Monday, May 5, 2014

Learning to like Dark Chocolate

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I LOVE chocolate.  This isn't just a crush, an affair on the side, this is true-all-in-can't-live-one-day-without-it LOVE.  I really believe that a day without chocolate is a day not worth breathing through.

I have a chocolate jar in my office, a chocolate dish in my house, I drink a chocolate shake every morning (it is healthy, I swear), and  I eat chocolate almost every night after dinner (and I wonder why my pants don't fit).

Being the health conscious person I am, I was aware of the heath benefits of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is not my favorite, but I was determined to make my daily treat something good for me.  I was going to like dark chocolate.  So, for one full school year, I only ate dark chocolate.  My candy dish at home had dark chocolate, my candy dish at work had dark chocolate, and I ate one every afternoon.  And I bought the good stuff, not the cheap stuff from the kids' candy aisle I paid top dollar for my dark chocolate fix.  I ate it every day for 9 months...and I hated it every day for 9 months.

By the end of the school year I was so disappointed that my experiment didn't work I ate a whole bunch of milk chocolate to console myself.  And I haven't looked back.

To this day I eat chocolate every day and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.  I can appreciate a darker chocolate now and again, but my true love has been, and forever will be the sweet goodness of milk chocolate.

This chocolate bark can be made with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate (like that is real chocolate...), or you can swirl them for a beautiful effect, like I do here.  For the freeze dried fruits, just choose what you like.  I love the color of the strawberries and raspberries with the pistachios.  This would be a perfect Christmas gift, just know what kind of chocolate the receiver prefers.

Swirled chocolate bark

6 oz. good dark chocolate (as if)
6 oz. good milk chocolate
dried strawberries
dried raspberries
pistachio and almonds

In a small bowl add 3 oz. of the dark chocolate.  In a separate bowl add 3 oz. milk chocolate.  Melt in the microwave by heating for 30 second intervals and stirring between each interval.  When all the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and stir in the other 3 oz. of each chocolate.  Stir until completely melted (I stir the dark chocolate and let the milk chocolate sit so the added chocolate melts a bit, then stir the milk chocolate and let the dark chocolate sit...)

Stir in a handful of the nut mixture and a small handful of each dried fruit into each type of chocolate.

Drop spoonfuls of each chocolate onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, making a checkerboard pattern.  Using an offset spatula, swirl the two chocolates together and spread mixture into an even thickness.  Top with nuts and dried fruit.  Cool completely.  Break into pieces.

Wrapped in a little bag and ready for giving.  A sweet spring treat.

1 year ago:    The night I thought I was going to get murdered and Manila Clams
2 years ago:  Meatloaf for two

May 5, 2014     Daylight 17 hrs. 32 min. 15 sec.  Temp. H 48/ L 36°F

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