This holiday season, make family and friends feel special by giving them a box of dates and nuts chocolate bark. Wicked good and so easy to make. It’s my second time to make them and we’re already looking forward to the third.
Because we bake, we try to keep a steady supply of nuts and chocolate in the house. But baking is a lot of work and it isn’t everyday that we like to do it. However, I do crave for chocolate to munch on everyday. Surely there’s a way to get a chocolate fix without baking a cake or a dozen cupcakes? Making chocolate truffles is one answer. But chocolate barks are easier and just as satisfying.
The first time I made chocolate bark, I didn’t even know the term “chocolate bark”. I had no idea either that making chocolate bark is hugely popular in North America. After realizing juts how endless the possibilities are, how limitless the flavor and textural combinations, I’m hooked.
Yep, it looks like my friends will be getting boxes of chocolate bark this holiday season. What go with the melted chocolate will vary but each batch of chocolate bark will be unique.
Isn’t it easier to go shopping for stuff for holiday gift giving? With the traffic situation? No, thanks. Making chocolate bark is easier and infinitely less stressful.
How easy is it to make chocolate bark?
You spread chopped fruits and nuts on a non-stick surface. A silicone mat is truly useful.
You pour melted chocolate over the chopped nuts and fruits and, while the chocolate is still warm and soft, you sprinkle more chopped nuts and fruits over it. You let the chocolate set, you slice a spatula under the hardened chocolate to loosen it and then you just cut the thing into whatever shapes and sizes you like.
Easy right? What’s harder is staying away from them once you have a boxful of chocolate bark in the fridge. There is a tendency to make excuses to open the fridge every few hours, open the box and take a piece (or two) of chocolate bark.
It is essential, of course, to use good quality chocolate. People who bake know where to get good chocolate at prices that won’t break the bank. Baking chocolate is much less expensive than branded chocolate candy. If you plan on going on a chocolate bark adventure, buy your chocolate from baking supply stores.
Dates and Nuts Chocolate Bark
Toast the chopped nuts in an oil-free pan. Set aside to cool.
Slice the dates then roughly chop. Set aside.
Place a silicone mat over a chopping board. Spread half of the dates and nuts on the mat.
Pour about two inches of water in a double boiler and heat to simmering.
Chop the chocolate and dump into the top pan of the double boiler. Add the cream.
Melt the chocolate in the double boiler with occasional stirring until smooth and silky.
Pour the melted chocolate over the dates and nuts. Sprinkle the remaining dates and nuts on top of the warm chocolate.
Leave the chocolate to cool and harden.
Slide a spatula under the hardened chocolate to loosen it from the mat.
With one hand holding one edge of the silicone mat and the other hand holding the spatula, gently lift the hardened mass of chocolate and pull out the mat underneath so that the chocolate now rests on the chopping board.
You may either break the chocolate bark into irregular pieces (for a rustic look) or cut them into uniform sizes.
Store the cut chocolate bark in the fridge in a tightly covered container.
As to how long the chocolate bark stays good the fridge, well, I know that they're good for three to four days. Longer than that, I am unable to say because the chocolate bark in our house never lasts longer than a few days.