I’m slowly recuperating from my brief foray into civilization. Which means I am gradually acting more and more uncivilized. Which mostly means I bum around the house with greasy hair and in jeans so old they sport holes in the seat so that every TomDickandHarry, if there were a TomDickandHarry (which there isn’t) can see what color my underwear is. Also, I lose my temper and get a sore throat from hollering at my situationally deaf children and munch on granola in between meals and slurp my tea and lick my fingers.
I gave myself lots of reason to lick my fingers this morning when I decided to make my own gourmet chocolate bars. I’m not sure why it is (PMS? my visit to Godiva chocolates? the absence of sweet stuff for a whole weekend?) but I returned home with an intense craving for chocolate. Little squares of my 70% dark chocolate stash weren’t cutting it, so that’s when I decided to build my own dark chocolate bar.
So while my son practiced his scales and my daughter washed dishes and the other two kids happily played some imaginary game (which was a miracle in itself since my littlest daughter has been acting up and out like you wouldn’t believe), I melted down two chocolate bars and toasted some chopped almonds. Once the chocolate was melted, I poured the majority of the glossy dark chocolate-y-ness onto a piece of parchment paper, sprinkled it liberally with dried cherries, cacao nibs, and almonds and then drizzled the remaining chocolate over top. A quick chill-down in the fridge and I had myself a fabulous chocolate fix.
The hard, kind-of-stale chocolate bars had been magically transformed into creamy soft chocolate bark (or bars, if I’d take the time to score and cut it, which I didn’t) pebbled with chewy, tart cherries and crunchy nibs and almonds.
Truth be told, I am rather amazed. I had no idea it would be so easy and so good.
Think of the variations! Citrus! Candied peanuts! White chocolate! Pecans! Pretzels! Sea Salt! Nutella! Dried blueberries! Toffee!
Never again shall a gourmet chocolate bar craving go unmet. There is simply no excuse.
Gourmet Chocolate Bark
I didn’t measure anything—the amounts are just guesses to give a general idea.
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 tablespoons dried cherries
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler (or in a microwave, I suppose). Pour most of it onto a parchment paper-lined pan and spread it out to the desired thickness. Sprinkle with the add-ins. Drizzle with the remaining chocolate and smooth with the back of a spoon. Chill at room temperature (or a fridge, if you’re in a rush) until hard. Break into pieces.
This same time, years previous: the perfect classic cheesecake, learning to draw, snow play, a bedroom birth, on babies, ice cream cake, lemon tart, Sticking Points, potatoes with roasted garlic vinaigrette