Monday, September 19, 2011

Dried Cherry and Roasted Pepita Dark Chocolate Bark

My first foray into making chocolate bark was last Christmas --we were snowed in and I wanted to make something festive using whatever ingredients I could find in my pantry.  This time, I had purchased some roasted and salted pepitas to make a sauce for skirt steak tacos, then figured out that I'd bought the wrong thing.  What to do with them?  The pepitas made a nice salty snack, but I do love a little sweet with my salt.  The result is my Dried Cherry and Roasted Pepita Dark Chocolate Bark.  The bittersweet chocolate balances the semi-sweet, the dried cherries add a bright pop of tartness, and the roasted pepitas give the bark a light, salty crunch.

Both Dried Cherry and Roasted Pepita Dark Chocolate Bark and the Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit and Almonds I made last Christmas are sweet indulgences that are good for you.  Dark chocolate, like cranberries and red wine, contains flavonoids which have antioxidant qualities that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as improve blood flow to the brain and heart.  Sounds good to me!

Dried Cherry and Roasted Pepita Dark Chocolate Bark

  • 4 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
  • pinch of teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries (divided)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas (divided)
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces of approximately the same size so that they will melt at the same rate.  
  3. Bring water to a boil in a double-boiler and add the chocolate to the top of the double-boiler. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave.)
  4. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and add the cayenne, 1/2 cup of dried cherries and 1/2 cup of  pepitas.  Stir to thoroughly combine and coat the cherries and pepitas with chocolate.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture on to the wax paper in a thin even layer, about a scant 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of dried cherries and pepitas.
  8. Set aside for 2 hours or until firm. If you are in a hurry, you can instead refrigerate the bark for about 30 minutes.
  9.  Cut the bark into 12-15 pieces and serve.
Yield: 12-15 pieces
Total time:  2 hours and 15 minutes

This post is linked to Feature Yourself Friday and  Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

You might also like:
Sea-salted Almond Chocolate Bark at Cooking on the Side


mesh said...

Sounds wonderful! I'm wondering how a little bit of sea salt sprinkled on top would be...

Lynn said...

I thought about doing that, but since the pepitas are salted I was a little wary that sea salt on top would be too much.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful pictures Lynn! I will have to try that when the holidays are upon us!

Susan said...

Well, that sounds delicious. Save some for me.