiny bite before I’d packed some up for the chocoholic toddler in the family. And the little darling, I’m happy to report, loved them at first sight.
Before I dive into the recipe, I have a few pictures to share with you of some stunning chocolate creations from the _Indian National Chocolate Master ’14 _selection. These (left to right) are the first, second and third place winners. Stunning, right?