If you have leftover chocolate from the holidays (hah), or if you need something impressive for that New Year’s Eve party you didn’t expect to be invited to (double hah), but you aren’t feeling up to full-blown candy making, this is your recipe.
Chocolate bark is dead simple to make, totally delicious, and looks very fancy – essentially, you are producing a custom fruit and nut candy bar, but it takes only as long as the time chocolate needs to melt into a smooth, gloriously dark river of supple brown satin, and the time it takes that satiny pool to harden again. This leaves you sufficient time to shower, put on makeup, find the other earring from that pair that never stays together in the drawer, and possibly practice your dance moves, just in case.
Just before you leave for the party (or moments before your guests arrive), you can cut up the block of glorious, jewel-studded candy into neat bricks or, if you’re me, random quadrilaterals (random shapes and sizes = no one questioning your honesty when you say you made it yourself), stack it on your prettiest serving platter, and wait for it to disappear.
makes a 9×14 inch slab, approximately
8 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- Pour about 1 cup of water into a medium pot and begin to heat it over medium-low heat on the stove. Place a glass bowl over the top of the pot, being sure it covers the opening completely but does not touch the water inside. You are making a double boiler.
- Cut the chocolate into small pieces and deposit it into the glass bowl. Stir occasionally. It will melt slowly as the water in the pot below the bowl heats. If the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down or off completely. The residual heat will be more than enough to melt the chocolate.
- If you haven’t already chopped and/or toasted your toppings, now is a good time. Just take care to check and gently stir your chocolate every minute or so, to ensure that it doesn’t seize or burn.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
- When the chocolate is completely melted into a glossy, shiny puddle, pour it slowly and evenly onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, leaving a slim border around the edges.
- Using a rubber spatula or an off-set icing spatula, spread the chocolate into a rectangle of even thickness. Mine was about 9×14 inches, though I’ll confess to not measuring it exactly.
- Sprinkle the fruit and nuts over the warm, still semi-liquid chocolate in whatever pattern or quantity you like. Set aside to cool.
- After an hour or two, the chocolate will have hardened around the fruit and nut pieces, holding them in place. To serve, cut the slab of chocolate into chunks with a sharp knife.