The end of 2014 is nigh. Can you believe it? What a whirlwind of a year! I hope you’re taking time out to relax and recharge. As usual, I’m eating my way through the holidays. Exhibit A, flaming pudding on Christmas night:
One of the Christmas gifts I made for friends was edible ‘bark’, using Lindt chocolate. Ridiculously easy to make and eat.
I adapted a recipe from the Tasty Yummies blog to my own taste:
200g milk chocolate, broken up into smaller-than-bite-size pieces
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken up, etc
30g white cooking chocolate, broken up, etc. If you’re not a fan of white chocolate, you can skip this ingredient.
Topping of your choice – chilli flakes, gold leaf, dried cranberries, almonds, whatever you like. My choice included:
a handful of chopped, lightly salted raw macadamias
a tablespoon or two of coconut flakes
salt flakes, a couple of pinches
Ridiculously easy method:
- In a double boiler, melt the milk choc and dark choc together. Just before all the pieces completely melt into unrecognisable blobs, take the mixture off the heat. Stir with a spatula until the lumps are gone.
- In another double boiler, melt the white chocolate. I started melting the white choc as soon as I took the milk/dark chocolate off the heat. (By the way, you can do steps 1 and 2 in a microwave. I don’t have one, so I use the stove-top method.)
- Pour half the molten milk/dark choc mixture onto the centre of a tray lined with baking paper, and the other half on another lined tray. Spread your chocolate puddles out into thin, rectangular slabs measuring about 30 centimetres by 15 centimetres*. I made mine half a centimetre thick. Don’t worry about getting your ruler out and smoothing the chocolate into a uniform thickness. Just make sure it’s not spread too thin.
- Pour the molten white chocolate into the centre of one milk/dark choc puddle. Using a knife tip or skewer, gently swirl the white chocolate around.
- Sprinkle your chosen topping/s over the chocolate. For my second puddle, I skipped the white chocolate and dusted it with coconut and salt. As for the amount of toppings, I didn’t want to overload it too much. I wanted the chocolate to peek through enticingly.
- Let the puddles set in a cool place** for a couple of hours. Once set, smash the bark into random shapes. Or, if you prefer, chop into squares or rectangles.
- Line a pretty container with tissue or baking paper and enclose your chocolate bark.
*If you need a metric conversion chart, check this site. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly keeping track of actual measurements when I made this batch!
**As it’s summertime here, I put my bark in the fridge to set and stored it there until I was ready to give it to my friends. Ordinarily, I don’t refrigerate chocolate, but I didn’t want to risk giving my friends dud, melted gifts. Other recipes, like this one, say do not put the bark in the fridge.
So I’ve just spent today eating bark and reading an excellent YA novel, I Wish, by Elizabeth Langston, one of my release week party-goers. I really fell in love with the cleverly named Grant aka a Benevolent Supernatural Being aka a BSB aka a genie. Grant does his supernatural best to help Lacey, a 17-year-old girl who carries a huge burden but stubbornly refuses to let anyone share the load. Great characters. So glad this is part of a series, because I can’t wait to read more!
I wish I could laze about for the rest of the week with a few more good books. What’s on your reading agenda? Do you keep your chocolate in the fridge or out? Let me know before the end of 2014 and you could win a copy of my debut paranormal YA, This Is Your Afterlife!