Wednesday, December 13, 2017

French Chocolate Bark

It's time for Chocolate and Vanilla, over at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). Having missed last week's theme, I am not about to miss this week's too.  I've made Ina Garten's, French Chocolate Bark.

This is super easy, and I have all the ingredients in my pantry. Well, almost, with some subs of ingredients. Ina uses salted roasted cashews, which I have replaced with almonds. I did not have any dried cherries (they are very expensive!), so I have used dried cranberries. And also did not have semi sweet chocolate, so I have used milk chocolate instead, which is melted together with bittersweet chocolate. 

Melt both chocolates, spread on parchment paper, then scatter the rest of the ingredients over the chocolate spread. Ina has given the instruction on which ingredient to be scattered first. I was tempted to mix the ingredients in a bowl and then simply scatter them over the chocolate spread. But on second thoughts, decided to follow Ina's instructions instead.

The melted chocolate is spread in a 9x10-inch rectangle. The rest of the ingredients ; toasted almonds, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, golden raisins and chopped crystallized ginger.

 I did not use all of the almonds, and there's some balance of the dried cranberries and golden raisins. The chocolate spread is already full!  I am glad that I did not mix all the almonds and the dried fruits together in a bowl.

 Ina says to set aside for 1 to 2 hours until firm, then cut to serving pieces. Well, mine did not set at all, so I pop the bark in the fridge to set.

The chocolate bark sets nicely in the fridge. But they started to melt within minutes after cutting. Our hot and humid weather does that to chocolates, that is why we can never keep our chocolate at room temperature, they are always kept in the fridge. So the cut pieces were kept in an airtight container and store in the fridge. These barks are yummy and addictive! Not that kind of addictive snack that you would be eating pieces of it at one sitting, but rather addictive in a way that you would think of having another piece after half an hour and still think about it another hour later! They would not last long in the fridge, that's for sure!

French Chocolate Bark
(source from
1 cup whole salted, roasted cashews (almonds)
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (milk chocolate)
6 to 7 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried crystallized ginger, 1/2-inch diced
1/2 cup dried cherries (dried cranberries)
1/2 cup dried apricots, 1/2-inch diced
1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a pencil, draw a 9x10-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan, then turn the parchment paper over.
Spread the cashews in one layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place the semisweet chocolate and half the bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 20 to 30 seconds. (Don't trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch). Stir with a rubber spatula. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the  chocolate is just melted. Immediately add the remaining bittersweet chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.
Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly into the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly in the following order; first the ginger, then the cooled whole cashews, the cherries, apricots, and raisins. Set aside for 1 to 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 18 to 20 pieces and serve at room temperature.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week 
Chocolate & Vanilla


  1. Like you, I've learned to trust Ina when her directions seem a little too fussy. Your bark looks amazing and all the ingredients are evenly distributed...just like Ina would like :)

  2. Yes, this was an expensive one to put together. I think I paid like $30 for all of the ingredients and I usually spend around $10 on my blog dishes. When you think about how much chocolate bark costs at chocolate shops it is pretty much on point though. I loved this recipe and all the crunchy and chewy texture, plus the sweet and salty pops of flavor. Yours looks gorgeous!

  3. The way you describe how addictive this bark is, I'll have to try this recipe. The lovely picture says it all.

  4. I was considering making this for our chocolate challenge but I went with the truffles instead. This looks so delicious.

  5. Another good way to use up my stash of nuts and dried fruits!