Homemade chocolate bark is a great way of lifting plain chocolate to a higher level. And the beauty of it doesn’t reside in the end product only.
Making your own chocolate bark is such a fun way of being creative in the kitchen and something I love doing with my kids. It’s not as messy as some other desserts, and your kids can let their creativity go wild.
My 3-year-old loves throwing in any toppings within his reach, and the two older ones love to experiment with different layers, textures and colours, creating beautiful pieces of art.
And by choosing your toppings right and adding superfoods such as nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, and goji berries, you’re adding extra nutrition to your treat.
As an extra bonus, cracked up pieces of chocolate bark make a perfect gift for dinner parties, Christmas gatherings, or your kids’ school teachers. It’s homemade, personal, and people love it!
The key of good chocolate bark is good chocolate. You could of course melt chocolate leftovers or Easter eggs, but these are often of poor quality and awfully sweet. Your chocolate bark will be less delicate, and of course nutritionally questionable.
I always make my chocolate bark with dark organic chocolate with 85% cacao, but any dark chocolate between 60% and 85% will make a good candidate. Just make sure to pick a flavor you love.
Now the fun part. Possibilities are multiple, combinations endless, and the wilder the scattering, the more fun the chocolate bark will look.
For your choice of toppings, consider texture, flavor, color, and nutrition, and don’t be shy to come up with wild combinations.
Here are a few of our favorite toppings:
- Nuts, raw or lightly roasted, whole or roughly chopped, to enhance flavor and crunchiness. All nuts work fine, but our favorites are roasted cashews, almonds, pecan, and pistachios (great color effect).
- Seeds for an extra crunch and nutrition: chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame,…
- Nut butters for a nice swirly effect and extra flavour. Keep in mind that if you’re using nut butter, you’ll have to keep the bark in the freezer and take it out just a few minutes before eating. This means you shouldn’t use nut butter if you’re making a gift.
- Dried fruits for extra texture and sweetness: raisins, goji berries, cherries, chopped apricots, mango, dates, or figs.
- Other: shredded coconut or coconut flakes, cacao nibs, granola, lemon or orange zest, (homemade) cookie crumbs, a pinch of dried chilli flakes or pink Himalayan salt.
+ 2 h
1 large oven tray
- Good quality dark chocolate (minimum 60%, ideally organic). More or less 500g (18 oz.) will cover a large baking tray
- Toppings: see list in article
- Break or cut the chocolate in small pieces (the smaller, the quicker it will melt).
- Melt the chocolate au bain-marie, which means melting the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of warm water while stirring regularly (the bottom of the bowl should touch the warm water, but not the bottom of the pot).
- Line a baking tray or square dish with baking paper and pour the melted chocolate into a thin layer. A thin chocolate bark will be more attractive and easier to break and eat. Make sure to use a tray or dish that will fit in your fridge (or freezer if using nut butter). If not, I’ve read it will harden at room temperature too but I’ve never tried it myself.
- Spread evenly using a spatula.
- Add your toppings while the chocolate is still soft, and get creative!
- Once you or your kids are done, transfer to the fridge or freezer (if using nut butter) and allow to cool for a couple of hours.
- When completely set, break up into pieces.
- Wrap in gift bags tied with ribbon and handwritten labels for a nice homemade gift, or store in an airtight container for a delicious treat or dessert.