If your Valentine’s Day festivities involve chocolate (and they should) or you just happen to find yourself with leftover melted chocolate, you owe it to yourself to make Chocolate Bark!
I don’t often think about Chocolate Bark except at Christmas when those tins of Peppermint Bark are everywhere…calling to me, tempting me.
However, now that I’ve made my own awesome chocolate bark at home, I think I can make a big detour away from those store bought tins.
The glory of homemade chocolate bark (other than the obvious glory of any kind of good chocolate) is that you can CUSTOMIZE it to whatever flavors you like or what you have on hand.
Time to root around in the pantry to see what might be lurking there…
I happened to have a bag of these freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s. I bought them to make meringues that never happened and couldn’t figure out what else to do with them.
Note that they are dehydrated (crispy) not dried (chewy) so they are perfect for bark.
They’re also sort of bizarre and fun to eat all on their own. Astronaut fruit!
I also had pistachios and some crystalized ginger pieces.
Melt your chocolate in a double boiler (detailed instructions HERE in the chocolate covered strawberry recipe) then spread it out on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Make a nice big puddle of chocolate then place your chopped bits of dehydrated strawberries, pistachios, and ginger on the chocolate.
If you have any bigger pieces, press them down just a little bit so they will stick to the chocolate as it sets up.
Allow this to set up, then if you also have leftover white chocolate, do the drizzle all over the top for an extra festive look.
Put the tray in the refrigerator to get the chocolate to really harden, then break it into big shards.
I had about 1 cup of leftover chocolate chips and it easily made enough chocolate bark for 4 people.
You can make this with any kind of chocolate or even a mixture. If you have a few bags of leftover chocolate chips, throw them all together and make some bark.
Add any toppings you’d like…cashews, dried fruits like cranberries or cherries, toffee bits, any nuts, etc.
I think some crunchy sea salt sprinkled on there would be the bomb!
Just be sure you pick things that are dried. You don’t want any fresh fruits or anything that will be soggy.
Yes, we will be revisiting this at the holidays because I think good old peppermint bark might need a makeover too.
Happy Valentine’s Day, chocolate lovers!
(I’m thinking this is easy enough to skip a printed recipe, but if you want one, let me know.)