Dark Chocolate Bark makes a beautifully simple DIY gift for anyone on your holiday list…
…and it’s so easy to make.
When it comes to holiday gift-giving, I dig homemade stuff. There’s something about embedding my time and love into the gift that makes it extra special.
Recently, I set out to beef up the holiday recipes selection on the site. And as a result, I ended up with this recipe for Dark Chocolate Bark…and the Chocolate Mint Marshmallows that I recently published.
What I really like about this recipe is that you can customize it any way you want.
So, I split my batch in half, and created two flavor combinations.
One half had dried sour cherries, raw pistachios, and a sprinkled of flaked sea salt (this is the flaked sea salt I love. It doesn’t cost a bajillion dollars and is found in most markets). As a result, the cherries brought the perfect tartness to counterbalance the chocolate’s sweetness.
Then, I made a whole different combination on the other half. I chose goji berries, raw walnuts, and orange zest. The goji berries have a unique flavor that paired well with the crunch from the walnuts and the citrusy burst from the orange zest.
It’s hard to say which one I liked better!
What flavors and toppings you choose for your Dark Chocolate Bark are really up to you and your imagination. Use any kind of dried fruit, nuts, or even coconut. Just know that dried toppings work better than fresh because chocolate and moisture really don’t mix.
Next, let’s talk about the secret to getting your dark chocolate bark to have a great texture.
For best results, I recommend melting your chocolate slowly over a water bath on the stovetop in order to temper it. Pouring and spreading the chocolate affects how it sets up and can lead to a dull, tacky surface. (There’s nothing “wrong” with that, but the appearance won’t be as polished.)
To temper the chocolate, I highly recommend this method from The Kitchn. Essentially, you melt 2/3 of the chocolate over a water bath. Then, you stir in the final 1/3 of the chocolate. You’ll keep stirring until everything is melted and the chocolate is cool to the touch but not hard.
Then, you sprinkle on the toppings, wait for it to cool, and cut it.
By tempering the chocolate first, you end up with a Dark Chocolate Bark that has a nice snap.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit Recipe
Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit is the perfect simple recipe for DIY paleo holiday gift giving. Create your own delicious flavor combos!
- 1 lb high quality dark chocolate
- 2 cups dried fruit I used half sour cherries and half goji berries
- 2 cups nuts I used half pistachios and half walnuts
- Zest of 1 orange
- Coarse or flaked sea salt optional
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces. If you want smaller bites, also chop the dried fruit and nuts roughly.
- Melt and temper the chocolate using a hot water bath for best results. Click here for my preferred method.
- When the chocolate has cooled to the touch, spread the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper-lined sheet until it’s between ⅛” and ¼” in thickness.
- While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on your toppings. I put half on one side and half on the other.
- Let the chocolate harden at room temperature. Depending on your house temperature, this could take over an hour. I don’t recommend cooling it in the refrigerator because when you remove it, condensation can form on the surface of the chocolate, making it wet.
- Once it’s hardened, chop the dark chocolate bark into whatever size pieces you like.
- Store in a covered container for up to a week or more. (The nuts may get a bit stale if you keep for longer.)