You can easily make your own homemade chocolate treats. It's deliciously easy to stir a variety of crispy, crunchy bits into a warm pool of melted chocolate, cool and harden the works, then start snapping off homemade candy!
Yield: 8 Snacks, Easily doubled or tripled
For the dark chocolate, almond and cherry bark
1 pound (450 g) of dark chocolate, broken into chunks
8 ounces (225 g) of unsalted roasted almonds
8 ounces (225 g) of dried cherries
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dark chocolate or coloured sprinkles for garnish
For milk chocolate granola bark
1 pound (450 g) of milk chocolate, broken into chunks
1 pound (450 g) of your favourite granola
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dark chocolate sprinkles or shredded coconut for garnish
For the white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio bark
1 pound (450 g) of white chocolate, broken into chunks
8 ounces (225 g) of roasted shelled pistachios
8 ounces (225 g) of dried cranberries
A few spoonfuls of crumbled candy canes for garnish
Today for Tomorrow>
Make your granola and bark ahead (see Storage Tip). Most nuts benefit from a brief toasting in a 350°F (180°C) oven to eliminate staleness. A few days ahead, toast them for 10 minutes to freshen their flavour.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Nestle a medium bowl over (not in) a small pot of slowly simmering water. Toss in the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is smoothly melted. Remove from the pot and then thoroughly stir in your choice of fillings. Pour the works onto the pan, gently tilting the pan so the chocolate forms a thick puddle. Sprinkle evenly with the garnish. Cool until hardened, then break into smaller pieces.
Room Temperature: Cool the bark completely, tightly seal and store for up to 4 days.
Refrigerate: Cool the bark completely, tightly seal and refrigerate for up to a month.
Freeze: Tightly seal and freeze for up to 6 months.
From Make Ahead Meals Copyright © Chef Michael Smith 2015. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.
It's fun to try new ideas and it's always fun to freestyle cook. And it's particularly fun to stir every form of chocolate into one bread pudding. I admit sometimes I feel the need to go overboard a little bit and even push some limits, but the kitchen is a really safe place to do that, and a fun place too. Once you know the bread pudding rules, you can break them all day long. Who knows? You might just end up with Five Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Whipped Cream.
Commercial chocolate sauces are a pale imitation of the real thing and usually don’t include any real chocolate. An old-school batch of real chocolate sauce is easy to make, easy to use and an easy way to saturate any treat with lots of rich, true, chocolate flavour. Try not to eat too much of this sauce straight out of the jar!