Greed is Good – Very, Very Good (Homemade 100 Grand Bars)

Friday, August 21, 2009

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It seems like I just posted the roundup for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it’s already time for another installment of Dinner and a Movie.  Where does the time go?!?!  This month’s DaaM is being hosted by my co-host Marc from No Recipes, and the film he chose is the 1987 blockbuster, Wall Street, directed by Oliver Stone and starring, Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.

Wall Street is a super slick, wickedly intelligent thinking person’s movie that has come to epitomize the blatant excess that was the 1980’s.  The movie features Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, a wealthy, unscrupulous, megalomaniacal corporate raider and Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox, a young stockbroker desperate to make it big.  Fox plots to get Gekko as a client, feeding him insider information.   Gekko pounces on said information and in return takes Fox under his wing and on a wild ride in the ultra-capitalist world of hostile takeovers, insider trading, and corporate raiding.   Soon, Bud is living the high life and halfway through the movie, you just know this all isn’t going to bode well in the end for him!    But, I won’t spoil the fun.  You’ll have to watch the movie for yourself to see how it all shakes out.

gekko-for-web

Ah, the Eighties – that happy little decade between social activism and self-loathing grunge.  It was full of big business, big  dreams and big hair!  The mantra of the day was “Less is more, but more is better.”  Nobody worried too much about tomorrow because they were all to busy seizing the day.  Decadence was not only accepted, but encouraged!  As Gordon Gekko so eloquently put it, “Greed is good.”

In honor of Wall Street and the Eighties, my contribution for this month’s DaaM oozes decadence.  It also oozes chocolate and caramel.  I’m talking about homemade 100 Grand Bars!

The 100 Grand Bar, originally known as  the $100,000 Bar, is a candy bar introduced by Nestlé in 1966.  The name was changed to “100 Grand” in 1985.  (Very a propos!)  It consists of a chewy caramel center enrobed in a combination of rick milk chocolate and crisped rice.  When I was a kid, this was my favorite candy bar.  I’d trade you ten Snickers for one 100 Grand!

When deciding what to make for this DaaM  installment, the idea of recreating these bars kept popping into my head.  Wall Street is a movie about greed and excess.  It’s also a movie about money – lots of it. I couldn’t help thinking that 100 Grand bars would be the perfect representation of these things, both literally and figuratively.

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To create my bars, I first had to make some caramel.  I chose a recipe that I had been wanting to try for several months.  Last November, the Daring Bakers made Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting.  An optional part of the challenge was to make Alice Medrich’s wonderful Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from her book, Pure Dessert.  I wasn’t able to make them then, but I had the perfect opportunity to make them now.  And, I did.

I had made homemade caramels once before, with limited success, but I was psyched to try these.  Medrich’s recipe calls for golden syrup instead of regular old corn syrup.  Golden syrup is a popular sweetener in the UK, and is also sometimes called light treacle.  It is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup, made in the process of refining sugar cane juice into sugar.  Golden syrup is used in a variety of desserts and is also delicious poured over pancakes or waffles.  The recipe also calls for ground whole vanilla beans, which I found very interesting.

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When I made the caramel, I divided the batch in two, reserving one half for the candy bars and transforming the rest into salted butter caramels.  Let me tell you here and now, these were the best caramels I have ever eaten!  Really!  They were absolutely marvelous!  If you ever decide to make homemade caramels, you have got to try this recipe.

Anyway, I rolled the caramel for the bars into logs about 3-inches long and 1-inch in diameter.  Then I let them chill until very firm.  After that, I dipped them into a pool of melted chocolate mixed with crushed Rice Krispies, and set them under the air conditioning vent in my kitchen until they were set.  You do have to temper the chocolate for these bars in order for them to have a shiny, smooth finish.  I don’t know how successful I was with this because I didn’t think my bars were all that shiny.  I’m thinking that maybe adding the Rice Krispies might have had something to do with this.  It didn’t matter much because my 100 Grand Bars were so phenomenally good!   They tasted just like the store bought ones, only amped up to the nth degree.  (Somehow, I don’t think that Nestlé uses Guittard milk chocolate in theirs!)

If you’ve never made homemade candy bars before, I urge you to give it a try.  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  It was very, very messy – but not hard.  These 100 Grand Bars are so worth the effort, but if they’re not your style, there is a great article on Chow all about making your favorite candy bars.  It’s called “Make Your Own Candy Bars” and has recipes for copycat versions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Snickers and more.

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62 responses to Greed is Good – Very, Very Good (Homemade 100 Grand Bars)

  1. On August 21, 2009 at 12:15am, alice said...

    Words cannot even express what I am feeling right now. Stunning and brilliant!

  2. On August 21, 2009 at 12:21am, ABowlOfMush said...

    Wow these look so great!!

  3. On August 21, 2009 at 12:51am, Jenny said...

    Oh man, what I wouldn’t do to try one of these beauties tonight! Really beautiful and delicious post!!

  4. On August 21, 2009 at 1:05am, Rosa said...

    Those bars look viciously scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. On August 21, 2009 at 1:21am, thecoffeesnob said...

