In honor of my upcoming trip to France this December, and my love of the Barefoot Contessa, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite Ina Garten dessert recipes: French chocolate bark.
You might be wondering: What‘s the difference between regular chocolate bark and French chocolate bark? According to Ina, American bark incorporates its extra ingredients, like nuts and fruits, inside of the chocolate, where French bark features its extras scattered on top of the chocolate so that you can see everything right way. I personally think putting all of the ingredients on top of the chocolate really highlights the colors of the fruits and nuts, so that’s why I choose to go with the French method.
Feel free to top your chocolate bark with your favorite dried fruits and nuts. The best thing about this bark is that you can tailor it to be your own!
FRENCH CHOCOLATE BARK
Servings: 18-20 pieces
6-7 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6-7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup dried crystallized ginger, ½-inch diced
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried apricots, ½-inch diced
¼ cup golden raisins
- Put the semisweet chocolate and half of the bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl and place in microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Continue to heat the chocolate and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Add the rest of the bittersweet chocolate into the bowl immediately and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and cooled.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9- by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.
- Once the chocolate is melted and cooled, pour the chocolate over the paper. Spread it out with a rubber spatula to form a rectangle, using the outline.
- Sprinkle the top of the chocolate evenly with your extra ingredients in this order: ginger, cooled whole cashews, cherries, apricots, and raisins. I recommend pressing down on the ingredients slightly so that they hold better in place when the chocolate hardens.
- Set aside for 1-2 hours until firm.
- Cut the bark in 1- by 3-inch pieces. Serve at room temperature.
Please note: Don’t be alarmed if the toppings begin to fall off while you’re cutting your chocolate into squares. This is normal! I simply placed the fallen ingredients around my serving plate to allow people to continue picking at the nuts and fruit.