Instead of going with a tradition box of chocolates this Valentine's Day, surprise your special someone with a unique homemade gift, California Chocolate Bark. The dessert is completely customizable, just add your valentine's favorites, and to really enhance the flavors of the chocolate, pair the bark with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Merlot.
California Chocolate Bark:
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
California Chocolate Bark. (Courtesy Photo)
• 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
• 12 oz. dark chocolate chips
• 1 cup whole roasted nuts (your favorite)
• 1 cup of your favorite dried fruit (figs, apricots, cherries, cranberries)
• 2 to 3 tbsp sea salt
1. Spread a large piece of parchment paper over a sheet pan.
2. Chop nuts and halve or quarter dried fruit based on its size.
3. Add all chocolate to a microwave proof bowl. In 30-second intervals, microwave the chocolate, quickly remove and stir, then return to the microwave for 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted - about 3 minutes.
4. Acting quickly, pour the melted chocolate out onto the parchment paper in a rectangle.
5. Allow the chocolate to rest for about 30 seconds, then sprinkle nuts and fruit over the chocolate.
6. Let chocolate cool for another two minutes, then sprinkle sea salt over top. Set aside for about 2 hours or until firm. Do NOT put in the refrigerator to speed firming - the chocolate will grey.
7. Chop or break the bark into pieces.
8. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to one week and serve at room temperature.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com
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