French Chocolate Bark
I just love a good snow day. Snow day, sleet day, ice day.... whatever you want to call it in Houston when the temperature drops and they insist you do not leave your house. Last week we had what was to be about aa 12 hour warning, but let me tell you, the grocery store lines the day before would make you think they told us to stay in for a month. But then again, I was right there too, and was thinking of all the things I could stay in and cook. On top of the list was this french chocolate bark. Again, I can't get enough of Ina Garten and I've been dying to try this recipe of hers and then take her suggestion to use this for s'mores.
So what better to do than make s'mores inside on an icy day. If you have plans for a Valentine's Day at home, this would be fun to eat on its own or make s'mores. I sure felt fancy making it, but it could not have been easier.
Stay warm out there. From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.
French Chocolate Bark
Adapted from Ina Garten
Ina uses crystalized ginger on her version and I thought I would try it out, but since I know I'm not usually a fan of this stuff (has an odd spiciness that doesn't do it for me), I just used a little on one side to try. If you love the stuff, go for it, but I'm leaving it out of my version. Another note... the cheapest way to do this is to go to a grocery store that has a variety of items you can buy in bulk. This way, you can get just the amount you need of nuts and fruit (and chocolate too, if you are at a really good one like Central Market or Whole Foods). I also love the idea of not having leftovers of anything.
8 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
Step by StepLine a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper face down on the baking sheet.
In a microwave proof bowl, melt the semisweet chocolate and half the bittersweet chocolate. Stir chocolate after every 30 seconds until chocolate is just melted. Remove from microwave and immediately add the rest of the bittersweet chocolate. Stir vigorously until smooth and all of the chocolate is melted and has become glossy.
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread with a spatula to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots, cherries and cranberries evenly over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.