Have you ever seen Dance Academy? It’s an Australian show about teenagers who go to a prestigious ballet school in Sydney, and it’s on Netflix Watch Instantly right now, and I’m currently obsessed, thanks to my friend, Tina.
Important facts before I go on:
I was one of those little girls who wanted to be a ballerina (and also a heart doctor for babies…I dreamed big).
It wasn’t a passing fantasy, or little girl dream…I truly wanted to dance. Every day.
My parents couldn’t afford to send me to dance, so I never went.
When I was in the 6th grade, I had a friend who danced, a lot, and she told me I had perfect ballerina feet. I was sure it was a sign that I was destined to become a prima ballerina, with or without lessons.
I never became a ballerina, but my heart skips a beat and I get chills when I watch ballet. Really.
Obviously, I missed my calling.
Now, upon learning this, Tina immediately declared that I must watch Dance Academy. Who am I to argue?
I wached the first two episodes, and I was honestly a little like, “This is kinda for kids or something, I don’t know if I like it.”
But I watched more, and somewhere along the line, I was hooked, and completely in love with the characters. Sammy being my favorite.
No spoilers allowed, but I watched all of the episodes on Netflix, hated certain characters, got annoyed with others, loved some, and supported Sammy the entire time.
cried bawled blubbered all the way through the final three episodes. I yelled at my friend for addicting me to the show, cause it made me cry. A lot.
Then I called and found adult beginner ballet classes and I start in February.
I’m not even joking right now.
So the point of all this is: go watch Dance Academy, but Don’t blame me when you fall in love with everybody on it, lose your mind over what happens to them, and join an adult ballet class out of insanity. Blame Tina.
And also, eat these chocolaty caramel-y crispy treats while you watch. It’s vital.
You may notice that you have a few larger holes in your treats. For the top layer, it doesn’t matter, but for the bottom layer, I decided to fill the holes, so that the carmael wouldn’t all squeeze out through them.
You don’t need to do this step. It’s not a big deal to have a few holes, but I liked them a little better this way; they were just a little cleaner.
Once your treats are cooled, spread caramel all over the layer that’s still in the 9×13 pan. I was going to use my regular caramel sauce here, but I was totally in the mood for chocolate, so I created some chocolate caramel instead.
I’m warning you now: make this stuff at your own risk. It is highly addictive. Highly.
I decided to garnish my treats with chocolate sprinkles and a bit of crushed cereal, but you could use anything you like (candy, nuts, coconut, etc.), or skip garnish altogether. Just be sure to add it while the ganache is still wet, so that it sticks.
These are the perfect dessert: crispy and sweet, filled with gooey, wonderful homemade chocolaty caramel, and topped with soft, rich dark chocolate ganache. I’m kind of totally obsessed with these, which is a good thing, since the new season of Dance Academy doesn’t hit Australia until this summer.
That means I have a long, long wait before I can continue on with the show…I’m gonna need these treats to fill the void.
P.S. If you’ve seen the show, please, please, PLEASE no spoilers for those who haven’t. I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate spoilers.
Chocolate Caramel-filled Crispy Treats
Makes 1 9×13-inch pan
FOR THE CRISPIES
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces marshmallows
6 cups plain crisp rice cereal
FOR THE CARAMEL
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or agave syrup)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoons sea salt, crushed
FOR THE GANACHE
4.5 ounces semi-sweet, dark, or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
scant half cup (about 7 ounces) heavy cream
To make the crispies: Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly until they are completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in half of the cereal. Once thoroughly combined, stir in the remaining cereal until it is evenly coated in the melted marshmallow.
Press half of the cereal mixture (about 8 ounces) into the prepared pan, pressing together any large holes that appear. Once it’s shaped, transfer it immediately to a baking sheet to cool. Press the remaining cereal mixture into the 9×13-inch pan, being sure to press together any large holes that appear.
To make the caramel: Place the sugar, water, cocoa powder, and corn syrup in a small saucepan, stirring to combine. Without stirring, bring to a boil over high heat, swirling the ingredients in the pan occasionally. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches an amber color. Remove from heat and very carefully (the mixture will quickly expand and sputter) add the cream in a slow steady stream, being sure to stir constantly. Once combined, add the salt and butter and continue stirring until both are completely melted and combined. Cool to room temperature before using.
To make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream until just boiling (about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in the microwave). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, covering it completely. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then whisk the mixture until the chocolate is completely combined with the cream. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
Assemble: If there are any large holes in the bottom layer of the crispies, patch them with melted chocolate, if desired.
Pour the caramel over the bottom later of the crispies and spread it almost to the edge. Lay the other payer of crispies on top, pressing down lightly. Spread the cooled ganache over the top of the crispy bars. Garnish with sprinkles, candies, nuts, or more cereal, if desired. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes to let the ganache set.
Recipe by Darla