    These look incredible! And I love your cake stand- how posh!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 2:53am, Susan said...

      Thanks! I love that little cake stand too. Believe it or not, I got it for $5.99 at Homegoods!

  6. On August 21, 2009 at 2:24am, Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) said...

    These look absolutely sinful! I’d love to have a few!! And I LOVE the cake stand! very elegant!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 2:55am, Susan said...

      Thanks! See my comment above about the cake stand. :)

  7. On August 21, 2009 at 2:29am, nina said...

    As always I am gobsmacked at these bars!!! Must have a1000 calories each!!! Really decadent!!!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 2:56am, Susan said...

      Ack! Don’t remind me about the calories. I’m trying not to think about them! ;)

  8. On August 21, 2009 at 7:49am, Natasha - 5 Star Foodie said...

    These look superb! So luscious and wonderful and I just love your presentations! Gorgeous!

  9. On August 21, 2009 at 7:52am, Amy J said...

    Are you kidding me? There goes another few pounds. They look soooo good. Wish I had one now for breakfast – or two!

  10. On August 21, 2009 at 8:50am, patsyk said...

    OMG! They look even better than the bars I remember eating! Ah, the 80′s… anytime a movie from that decade comes on I can’t stop watching it until it’s over! You totally captured Wall Street with this decadent treat!

  11. On August 21, 2009 at 9:57am, Jen Yu said...

    No way!!! These are one of my favorites! Love you for this and how awesome that you made them for the movie ;) Your talents are boundless, love. I’ve made the caramels before, which means I’m just ONE STEP from making the 100 Grands! xxoo

  12. On August 21, 2009 at 10:24am, Nicisme said...

    I admire anyone that can make caramels as good as these, they are fantastic!

  13. On August 21, 2009 at 10:38am, Donna Diegel said...

    Love all the bling! The 1000 Grand Bars look amazing too :-)

  14. On August 21, 2009 at 10:45am, Lisa said...

    Aside from those bars giving me heart palpitations and making me damn anything I believe to be holy because I can’t have them…. it’s been a long while since I’ve visited your blog (or any else’s for that matter *sigh*) and I just wanted to say how gorgeous the new look is (new for me!).. you’ve done a beautiful job, sweetie!

    xoxo

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:58pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Lis! Sorry for the tempation. I hope all is going better for you. So glad you like my “makover”! :D

  15. On August 21, 2009 at 11:04am, lisaiscooking said...

    1000 Grands used to be my favortie candy bars! I have to try the homemade version. They look delicious!

  16. On August 21, 2009 at 11:21am, Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

    Impossible to describe the gorgeous feeling seeing these shiny bars!!
    Totally thrilled with your creativity :)

    Cheers!

    Gera

  17. On August 21, 2009 at 11:24am, grace said...

    oh. my. stars. that’s the ultimate food porn. nicely done, susan! i bow to your mad baking skills. :)

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:39pm, Susan said...

      Thank you, but you are the real master baker! :)

  18. On August 21, 2009 at 11:31am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I can remember when I was a kid and there were called $100,000 Bars. I can still remember the old jingle from the 70s. “Caramel. Chewy chewy caramel. Extra rich in car-a-mel. Nestle’s hundred thousand dollar bars…”

    So did you eat that last one for breakfast?

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:38pm, Susan said...

      Yup. And it was fabulous! ;)

  19. On August 21, 2009 at 11:52am, ingrid said...

    Susan, love how you “plated” and “staged” the 100 grand bars! I’ve never had a 100 grand nor any candy bar for that matter as I’m not a chocolate fan especially of milk chocolate but that’s not to say I wouldn’t grab one of yours.

    Happy Friday!
    ~ingrid

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:37pm, Susan said...

      Never had a candy bar! What’s wrong with you, woman?!?! I only wish I didn’t love them so much! :o

  20. On August 21, 2009 at 12:50pm, Farmer Jen said...

    Very rich and delcious! Thanks for the recipes.

  21. On August 21, 2009 at 12:54pm, Jill said...

    Your photos are great! I haven’t had one of those candy bars since my trick or treating days (and that was before they changed the name!). Thanks for the link to making your own candy bars too!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:36pm, Susan said...

      Your welcome. I think I’m going for the Almond Joys next!

  22. On August 21, 2009 at 12:54pm, Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

    I so need chocolate right now…can I have some of those? =) Delicious looking bars!

  23. On August 21, 2009 at 1:17pm, Tarrant said...

    Mmm…that sounds fabulous. I really hate making caramel though because I am so messy with it.

  24. On August 21, 2009 at 1:40pm, Lucy said...

    Give me golden syrup in a bake, and I’m there. Add a coating of chocolate and rice krispies and WOW these look so good! And the recipe makes 100? Mmm :)

  25. On August 21, 2009 at 3:15pm, Cakelaw said...

    Oh wow – is it obscene to covet one of these at 5 in the morning??

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:35pm, Susan said...

