Want a delicious and fun project for you, your girlfriends or kids? How about some chocolate bark? It's pretty much your own homemade chocolate bars in free form shapes. Made in less than 30 minutes. And you'll need a hammer.
Chocolate bark is really the ultimate chocolate where your creativity comes to life! Let's make some with 2 kinds of chocolate...either dark and milk, white and dark or white and milk. Or just do a dark chocolate straight up!
And get some decent chocolate...meaning try to avoid the chocolate chip bags and wafers that really aren't real chocolate. Go to Whole foods by the cheese section and choose the chunk chocolate there. Read the labels. Remember, the higher the % on the chocolate label, the less sugar there is and the better it is for you! We love 72% dark chocolate from Valrhona.
Get some toppings together...pick 3:
candied or dried fruits
whatever you like with chocolate...
Chop up 1 pound of each type of chocolate and place them in separate double boilers or heatproof bowls set over a pots of simmering water, stirring constantly, until almost completely melted. This should take about 5 minutes. You can also use a microwave. For this method, microwave all but 1 cup of the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup of chocolate with a rubber spatula until completely melted. Since we aren't tempering the chocolate here, don't over heat! You don't want the chocolate to go over 90 degrees. If it does, the chocolate may turn grayish and blotchy. We'll go through the process of tempering another time so you can achieve beautiful, shiny, snappy chocolate. In this case, you'll probably eat the bark before it changes colors.
Pour the chocolate into a parchment-lined large sheet pan, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula to about 1/4” thick. If you're using 2 types of chocolate, then pour stripes across the base chocolate. Take a spatula and drag the second chocolate through the base chocolate. Make stripes, swirls or curves!
Then grab your chosen toppings and sprinkle immediately across the top of the chocolates. Make sure the chocolate is still melty! The kids can really help here with putting the toppings on. Mix them up across the top. Work quickly so it doesn't solidify before you're done.
Lastly, pick up the pan and tap it on the counter top so it forces the toppings into the chocolate. If you have any melted chocolate left, take a spoon or knife and dip into the chocolate and dribble it across the top of the toppings.
Let the chocolate set for about 45 minutes. Then break it up into pieces by hand of take out that hammer, place a plastic bag over top and hit in a few places.
Enjoy this sweet spring break!
~Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder ofLuxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, Ridgewood resident, recognized as one of 2014 and 2013 Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.