Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chocolate Bark w/ Fleur de Sel

bark7

Even though I have been cutting out the sweets since the holidays, we needed a little treat, and dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you.

One of the best things I ate during the holiday season was a chocolate nut bark studded with dried cherries and apricots, made by my friend Martha.
I kept it in the freezing cold garage, so when I wanted a piece, I would have to go out in the garage and sneak a piece. It was that good.

I googled chocolate bark and a zillion recipes came up.
I decided on this one from epicurious because it had so many rave reviews.

The reviewers all said they would increase the Fleur de Sel (premium sea salt from Brittany) next time, so I doubled the amount.



You can use any combination of fruits and nuts. I used what I had in the house.
My combo was dried figs, golden raisins and candied orange peel, along with toasted pistachios, almonds and crystallized ginger.

I used a broken up Trader Joe's 1 lb. dark chocolate 72% bar and melted it in the microwave in a large Pyrex glass measuring cup, instead of using the chips (microwave for 1-2 minutes and stir until melted).



The Fleur de Sel makes this bark very special. That salt and sweet combo just works so well. If you don't have Fleur de Sel, you can use kosher salt or Maldon salt instead (I usually like Maldon better, it is from England and is flakier and lighter).



Chocolate Bark with Fleur de Sel:

one 11.5 oz bag bittersweet (60% cocoa) chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup mixed toasted nuts (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and almonds)
2/3 cup mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, quartered figs, and quartered apricots)
6 quarter-size rounds crystallized ginger, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt (I used 1/4 tsp)

Line a small baking sheet with foil.



Melt chocolate chips in medium bowl over saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate onto foil, spreading with offset spatula to thickness of scant 1/4 inch. Scatter nuts and dried fruit over chocolate (*I mixed half of the nut fruit mixture in with the melted chocolate and the other half I sprinkled on top).



Sprinkle with ginger. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.



Chill until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Peel off foil. Cut chocolate into irregular pieces. Serve bark slightly chilled.

This is not for everyone, since the salt and ginger imparts a very unique flavor, but it was one of the best treats I have made in a long time.
It is definitely for me.










18 comments:

kat said...

Oh my that looks amazing & I love chocolate with sea salt. Dark chocolate is a super food for women & I think we are supposed to have an oz a day. Add the almonds & its even better!

Linda said...

AH dark chocolate bark!! be still my heart!!! Back in the olden days when chocolate was my life, literally, every once and a while I wo uld make a bark with dark chocolate, pecans and coconut. Just for me, YUMMY it was my favorite!!!
Yours looks deadly and delightful!!
YOU GO GIRL!!

Linda said...

AH dark chocolate bark!! be still my heart!!! Back in the olden days when chocolate was my life, literally, every once and a while I wo uld make a bark with dark chocolate, pecans and coconut. Just for me, YUMMY it was my favorite!!!
Yours looks deadly and delightful!!
YOU GO GIRL!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I made this to give as gifts last year, using a little oil of orange in the chocolate, but didn't add the fleur de sel. Sounds like a great addition to contrast with the sweet flavors. And it HAS to be dark chocolate, yes.

Bluebird NY said...

The candied ginger is a great addition! I shall try this soon...

Zoe said...

Yum, I love chocolate bark. I think I will try it with sea salt, its my favorite combo with chocolate:)

Estrella Damm said...

That looks too good. fleur de sel sounds like an interesting idea

Dana said...

I had something like that on my Christmas "to bake" list but I never got around to it. Good to know that is the recipe to use!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I totally OD'd on chocolate at Christmas. I can barely look at it. That will change, soon, I am sure.
I am on a Fleur de Sel kick, though. Did you see those Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate caramels with Fleur de Sel? No? I think I bought them all... a steal at $4.99 a box. Salt and caramel is amazingly good. Mine are hidden, for now. This recipe looks great, too. I'll remember this one for when my chocolate monster returns.

Nancy said...

This looks great. I love chocolate and salt. Wonderful combination.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful chocolate bark. I've always wanted to make it but have never gotten around to it. I'm crazy about dark chocolate, so much so that other chocolate tastes too sweet to me now.
Sam

Anonymous said...

Stacey,
From the looks of the picture, this recipe made a lot. There's no way you can eat all of that. Looks delicious. I'm just sayin'...
Steve
http://www.myfavoriteflavours.com

Jen_from_NJ said...

I would say that this combination is definitely for me as well. I love the idea of the ginger, fleur de sel, and of course figs!

noble pig said...

Love this, especially with the salt. It's always such a nice addition to chocolate.

Lori Lynn said...

Love the salt and the ginger. That bark is a winner.
LL

pinknest said...

Looks so yummy! I LOVE fleur de sel!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I couldn't control myself if this was in my house, this is crazy good!

Trish said...

Oh my....how deliciously decadent