      Lol! Not in the least. ;)

  26. On August 21, 2009 at 3:42pm, The Duo Dishes said...

    That is intense! You did a great job with these. Package them up and sell them for sure. Just use a different name. :)

  27. On August 21, 2009 at 4:05pm, Jenny said...

    Mmmm, so good! I LOVE caramel, and this looks fantastic!

    Any idea where to find the golden syrup here in the states? Or could corn syrup be a reasonable substitute?

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:34pm, Susan said...

      It’s hit or miss with finding the golden syrup. Sometimes, I can find it in the ethnic foods aisle at the market and sometimes, not. Otherwise, I have to go to a local gourmet market. I’ve never checked Whole Foods, though. They might have it.

  28. On August 21, 2009 at 4:57pm, Dana said...

    I’m with you! That was always my favorite candy bar and I don’t think I could ever make these homemade miracles because I would probably eat the entire batch! Great job!

  29. On August 21, 2009 at 5:43pm, Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} said...

    You are my hero! Homemade candy bars?! Awesome!!! I love your take on the movie too, fabulous job!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:32pm, Susan said...

      Aw, shucks! Thanks! :D

  30. On August 21, 2009 at 8:30pm, Jen @ MaplenCornbread said...

    Everything about this post made me smile! You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I love each picture, so creative and those bars! YUM!!!!!! Something I need to try!! I love you cake stand!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:32pm, Susan said...

      Cut it out! You’re making me blush! ;) Seriously, I’m glad you like them. Thanks!

  31. On August 21, 2009 at 8:34pm, Vivian said...

    This is my first time on your site, and I just have to tell you how beautiful it is!!! I love the design, the colors – it all works so well together. I’m drooling just reading your post!

    • On August 21, 2009 at 9:29pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Vivian and welcome! I’m so glad you like the site. Come and visit anytime. :)

  32. On August 21, 2009 at 9:25pm, Maria said...

    Ok, those are the coolest treat ever! Love the photos too!

  33. On August 21, 2009 at 9:37pm, Lori @ RecipeGirl said...

    Fabulous post… most delicious one I’ve seen in a long, long time! These have always been my favorite candy bars!

  34. On August 21, 2009 at 9:44pm, marye said...

    oh my gosh..I am having serious candy bar cravings now. Awesome.

  35. On August 21, 2009 at 10:28pm, The Food Hunter said...

    They look awesome!

  36. On August 22, 2009 at 2:01am, Jamie said...

    Wow! Talk about 80s decadence! Chocolate covered caramels are my absolute favorite and these look outrageously good! Golden syrup is so much easier for me to find in France than corn syrup so maybe, just maybe, I’ll try making these. They are fabulous!

  37. On August 22, 2009 at 10:10am, anna said...

    Wow, the crushed rice krispies look like diamonds in the cross section picture! Which I guess is why you arranged the bars with diamonds.

  38. On August 22, 2009 at 6:36pm, Bellini Valli said...

    Whew Susan. Talk about doing the ’80′s in style.

  39. On August 22, 2009 at 11:12pm, Katrina said...

    Awesome deliciousness!

  40. On August 23, 2009 at 12:07pm, maris said...

    These look ten million times better than any candy bar you’d ever find in the grocery store!

  41. On August 23, 2009 at 12:13pm, chez us said...

    Susan, this is fantastic, I love your movie/food pairing …. brilliant!

  42. On August 23, 2009 at 1:20pm, elly said...

    These look SO GOOD. 100 Grands are my favorite. I can’t wait to make these!

  43. On August 23, 2009 at 3:17pm, Chele said...

    Can’t believe I’ve only just found your blog – YUM! Will be trying some of the recipes out ASAP. Just thought I’d let you know that I recently attended a chocolate masterclass where we were taught to temper chocolate etc. Chef told us that chocolate which has been tempered doesn’t always go shiny, it just depends on the kind of chocolate used. If you want chocolate to be shiny you need to use a shiny surface like acetate sheets. Tempering just means the chocolate will firm up at room temp and be crisp. Hope that helps.

    • On August 24, 2009 at 9:40am, Susan said...

      Thanks for the info. The bars did firm up nicely, but I wouldn’t say they had a “snap” to them. They were pretty much like the originals in texture, though, so I consider that a success.

  44. On August 24, 2009 at 3:17pm, Sam@BingeNYC said...

    Fab bling! These look so, so, so delish.

  45. On August 24, 2009 at 10:25pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    I say ‘marvelous’ 100 thousand times over!! I have my foster grandmother’s caramel recipe which I normally make as is and wrapped in paper – I would love to use it in this!
    BTW, did I see your tweets saying that Tastespotting or one of the other photo sites passed on this because the composition was ‘too busy’? They need to take another, long, slow, loving look at these!

  46. On August 26, 2009 at 7:56pm, Ginny said...

    What a great idea! I love them! :)

  47. On March 07, 2010 at 10:41am, Sherry said...

    These bars were relatively easy to make, and are delicious! A chocoholic’s dream! Thanks!

  48. On January 25, 2011 at 1:47pm, Chris said...

    I have been successful at finding the golden syrup at World Market stores. Hopefully this helps. These look great I can’t wait to try them!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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