A Tale of Two Barks Recipe

January 2

white and dark and chocolate bark
There has been an epidemic of unknown proportions in Candy Land. Sweet-toothed gremlins have invaded Candy Floss Forest decimating the red liquorice logs, the toffee toadstools, the dulce leche dirt and the candied pecan pinecones. There is almost nothing left of our magical, mystical forest. As the local candy botanist, I’ve been tasked with collecting samples of the hardiest specimens I can find to learn from their gremlin-defying greatness. While this shortage of candy has caused a great exodus from Candy Land, those that remain will be glad to know that I found two viable, and delicious (I tasted them in the name of pure scientific research), specimens left: the white and dark chocolate barks.
crushed pretzel
The white chocolate tree is hard to spot in the woods blanketed in snow. It is a stunning white but is swirled with rich, caramelized white chocolate that make it’s trunk easier to spot. The caramelized chocolate is in full bloom in the winter when the tree produces extra warmth to keep itself cozy, making some of it’s bark deep and especially delicious. Speckled in the bark are mini pretzel branches. And a salty rock the colour of shrimp-deprived flamingos or fresh fairy dust (depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person). I suspect it is this salty pretzel and pink salt that have made the bark immune to the sweet-seeking goblins (personally I think the salt pairs perfectly with the sweet white chocolate). The white winter bark also produces some lovely green pistachio nuts that are studded across the bark like nutty gems.
white chocolate pretzel bark
The dark chocolate tree is the yin to the white chocolate’s yang. Instead of salt, the tree produces tiny flecks of spice that dot the bark, keeping those sweet-feasters away. The fruit of the tree isn’t fully developed yet, but you can see evidence of last year’s orange skin still dotted throughout the bark. In a sad attempt to disguise itself in a wintery wonderland, the tree produces white popcorn knobs but it’s not very effective. I can spot this bark from hundreds of feet away.
melted dark chocolate
dark chocolate popcorn bark
My preliminary data is clear. Those sweet seeking goblins are fools. Anything with balance: a hint of spice, a dash of salt, a sprinkle of bitter will keep them away. I would go as far as to say that either of these barks are the perfect treat to break up and have laying around as a very special snack for a little gathering at home, and a lovely gift to bring over to someone’s house for dinner. I’ve analyzed both and have broken them down to their individual components below. We must all reproduce these barks and plant them (ok, we can also eat some) so that our forest will be majestic once again.
dark and white chocolate bark
white and dark chocolate bark
dark and white chocolate barks

A Tale of Two Barks Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Serving Size: a 7" x 7" square each of white and dark chocolate

A Tale of Two Barks Recipe

The spice and fruit goes perfectly with the dark chocolate, while the white chocolate definitely needs the salt to balance out its sweetness.

The dark chocolate bark can easily be made vegan as long as you are using vegan chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Bark
200g dark chocolate (72%)
1 teaspoon ground espresso (or more to taste, this won't give it a strong coffee flavour)
1 cup lightly salted, unbuttered popcorn
1/2 teaspoon aleppo chile
zest of 1/2 an orange, finely grated
White Chocolate Bark
200g white chocolate
1/3 cup caramelized white chocolate
1/2 cup gently crushed pretzels
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
healthy sprinkle (I used about 3/4 teaspoon) of lightly crushed pink himalyan salt

Put half of your (white or dark) chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl.

Over a small pot of simmering water, melt your chocolate, stirring until smooth.

Remove from heat and pour in the rest of the chocolate, stirring until fully melted. If you need some heat to melt all of the way through, pop on and off the heat as needed.

Dark Chocolate Bark

Mix ground espresso into melted chocolate.

Pour chocolate (it should be about 1/4 inch thick) onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Break up popcorn with your fingers a bit so the chunks aren't too big.

Sprinkle chocolate with popcorn, chile and orange zest, making sure everything is distributed equally.

Place in fridge for a few hours, until hard.

Break up into desired shape and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

White Chocolate Bark

Pour chocolate (it should be about 1/4 inch thick) onto a parchment lined baking pan and swirl in the caramelized white chocolate, using the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle with pretzels, pistachios and pink salt, making sure everything is distributed equally.

Place in fridge for a few hours, until hard.

Break up into desired shape and store in an airtight container in the fridge.


A Tale of Two Barks was last modified: January 3, 2015 by My Second Breakfast

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