Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Bark

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cherry Bark. Quick and easy.

Actually this should be called Embarrassingly Easy Chocolate Nut Bark. It takes a few minutes to prepare and another hour to set. And then you have amazingly good homemade chocolate bark.

I love chocolate shops but hate the prices. Last time I visited I paid more than $5 for one tiny itty-bitty speck of almond bark that wasn’t even all that good. Homemade was beginning to sound like a much more economical and tasty choice.

Use good chocolate, making sure it is the kind you like to eat. If you’re a semisweet chocolate person stick to something in the 61% range. If you like your chocolate toward the bittersweet or not very sweet at all, think about something in the 71% range. Be sure to check the date to make sure it has lots of lead time before it expires. Old chocolate is never good.

Ordering chocolate online is a good bet and it will save some money. Most of the time I order these from Chocosphere although there are many brands to pick from that are all equally good.  The dry roasted hazelnuts and dried cherries come from nuts.com here and here.

Of course any tasty toasted or roasted nut and a favorite dried fruit is fine to use in place of the hazelnuts and cherries. Use the same amount indicated in the ingredients list –  and the directions would be exactly the same.

To temper the chocolate follow either David Lebovitz’s directions here using a water bath or Ina Garten’s method here using the microwave. The goal of tempering is to make sure the chocolate is set and shiny.  But if the tempering did not work, don’t fret. Just place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to set the chocolate and serve chilled. Nothing wrong with that. Tempering takes practice but once familiar with the process it works a lot of the time – but there are some days it just won’t cooperate. Even famous chocolate makers have that happen from time to time. That’s when tempering by refrigerator or freezer comes in mighty handy.

To practice tempering, buy some inexpensive-ish chocolate and give it a try or two or three. It’s really only about practice. Tempering by hand is like learning to drive using a standard shift. The automatic? It’s a Revolation.

Really.

ChocoVision makes a tempering machine call a Revolation. I have one that is older than my first gray hair. I bought it in a moment of craziness when I imagined I wanted to be a chocolate maker. They are an investment similar to a stand mixer or food processor – and I am pretty sure there are plenty of good used machines. Though I learned to temper using both a water bath and the microwave, the machine works wonders when making large batches of chocolate goodies.

But whether done by machine or by hand, this bark is as good as its bite.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cherry Bark. Quick and easy.

Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Bark
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Ingredients
  • 210 grams dry roasted salted hazelnuts (about 1½ cups)
  • 225 grams dried cherries (about 1½ cups)
  • 460 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (about 1 pound)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sprinkle half the hazelnuts and half the cherries on the parchment paper, reserving half for later. Follow the links in the post to temper the chocolate. Once melted and tempered, gently pour the chocolate over the nuts and cherries to cover. Tilt the pan to get the chocolate to flow as much as possible. Work fast because properly tempered chocolate will set quickly. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and cherries over the top making certain they adhere to the chocolate. Let the bark set until the chocolate is hard. If after 40 minutes it is not set, refrigerate or freeze the pan. Once the chocolate is set randomly break it into pieces.
  3. If tempered, keep at room temperature. If it needed to be chilled to set, keep and serve chilled.

 

 

 

 

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