Chocolate lovers rejoice! This is a delicious chocolate treat that is super easy to make, beautiful to look at, and even on the healthier side of dessert (assuming, of course, that you can limit yourself to just one or two pieces). My aunt introduced her version of chocolate bark to my mom a year or two ago. Since then, my mom has kept a stash in her freezer at all times, and now it’s a regular addition to pretty much every shabbat and holiday meal. I’ve followed in my mother’s footsteps and am rarely without some chocolate bark in my own freezer. It’s a great contribution to any potluck dinner, and I recommend always having a stash for a quick, sweet treat.
What I love about this dessert is that it’s so versatile. You can swap in milk or even white chocolate (or maybe even do a swirl? Something to try in the future…), and you can do any combination of nuts and dried fruit you have hanging around. It’s such an easy, delicious, and beautiful dessert, how can you not make it now that you know how?
Don’t you want a freezer full of that?
Dark Chocolate Bark
Serving size depends entirely on your self control around chocolate
24 oz. of dark chocolate chips (I highly recommend Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Chips)
1/2 cup slivered and blanched almonds
1/2 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, slivered (like the almonds)
1. Melt down the chocolate, either in the microwave in a double broiler type contraption (I don’t know how or why, but I have never successfully melted chocolate in the microwave, so I always go with a stainless steel bowl resting on a pot with a little simmering water in the bottom – just make sure the water doesn’t reach the bowl).
I know, I’m just old fashioned like that
2. While the chocolate is melting, take out two cookie sheets, and place wax or parchment paper over them.
3. Once the chocolate has melted, pour half of it onto each cookie sheet and spread it as thin as you can with a spatula. Yes, thin. I promise, this stuff is better when it’s thinner.
It gets prettier, I promise
4. Sprinkle the nut and dried fruit combos that you like onto the chocolate. My personal favorite is dried apricot and almonds, so I make one sheet with that pair, and the other sheet with the cranberries and cashews. You can mix up the pairings any way you want. You could even do a mix of all 4 toppings on both sheets.
5. Place a second sheet of wax or parchment paper over the top of the chocolate and press down gently on the nuts and fruit. You want to get the toppings stuck into the chocolate so it doesn’t fall off when you break up the sheets, but you don’t want to press down so hard that the chocolate covers the fruit and nuts.
6. Freeze that chocolate! It should take 10 minutes or so to completely harden. Once the chocolate is solid, take it out of the freezer and break it up by hand. Store the bark in the freezer or fridge in a Ziploc bag until you’re ready to serve it.