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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Snow? Again??? Taking Comfort with Chocolate (Bookmarked)

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Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee - SAVEURsummary: recipe based on SAVEUR magazine’s Chocolate Bark; SAVEUR magazine comes through again! information about Bookmarked Recipes;

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #33: Chocolate Bark

It snowed last night! Again. And… pretty, isn’t it? But. It’s March! :stomp: :stomp: Will this winter never end? :stomp: :stomp:

snow in March

Again?!

Luckily, we do have running electricity and the furnace, stove and oven are working. But we have to – eeeeeek – walk everywhere because bicycling on icy Toronto roads, in our neighbourhood where people LOVE to drive their cars and don’t really believe that two-wheeled vehicles belong on the road, is out of the question.

We are pining for spring and barbecue weather. (I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever come again.) In the meantime, we are comforting ourselves with hearty soups and stews. And finishing off the last of the Christmas goodies.

We still have a little of the most spectacular dark fruit cake left. Have we remembered to rave to my sister about how good it is? She’s right! Using dried cherries instead of candied cherries is the way to go!! We love to cut off slivers and serve it with well-aged cheddar or parmesan and small glasses of grappa.

At Christmastime, another sister brought us The Most Amazing Chocolates. They were roughly cut and covered in dried fruit, roasted almonds and pistachios. They were delicious! She said she had found the recipe on the SAVEUR Cookie Advent Calendar 2013

Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee - SAVEUR

A flavorful combination of cardamom, dried mulberries, tart cherries, almonds, pistachios, and coffee beans tops dark chocolate in a crunchy, gorgeously layered bark adapted from Louisa Shafia’s The New Persian Kitchen. If you don’t have dried mulberries on hand, finely chopped figs are a fine substitute.

-SAVEUR online, Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee, 22 November 2013

All through January, I kept thinking about that chocolate. And finally, a couple of weeks ago, I made it.

It is just as fabulous as I remembered!! And easy too.

The only thing wrong with the SAVEUR recipe is that it calls for 2 cups of chocolate chips. But we didn’t have any chocolate chips and we did have a decent dark chocolate bar. I wanted to replace the chocolate chips with the appropriate amount of the President’s 72% “extra dark” chocolate bar, instead of trudging out into Toronto’s perennial ice and snow to get chocolate chips.

For some bizarre reason, there is no weight equivalent listed in the SAVEUR recipe. Thank goodness for the Internet! I learned that

1 cup of chocolate chips = 160 grams

As I rummaged through the kitchen to get the ingredients, I realized that it wasn’t only the chocolate chips that I would have to replace. :lalala:

We didn’t have any almonds – I was SURE we had almonds! But we did have cashews. We didn’t have any pistachios but we did have pepitas. We also didn’t have quite as much chocolate as I thought (has someone been eating things without me??) so I decided to make half the recipe, using pepitas, roasted salted cashews, dried cherries and currants in place of the nuts and fruits listed in the SAVEUR recipe.

Did I take pictures? Alas no! I didn’t want to get chocolate finger prints on the camera. But.

Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! You need to make this chocolate!

As one of our friends reported, “That is superb chocolate!”

She’s right. It is superb.

Many thanks to SAVEUR for posting the recipe and even more thanks to B for spotting it and making it for us to try.

Here’s what I did to make superb chocolate bark.

Chocolate Bark
based on a SAVEUR’s recipe for Nutty Chocolate Bark

  • 170gm 72% good quality chocolate
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • .5 c roasted salted cashews
  • .25 c roasted salted pepitas
  • 2 Tbsp currants
  • 3 Tbsp dried cherries
  • 1 Tbsp whole roasted coffee beans
  • 1/8 tsp fleur de sel
  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and put it into a double boiler over simmering water to melt. Stir it occasionally to break up the lumps (melting takes 5-10 minutes).
  2. Coarsely chop the fruit, pepitas and nuts. Chop the coffee beans separately. Set aside until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into a bowl and stir in the cardamom and half of the nuts, pepitas and fruit.
  4. Evenly spread the mixture onto a parchment lined cookie tray – it should be quite thin. Sprinkle the other half of the nuts, pepitas and fruit as well as the coffee beans evenly overtop. Scatter salt overtop.
  5. Cool uncovered in the fridge until the chocolate hardens (1-2 hours).

Break into pieces and store in a tin – if you think it will last that long.

Notes

I suspect that any roasted nuts would work; the bark is easily as good made with almonds and pistachios as it is when made with cashews and pepitas.

Next time, I think I’m going to add a few chili flakes too!

So much for barbecuing in the near future!

So much for barbecuing in the near future!

Is it time for more chocolate bark?

Bookmarked Recipes - monthlyBookmarked Recipes
Some time ago, Ruth (Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments) created this event to urge herself (and everyone else) to actually make the several recipes they have bookmarked in various books, magazines and internet pages. Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes) has taken over Bookmarked Recipes.

Please note that Jacqueline is vegetarian and has requested that submissions be vegetarian or easily changed into vegetarian recipes.

For complete details on how to participate in Bookmarked Recipes, please read the following:

 

3 Comments for Snow? Again??? Taking Comfort with Chocolate (Bookmarked)” »

  1. Comment by barbara — 3 March 2014 @ 07:50 EDT

    Great idea about the chili flakes!

    You’re right that many many variations are possible. When I made it, I only had snacking pistachios that are already roasted and mega salted, so I just left out the salt from the recipe. And I only had dried cranberries. (I was actually planning to go to a store in north Toronto to get dried mulberries since they look so cool, but that was the day of a monster snowstorm, and there were no more days before Christmas.)

    I used real chocolate too, maybe even higher than 72%, I can’t remember. But I had the advantage of knowing I was going to make this when I bought the chocolate so I could look at a choc chip package to see how much chocolate I needed.

    edit 14 March: We still haven’t tried the chili flake version. We should!! Remind me…. -Elizabeth

  2. Comment by Patricia — 6 March 2014 @ 23:07 EDT

    I just looked at the link for dark fruit cake and I should admit that I played even more fast and loose with the recipe this year. When I was getting ready to make the cake in November, I called Mum from the store (aren’t cell phones grand? What a high-speed age we live in), I said, “the recipe calls for 2 pounds of fruit: candied pineapple, candied cherries, mixed fruit and candied papaya. I just found a bag of dried Okanagan fruits: red and prune plums, apples, apricots. Since I’ve already replaced the candied cherries with dried cherries, do you think I could use the dried fruit instead of the candied fruit?” Mum said in her jolly way, “sure! I don’t see why not!” So this year’s cake has only dried fruit, no candied fruit at all which I like to think is more true to the original way of making the cake. I reckon our forebears (heh, four bears) didn’t have candied papaya. I reckon they didn’t even know papaya existed.

    edit 14 March: Heeheehee four bears… Yes, Patricia, you’re probably right that candied papaya wasn’t one of the more common fruits available. And this new version of the cake was spectacular. Even though it doesn’t have any strawberry jam in it. -Elizabeth

  3. Comment by Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories — 15 March 2014 @ 13:16 EDT

    I’m so sorry for all of that snow! We need some of that in California. If only it could be trucked out here to our Sierra Nevada mountains! That bark recipe sounds seriously amazing.

    edit 18 March: It’s seriously good, Karen. So good that it almost makes me forget that winter refuses to leave. I’ll mail you the snow from our backyard and hope there is no problem with Customs. -Elizabeth

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