Salt-Kissed Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange, Almonds and Pistachios

This new year started slow and relaxed as it ended. After the final mad rush that built up to Christmas Eve, everything assumed a more natural pace as soon as we landed in Venice to spend the holidays with my family.

I write this as the Christmas tree sparkles in front of me, a clear morning sky and a bright sun in the background. The air is cold and pungent, perfect to wake you up after a long sleep. One more day off before we get back, a few more hours of festive celebrations. We haven’t quite given up sweets and rich foods for the January detox regime just yet…there is still some panettone left for breakfast, good for dipping into a steamy cup of coffee. There is still Epiphany today, the last day of the holiday season when stockings are filled with sweets and citrus and nuts.

 

One more sweet recipe, then, before we switch to salads and soups. It’s a dark chocolate bark with sea salt, indulgent but quite forgiving – a good in-between treat from everything sweet to no sweets at all. A good compromise that doesn’t taste like a compromise at all shall we say. For toppings, I went with citrus and almonds, both always unmistakably present in my stocking when I was a child – citrus for bulking up the content, and candied almonds picked up from the Christmas market between shopping errands. Also, some pistachios for colour, and sea salt for crunch and a savoury note. It is so easy to make you might be tempted to make it again and again: you can then swap the toppings with whatever nut or dry fruit you have in hand, but don’t skip the salt – it’s what really brings its flavour to another level.

And oh, friends: a very happy new year!

 

Salt-Kissed Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange, Almonds and Pistachios


300g quality dark chocolate (I like 70%, but 85% is also great)
65g (1/2 cup) whole almonds
65g (scant 1/2 cup) unsalted shelled pistachios
75g (1/2 cup) quality candied orange peel, chopped
1/2 tsp flaky salt (Maldon)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (bain-marie) and allow the chocolate to melt slowly, stirring frequently with a hand whisk. Once the chocolate is completely melted, pour it on the lined baking sheet and smooth the surface using a spatula. You are aiming at a layer of chocolate that is 3-4mm thick.

While the chocolate is still hot, scatter the almonds, pistachios and orange peel all over its surface. Finish by sprinkling it all with salt.

Allow the chocolate to cool completely before transferring the baking sheet to the fridge for at least one hour. When hardened, you can cut the bark in irregular shapes and enjoy. Store in a cool place for optimum texture and crunch.

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The recipe in Italian has appeared in the Speciale Befana I realised for Corriere della Sera.

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14 Comments

  1. Mrs. D January 6, 2015

    This looks deliciousm

    Reply
    • Valeria January 8, 2015

      Thank you Sara, so so easy to make! x

      Reply
  2. Anonymous January 8, 2015

    I think chocolate barks are a classic. They make perfect edible gifts not only because they look good, but also because they are delicious. Just like this one.
    Love your photography Valeria. It inspires me every single day. Cheers!
    Happy new year!
    aysegul@foolproofliving.com

    Reply
    • Valeria January 8, 2015

      Thank you so very much for your lovely comment Aysegul! It is indeed a lovely gift, easy to make at the very last minute, too, and one that is free from processed ingredients, too. A win-win situation 🙂 x

      Reply
  3. Sigrid January 13, 2015

    That's funny, I made something very similar last december… 🙂

    Reply
    • Valeria January 14, 2015

      Oh I've seen yours! I absolutely need to try with the salty lemons and figs cause it sounds so so good!

      Reply
  4. anna @ annamayeveryday January 29, 2015

    That looks delicious, I adore bark and so do my children. Great photographs too.

    Reply
    • Valeria January 31, 2015

      Thank you so much Anna! They are so easy to make that I am sure your children would have fun sprinkling crunchy toppings over chocolate 🙂 x

      Reply
  5. Shu Han January 30, 2015

    This looks gorgeous Valeria! Love the colours of the nuts and fruit against the dark chocolate. Really into edible gifts for Christmas (or most occasions), this is a new one to add to the list. x

    Reply
    • Valeria January 31, 2015

      Thank you Shu! It's so so easy to make that I think I'll adopt it for birthdays, office parties, random presents… XD

      Reply
  6. thefolia February 13, 2015

    Not only do these look amazing…the name is luring as well! I can't wait to get started with these in our nest. Happy Nesting.

    Reply
    • Valeria March 1, 2015

      It is actually now that I think about it 🙂 Hope you like it, happy barking, ehm, chocolate bark making! x

      Reply
  7. Hannah Tunnicliffe February 26, 2015

    Oh wow! I just wrote a post about chocolate bark too and I'm glad I didn't stumble across yours earlier – yours looks sensationally pretty, much prettier than mine, lol! How good and simple is chocolate bark? When I eat it I want to give it a round of applause.

    Reply
    • Valeria March 1, 2015

      Hi Hannah, you're exactly right, so easy, so darn satisfying! Appearance often doesn't count, all that matters is substance here! x

      Reply

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