Dark Chocolate Bark for Your Sweetie
Dark Chocolate Bark, finished result (Photo: Nicole Coudal)
Dark Chocolate Bark, finished result
Dark Chocolate Bark, finished result (Photo: Nicole Coudal)

Dark Chocolate Bark for Your Sweetie

An easy and tasty homemade chocolate treat to celebrate a holiday, anniversary, birthday and more!

If you’re thinking about making a treat for your special someone, how about chocolate bark topped with sweet and salty morsels? It’s easy to make, pretty to look at, and a welcome gift for the lucky person who gets it.  And it’s as easy as melting whatever chocolate you like (milk, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet) and sprinkling on tasty toppings. Some of my favorite combinations are cashew/apricot/cranberry, or a jumble of mixed nuts, or roasted/unsalted nuts with a splash of crunchy, flavored salt.

You can make it using the easy method of melting the chocolate, pouring it out and topping it with good stuff OR you can temper the chocolate first, which gradually reduces the temperature, resulting in a shiny finish and a ’snap’ when you break it (but it takes more time and patience).  Both yield yummy results, but if you’re in a hurry, try the non-tempering method, like this recipe — bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate topped with almonds, tart cherries and sweet apricots.

Easy Chocolate Bark

1 c. bittersweet chocolate pieces*

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces*

1 c. roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped

1 c. dried cherries, roughly chopped

1/2 c. dried apricots, roughly chopped

1) Spread parchment paper onto a large rimmed baking sheet.

2) Add chocolate to the bowl of a double boiler over low-simmering water; stir frequently so it melts slowly.

3) Remove bowl from heat and towel dry bottom. 

4) Pour chocolate onto parchment and spread with a rubber spatula until you have about 3” of paper all around.

5) While warm, sprinkle toppings, lightly pressing into chocolate.

6) Refrigerate at least 2 hours, then break into chunks.

(*I used Ghirardelli morsels, but also try Valrhona or Scharffen-Berger.)

Where to Buy a Treat

If you decide cooking isn’t for you (or you run out of time), here are some spots to find something:

Morton’s Gourmet Market (fine chocolates or pastries)

Nothing Bundt Cakes (tasty, miniature Bundt cakes)

Mixon Fruit Farms (specialty assortments and specialty fruits)

Der Dutchman (cut sugar cookies; assortment of cakes)

Siesta Key Rum (surely there will be something here to delight)

Sarasota Honey Company (local honey, honey candy, and more)

CROP Juice (100% organice, vegan, gluten free donuts and other sweet treats)

Five-0 Donut Co. (lots of yummy, hand-crafted donuts)

Banyan Tree Chocolate & Cafe (MANY chocolate treats)

Simply Yum Yum Bakery & Deli (voted Englewood’s Best Bakery!)

OfKors Bakery (organic sweet treats)

Dulcefina Chocolates & Sweets

Kilwin’s

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Nicole Coudal is a home chef/writer based in southwest Florida, where she fishes and cooks using local ingredients. When not on the water, she visits farms and local markets to highlight what’s in-season and to create tasty recipes.  She is a frequent contributor to Edible Sarasota and ABC’s Suncoast View, and offers monthly cooking workshops at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey. Read more at www.MyDeliciousBlog.com.

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