Happy Sunday! Although Sundays may not be my absolute favorite day of the week, there is usually an opportunity to do some baking/cooking to end the weekend. Hard to complain about that!
I was in the mood to try something new and different today, something not too dramatically unhealthy but yet, still sweet enough to satisfy a mini dessert craving.
I opened up my Pinterest board of Treats to see what leaped out at me. The cakes and pies I’ve posted in recent months were drool-worthy but not quite what I was looking for. Cookies weren’t really grabbing me. Then I saw this pin from “Love & Olive Oil” and was SOLD for the following reasons:
1) Dark chocolate gets an A+++ in my world (don’t A triple +’s exist in your world?!?!) and is by FAR my favorite type of chocolate.
2) Freeze dried fruit isn’t something I normally bake with so it would be a fun, new adventure.
3) The result wouldn’t be outrageous in unhealthiness.
4) This is VERY easy to make and doesn’t require a long list of ingredients.
Convinced this is a perfect Sunday night treat?! Good!
Thanks to Love & Olive Oil for the wonderful recipe! Looking forward to trying more on that blog…
- 8 – 11 oz of dark chocolate, using a good brand if you can (aim for 70-80%)
- 1 cup of your choice of freeze-dried fruit (you can also do a mix like I did – raspberries, blueberries and cranberries)
*Note: I was completely unaware of where freeze-dried fruit would be in a grocery store. I asked a few perplexed folks at my local grocery store and was unsuccessful at that spot. However, I Googled and Trader Joe’s has LOTS of freeze-dried fruit! I recommend looking there if your usual grocery store doesn’t carry any freeze-dried fruit.
How to Make:
To get things started, you’ll need to melt down the chocolate. I went with Ghirardelli’s ‘Intense Dark’ chocolate bars for my bark. As they came in bars of 3.5 oz bars, I rounded up to get 3 bars for a total of 10.5 oz. The original recipe only calls for 8 oz, but I figured having more chocolate was the way to go. Obviously.
You can finely chop this before melting if you so choose. I went with the broken chunks method over a double boiler. But mircowaving works just as well if you’re in a hurry. Regardless of method, be sure to stop regularly and stir.
This also gives an excellent excuse to lick your spoon/spatula when it’s all said and done.
Once all melted, pour the chocolate out on to parchment paper that’s been laid in a 9×13 pan. It will dry quicker if you evenly spread the chocolate out. I didn’t execute this as well as I hoped, but perhaps you’ll do better than I.
Now, measure out your freeze-dried fruit. I bought 3 varieties so did 1/3 cup of each freeze-dried raspberries, blueberries and cranberries. But any freeze-dried fruit will work!
Sprinkle your freeze-dried fruit of choice all over the chocolate. If you’re feeling extra bold, you could also try almonds or other nuts and perhaps sea salt? I may give both of those ingredients a go in my next batch of this!
Gorgeous looking, right?!
Now, this needs 1-2 hours to dry at room temperature. However, I recommend popping the pan into the freezer if you’re noticing the bark is taking a bit long to dry. My apartment tends to be a little on the warm side so after 2 hours and still no hardened bark…into the freezer the pan went. 20 minutes later, it was all hardened up!
Break into pieces and put out for consumption! I bet these will disappear quickly so perhaps make a double or triple batch if feeding a party of people. Or watch them fight it out…could be entertaining…
I recommend keeping this stored in the fridge just so it doesn’t start to melt down. It’s supposed to last only about a week, but I truly doubt it will even last that long as it’s just so very tasty.