I first had chocolate bark years ago by default. I think I was at a local See’s Candies with a friend of mine. If memory serves (and it rarely does) she needed to go there to pick up a gift for her mother-in-law (please don’t quote me)! See’s has this wonderful and highly intelligent policy of giving out samples as you are pondering your selections. Even though I wasn’t buying the woman gave me a sample anyway. I took it reluctantly because, you see, I don’t like chocolate or candy or sweets for that matter. At least I didn’t used to….see where this is going?
On with my story…the sample I was handed happened to be a piece of dark chocolate almond bark. I remember this so clearly because it was love at first bite, yes, love. As I finished the bark I asked the lady what it was I just ate. She told me and I bought some immediately. These ladies at See’s are crafty, I tell you, crafty! I’m slightly embarrassed, but I don’t think the bag made it home. Fast forward a bit. I’m at home, craving some See’s dark chocolate bark and wasn’t able to get there. So, what is the saying? Necessity is the mother of invention? Or is it, Where there is a will there is a way? Either one, I found myself rummaging through my books looking for a chocolate bark recipe. Then I was digging in the pantry looking for dark chocolate to melt down into bark!
Being me I through it in the microwave and heated it on high. And heated it. And heated it until.. Yep, I overcooked it and ended up with a dull, rubbery mess. Sure, I ate it anyway, but it wasn’t right. I then decided perhaps some research would be beneficial and I realized I had made the biggest rookie mistake. I had to temper my chocolate if I wanted my final product to be hard and have that nice, “snap.” I swear the white light shone all around my computer screen. Tempering chocolate, who knew? There it began, my journey into chocolate bark. I still make it often. My husband and I like dark chocolate with sea salt and my kids clamor for the milk chocolate with toffee bits. You can top it with whatever you so desire or just eat it straight up. Make it your own. Please let me know how you like it by leaving me a comment and as always, happy creating!
CHOCOLATE BARK RECIPE
- 2 cups dark, milk or white chocolate (For a good selection and good prices on chocolate go to World Wide Chocolate)
- Sea Salt
- Almonds or any other toppings you’d like
- Candy thermometer
- Double boiler-can use a small sauce pan sitting into a medium saucepan filled ¼ way with water.
Temper chocolate (see below). Pour on a parchment lined baking sheet. Smooth out to 1/4-1/2″ thick. Sprinkle with sea salt and/or drizzle caramel. Let set for 1-2 hours in refrigerator.
Tempering chocolate is the key to good chocolate bark. In order to properly temper chocolate you must work in batches using a thermometer, keeping your chocolate at certain temperatures throughout the process. These temperatures will vary according to type of chocolate.
For dark chocolate:
The first ¼ of your chocolate can be heated to 114-118 degrees. Once you add the other ¾ of chocolate your temperature should be 88-89 degrees.
For milk chocolate:
The first ¼ of your chocolate can be heated to 105-113 degrees. Once you add the other ¾ of chocolate your temperature should be 84-86 degrees
For white chocolate:
The first ¼ of your chocolate can be heated to 100-110 degrees. Once you add the other ¾ of chocolate your temperature should be 84-86 degrees.
**Note that since white chocolate has a high milk and sugar content it will burn easily so be very careful not to overheat.