Sunday, December 24, 2017

ChezCindy: Sweet Treat! Chocolate Bark

Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit and Nuts

This sweet treat is easy to put together, yet it carries an element of sophistication and fun at the same time.  Making "homemade" chocolate candy treats seems like something only an experienced home cook would do.  But this is as easy as melting chocolate.  For this recipe, I use dried fruit and nuts for my chocolate bark.  But the recipe is versatile, allowing you to switch out the fruit and nuts to match the occasion or your preference.  I have made the bark with crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows;  swirls of hazelnut chocolate spread and sea salt; chopped pretzels and peanuts; or with swirls of white chocolate and crushed candy canes.

Because I bake so often, I always have various bars of chocolate in by pantry.  In this recipe I use 12 ounces of 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate by Ghirardelli.  For a sweeter chocolate treat, use semi-sweet chocolate or a blend of both.  

A search on "chocolate" on my site will bring you to many favorite recipes, including this one honoring pastry chef Alice Medrich.    My Chocolate Hero

Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit and Nuts
12 ounces dark chocolate 60% cocoa
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Chop the chocolate into small pieces.  Add the chocolate to the top of a double boiler pan, or to a heat-proof bowl set over a pan filled with a small amount of water, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.  Place the pan over medium low heat.  Stir the chocolate as it begins to melt, stirring until it becomes fully melted and appears smooth and creamy.  Remove for the heat.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper onto a sheet pan.  Pour the chocolate onto the parchment paper, spreading it thinly to form the shape of a rectangle.  Sprinkle the top of the melted chocolate with the dried cranberries, chopped apricots and chopped nuts.  Set aside for 2 hours until firm.  Cut the bark into pieces.  Store at a cool room temperature.  

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