Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate Bark

dark chocolate bark with cranberries, pistachios and sea salt

If you're thinking about making a chocolate treat for your loved ones this Valentines Day, there's still time to make this easy chocolate bark recipe.  Chances are you have all the ingredients in your pantry.  All you need for the bare-bones version is a bag of chocolate chips and some dried fruit or nuts!
Of course if you're like me, you may want to fancy it up a bit, but still the ingredients are very basic and simple.  I like to start with dark chocolate that's at least 70% cocoa for the health benefits, but you can use whatever chocolate you like - milk, dark or white.  If you're going to use nuts, make sure they are roasted and lightly salted to bring out their flavor.  For the rest of the toppings, it's completely up to you and your taste buds.  Here's a list of ingredients that work well for chocolate bark:

Roasted, chopped nuts:  almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts
Chopped dried fruit:  apricots, cranberries, cherries
Orange zest (my favorite with chocolate!), candied ginger, sea salt

1.) To start, you'll need to melt the chocolate.  You can do so in the microwave, but I prefer the stove-top method.  You don't need a double boiler, but to create the effect, fill a stainless steel pot with about 1-2 inches of water.  Set a glass bowl on top of the pot so the bottom of the glass bowl just barely touches the water.  Add about 2 cups of chopped chocolate to the bowl and heat on a low to medium flame.
2.) Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it is almost melted.  Carefully remove the glass bowl and continue to stir the chocolate until it is fully melted.  At this point if you are going to add orange zest, do so now. 

3.) Let the chocolate cool slightly, then pour onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Try to keep it an inch or so from the edges.  Sprinkle the toppings evenly over the unset chocolate.  I always add a bit of coarse sea salt over the top to bring out all the flavors.

dark chocolate bark with orange zest, apricots and walnuts

3.) Let the bark sit to harden for an hour or so before cutting.  You should be able to drag the parchment paper onto a cutting board easily.

"The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Roman Poet Virgil

 "Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food." - Hippocrates

No comments:

Post a Comment