Dark Chocolate Bark

Pay attention chocoholics- this irresistible dark chocolate bark may very well become your new favorite mini-indulgence!

 
But first…why spend money at an expensive restaurant when with a bit of effort you can whip up a beautiful Valentine’s Dinner?
 
Look for my Valentine’s Dinner Menu HERE.
 
Complete Valentine’s Recipe Collection can be found HERE.
 
BACK to the BARK!
Whether you are looking for a heavenly chocoholic experience for JUST YOU or want to surprise your kids and/or your sweetie with “cleaner” Valentine’s goodies, “homemade from the heart” is always more appreciated.

 
So, get yourself some of the best-quality dark chocolate you can find, coupled with a variety of colorful sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy mix-in’s and before you know it, you have a little piece of chocolate heaven staring back at you.

 

Dark Chocolate Bark

Yield: about 32 pieces (depending on thickness of bark)

 
Click HERE for the full recipe, but in the nutshell, here is what you do:
 

Instructions

 
Choose the Mix in’s
No set amounts are required as the quantity of mix-in’s you use depends on your preference. Here are some combo ideas to get you started. In general, about 1 cup combined mix-in’s per 1 pound of chocolate should suffice. If you are using salt, just light sprinkling will do.

 

 
Melt the Chocolate
In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over a 2-quart pot), melt chocolate over simmering water .

 
Stir until melted. Remove chocolate from heat.

 
Make the Bark
Carefully pour melted chocolate onto parchment paper-lined pans, spreading with a spatula, about 1/4-inch thick (or thicker, if desired ).

 
Leave a border of paper on all sides. (allows for easy removal from pan )

 
Scatter desired mix-in combos over chocolate, pressing in lightly.

 
Allow to set at room temperature for about 4 hours until completely set and hardened. (refrigerating or freezing will speed up the process).

 

 
Peel off parchment paper from chocolate slab. Break into irregularly-shaped pieces.

 
*If making more than one recipe, (1 pound of chocolate each) you should be able to fit 2 batches per pan.

 
Dark Chocolate Bark would also be a most appreciated homemade holiday treat!

 

Dark Chocolate Bark
 
Pay attention chocoholics- this irresistible dark chocolate bark may very well become your new mini-indulgence. Get yourself some of the best-quality dark chocolate you can find, coupled with a variety of colorful sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy mix-in’s and before you know it, you have a little piece of chocolate heaven staring back at you. But do be mindful of your nibbling…a small piece or two will suffice or too much “pudge” will end up clinging to your tummy and hips.

Yield: 32 pieces (depending on thickness of bark)
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound high-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (see MPM Mini-Bites)
Mix In’s
Combo #1
  • Dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped (unsweetened, sulfite-free if possible)
  • Dried apricots, coarsely chopped (unsweetened, sulfite-free if possible)
  • Pistachios, coarsely chopped (unsalted)
  • Coarse salt (such as Himalayan pink)
Combo #2
  • Almonds, coarsely chopped (unsalted)
  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Espresso beans, finely chopped
Combo #3
  • Pretzels, coarsely chopped
Combo #4
  • Almonds, coarsely chopped (unsalted)
  • Pretzels, coarsely chopped
Combo #5
  • Crushed red and white peppermint candies
Instructions
Prepping the Pans
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper, allowing paper to hang over pan on 2 sides.
Choose the Mix in’s
  1. No set amounts are required as the quantity of mix-in’s you use depends on your preference. In general, about 1 cup combined mix-in’s per 1 pound of chocolate should suffice. If you are using salt, just light sprinkling will do.
  2. Prepare desired toppings; set out on a cutting board.
Melt the Chocolate
  1. In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over a 2-quart pot), melt chocolate over simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove chocolate from heat.
Make the Bark
  1. Carefully pour melted chocolate onto paper, spreading with a spatula, about 1/4-inch thick (or thicker, if desired), leaving a border of paper on all sides. (allows for easy removal from pan)
  2. Scatter desired mix-in combos over chocolate, pressing in lightly.
  3. Allow to set at room temperature for about 4 hours until completely set and hardened. (refrigerating or freezing will speed up the process).
  4. Peel off parchment paper from chocolate slab. Break into irregularly-shaped pieces.
  5. *If making more than one recipe, (1 pound of chocolate each) you should be able to fit 2 batches per pan.
MPM Mini-Bites
Make Ahead and Storage Tips: may be made up to 3 weeks ahead; cover and refrigerate either in whole sheets or pieces. Bark may also be frozen for up to 6 months.
 

Notes

The star of the show is the chocolate! Look for the best quality you can afford (with a cacao level of 70% or greater) such as Endangered Species and Choco-Love. Sharffen-Berger and Ghirardelli are excellent choices as well. On a budget? Ghirardelli’s 70% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips make fantastic bark.
 
Chocolate melting savvy: using the double boiler or glass bowl set over a pot method is best. Microwave melting is not recommended as oven hot spots as well as over-melting can easily cause chocolate to “seize” and possibly burn. And the last thing you want is to have to throw away expensive chocolate!
 
The sky’s the limit when it comes to creative mix-ins for your bark! Strive to create a contrast of textures and tastes such as sweet vs. salty and chewy vs. crunchy. Other fun mix-in’s are coconut, crystallized ginger or crushed popcorn. Choose other tasty dried fruits such as unsweetened blueberries, mango and pineapple. Any kind of nuts and seeds would be wonderful too like cashews, pecans, walnuts, macadamias, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Or how about turning up the heat by adding a dash of cayenne?

Valentine’s Dinner Menu for 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming to the Blog: Sheet Pan Roasted Root Vegetables

 

Hungry for More?

I invite you to visit my Recipe Collections where lots of goodies such as goodies such as Edible Gifts, Favorite Crockpot Dishes, Winter Dishes, Favorite Poultry Dishes, Pack ‘n Go Lunch Favorites, Pudge-Busting Dishes, Dinners in a Flash, Freezer-Friendly Meals, and Healthier Indulgences are awaiting your discovery!

Can You Become a Meal Planning Maven Success Story?

YES! Contact me for more information about my services. I would love to share my healthy eating secrets you can use, today, tomorrow and always. My specialties include creating customized meal planners and one-on-one food coaching using tried ‘n true methods. Whether your goal is to feed your family healthier meals, build a collection of quick ‘n easy recipes, “go gluten-free,” or perhaps knock off that pesky “pudge” that has already found its way to your middle this summer …I’d LOVE to try to help!

MPM's Success Stories

 

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Linda Shapiro, Meal Planning Maven

1 Response

  1. Linda, your chocolate bark looks absolutely amazing! I love all the different mix-ins, especially the fruit and nuts - oh and the pretzels too! Sharing on our Hearth and Soul Facebook page, and all over. Thank you for being a part of Hearth and Soul.