Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chocolate Apricot Bark

If I wanted to make this candy look super pretty then I would have to painstakingly place each piece of dried apricot, cranberry and cashew on top of the melted chocolate to give it color and presence. There's just one problem with that... see, I am critical of the way my things turn out.  Some people can toss upon their ingredients and create an elegant dish.  Alas, I am not one of them!  I sit there with my tweezers and place each piece gingerly down and still think it looks funky.  In all honesty, I tend to just give it up and toss the whole think into a bowl and mix it all up.... it keeps me sane.
The trick to making a good chocolate bark is using a good quality chocolate.  A rookie mistake is using the flavored barks that are often sold around the holiday season for candy making.  While they do melt nicely, they don't taste all that fabulous.  I like to stock up on the Ghiradelli candy bars when I find them on sale.
I like to use the 60% cacao bittersweet and their semi sweet chocolate for use in this recipe.
Chocolate Apricot Bark

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or Craisins

Line a  small sheet pan with parchment paper; the bigger the sheet of paper, the thinner the bark will be.  I like to keep my paper trimmed down to about 9inch x 10inch.

Chop the chocolates and melt the 2 chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt completely. Add the cashews, apricots and cranberries and mix together.  

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, drizzle with white chocolate if desired. Let set for about 2 hours. Cut the bark into desired size and serve.  Can be stored at room temperature in container with tight fitting lid.

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