Chocolate Bark

Writing this blog gave me the best opportunity to break out the Christmas decorations early this year and I’m totally okay with having this excuse. Tree, lights, garlands are all up, wreaths are in the making and a little candle’s spreading the smell of cinnamon all throughout the house.

You know what else I’m proud of? Planning Christmas gifts early. And on this topic, what kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t make my own gifts? Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t make all of my gifts, but I definitely enjoy making cookies, little pies, bread or other edibles and gift them to friends.

So, while my kiddo is currently tasked with weaving eucalyptus in an admittedly questionable circle, I bring you the first of a few posts on edible Christmas gifts – a recipe for an amazingly easy, but can’t-keep-hands-off chocolate bark.

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Below you’ll find two different versions. First, a chai spice, dried cranberry and toasted pistachio white chocolate bark, a fragrant fairytale of colour and taste. The second is a white and dark chocolate bark – beautifully marbled and studded with roast hazelnuts and brazil nuts. The beauty of this recipe is that, while I went for flavours that I normally enjoy at Christmas, you are more than encouraged to improvise with your own favourites – think freeze dried raspberries and flaked almonds, edible flowers, meringue shards, marshmallows.

For the white chocolate bark, you’ll need:
200g white chocolate (I used 25% cocoa butter content)
20g toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
20g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
two pinches of chai spice powder (I used Spice Mountain Chai Spice, which is a blend of ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and mace; similar blends are available in some supermarkets or you can make your own.)

Prepare a small loaf tin – grease, then line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, chop or break into squares about 3/4 of the total chocolate quantity.
Microwave in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring with a spatula after each one. (It took 1 minute 30 seconds for entire quantity to melt for me.)
Remove from microwave, then add remaining chocolate, stirring to combine and melt, bringing to room temperature.
Pour into lined loaf tin, then sprinkle chai spices, then the chopped pistachios and cranberries.
Press the toppings lightly into the chocolate to help them set.
Place in fridge for 20 mins to set.
Cut in squares, triangles or gift it as a whole bar, wrapped in parchment paper.

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For the white and dark chocolate bark, you’ll need:
180g dark chocolate
30g white chocolate
20g hazelnuts, roasted, then roughly chopped
20g brazil nuts, roughly chopped

Prepare a small loaf tin – grease, then line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, chop or break into squares about 3/4 of the total quantity of dark chocolate.
Microwave in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring with a spatula after each one. (It took 1 minute 30 seconds for entire quantity to melt for me.)
Remove from microwave, then add remaining chocolate, stirring to combine and melt, bringing to room temperature.
Repeat process for the total quantity of white chocolate.
Pour the melted dark chocolate into lined loaf tin, then spoon the white chocolate on top.
Use a toothpick or a skewer to swirl white and dark chocolate together.
Sprinkle nuts on top, pressing lightly to set into chocolate.
Place in fridge for 20 mins to set.
Cut in squares, triangles or gift it as a whole bar, wrapped in parchment paper.

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Make your friends happy this Christmas. Or you can just keep them to yourself… I won’t tell and neither will Santa.

Enjoy,

Alexis xxx

 

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