Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Chocolate Chunk Bark
It's easy to walk into the kitchen and plan on doing a recipe, from start to finish. I do this often. It's a whole 'nother story when you walk into the kitchen, plan on doing a recipe, and end up making something different because one component of the recipe goes awray.
Last weekend, my brother was over for dinner. He requested I make him a snack to take home (I love to make people things, and was delighted!) which is basically pomogranate seeds mixed with dark chocolate. It comes out in clumps and he calls it "Moose Poop." To funny! When I was melting the chocolate to make the recipe, it seized. Most likely because I added some butter to it, the chocolate was too warm, and the type of chocolate I was melting wasn't appropriate for the situation. I find that Enjoy Life chocolate chips, while delicious, do NOT work in any sort of chocolate melting application. When properly heating chocolate slowly over a double boiler, adding butter should not make it seize.
Jumping into action, my Mom grabbed a pan, some nuts and other mix-ins, into which I stirred the almost-completely-seized-ruined chocolate. We spread it out on the bottom of the pan and threw it in the freezer to set. It turned out a complete success! My remedy for seized chocolate? Make BARK. I've done this twice now, and am always pleased with the results.
So use a good chocolate when melting, and if you accidentally seize your chocolate, make it into this delicious bark!
Chocolate Chunk Bark
makes a full 9x13
2 cups chocolate of choice (chips or bars is fine)
3 Tbsp real butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup raisins
flaked coconut - for topping
To make the bark:
1. Melt chocolate gently over a double boiler. Remove from heat when almost totally melted and add 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix with a spatula until melted.
2. Mix nuts and nibs in a separate bowl. Pour in the chocolate. Toss until everything is well coated with chocolate.
3. Spoon into a 9x13 pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top, press down with back of a spatula, your hands or plastic wrap.
4. Freeze until set. Let warm in kitchen for 10 minutes before slicing. Refridgerate or freeze the squares. Put way back into the freezer so you don't eat too many! (This really works :)
This bark makes a great dessert or snack. It's also a great "granola bar" replacement, which are full of processed sugars and grains. While there is some sugar in the chocolate, the fat in the chocolate, cacao nibs and nuts balance out it's affect on your blood sugar, so there are no big spikes. The kids will love it's flavorful crunchy texture! Since it is a super easy recipe, get your kids involved. They can have fun measuring out the nuts- feel free to use your nuts and seeds of choice! Kids will also love licking the bowl of chocolate. But of course, adults can do that too :)
Enjoy your new gluten-, soy- and grain-free snack option! Happy snacking!!