Friday, October 12, 2012

Crunchy Chocolate Bark

Crunchy Chocolate Bark
Chocolate, cashews and dried fruit.  Need I say more? This recipe is so easy to make and so good!  You can make your own twist by adding your favorite toppings.  I love to serve this when friends come over with hot cider or hot coffee. 

Makes 4-5 large pieces

1 (4 oz) chocolate bar, chopped 
      (I like 60-65% cocoa content)
1/8 cup cashews, roasted and 
      salted, roughly chopped
1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/8 cup dried cranberries

In a double boiler*, melt the chopped chocolate slowly.  Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning.  Once chocolate is melted (4-5 minutes) remove bowl from heat.
Pour melted chocolate onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a rubber spatula to spread out chocolate to make a 5x7 inch rectangle (it doesn’t have to be exact).  Sprinkle the top evenly with the cashews, dried apricots, and dried cranberries.  With your hands, lightly press down on the nuts and fruit to set them in the chocolate.  Place chocolate in fridge for about 30 minutes or until firm.  Break off pieces and serve.

*How to Make a Double Boiler:  Start by bringing a small amount of water (about 1/2 cup) to a simmer in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.  Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (stainless steel/glass) that can sit on top of the sauce pan and not touch the water. The steam from the simmer will melt the chocolate slowly.  Just make sure to keep the water at a slow simmer and do not let the bowl touch the hot water, the chocolate could burn.

Lauren Marie’s Tips:
*Chocolate bark should stay firm at room temperature, but sometimes it can start to soften a little.  If it starts to soften, just place it back in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, until it firms up again. Keeping the bark on a cold plate will help also.

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