When Nothing But Chocolate Will Do – Make Dark Chocolate Bark

Chocolate cures all ills – I believe that –  yes I do!

A few days ago I received the unfortunate news from my spine specialist. In case you have not been following this blog since its inception, the food blog was created to give me something to do while recovering from a fractured back… until I could have surgery to strengthen and stabilize it.

If you want to catch up on steps of progress, here they are: The fall in September – For Better or Worse, the start of the food blog – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, followed by a December update Dog Poop, Grey Hair & Wine, and finally to the news that led me to the dark side (of chocolate that is!), And The Verdict Is.

So lots of chocolate needs to be consumed!

This recipe has very few ingredients, and could be enhanced or changed with different nuts and dried fruit. I’m willing to try several more varieties, as soon as I go to the store for more dark chocolate. 

Part of the fun was melting the chocolate. However, somehow it ended up all over everything. I pictured myself in a “Lucy” episode in the candy factory. The chocolate was gooey of course and just seemed to get all over everything. While smearing it on the parchment paper, it ended up under the paper, on my arm, face, on the counter. Eek gads. And even though I had an apron on, the chocolate found its way under the apron onto my white shirt. Note to self: don’t wear white when working with melted chocolate.

Smearing the chocolate onto the parchment paper was challenging. It kept sliding around. Next time I will anchor the parchment paper to the baking sheet to keep it stable. How will I do that? Probably with a drop of chocolate in the four corners unless I find a better solution.

I missed reading the instruction where the nuts and fruit were supposed to be chopped – oops! So I added them whole. Next time I will chop them up so they incorporate into the melted chocolate easier. Do you get the idea that I will be repeating this recipe a few times, very, very, soon? 

Nice complement of fruit and nut with the dark chocolate. After the chocolate has cured and hardened, just break into pieces and serve. Hopefully some pieces will make it to a serving plate for sharing. 🙂

Did the chocolate calm my demeanor after hearing the bad news? Well, maybe just a little. I certainly enjoyed trying!

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries

Yields 10-15

Adopted from Executive chef of Food For Health blog

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Ingredients

  • 10 oz dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios, de-shelled
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • A few pinches of coarse sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add 1 inch of water to a medium saucepan or pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. The steam from the water will warm the bowl. Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir occasionally with a spatula until smooth and melted.
  4. Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread it evenly. Immediately sprinkle pistachios and dried cranberries over the still-melty chocolate.
  5. Sprinkle a few pinches of coarse sea salt over everything, if desired.
  6. Freeze for 15 minutes or until firm enough to cut.
  7. Cut the bark into pieces, or break apart with your hands.
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