I know I mention not being one of those people that is overly obsessed with sweets, and while that is true, one thing I can never walk away from is really good dark chocolate. That bitter bite with the subtle sweetness is the perfect combination, add some spice, crunch and salt and then you’ve really got me hooked.
I started making bark a year or two ago, as the perfect treat to make for a dinner party, or you can wrap it up in some really nice handmade packaging and even give it as a gift. I always buy the highest percentage of cocoa containing dark chocolate I can find since that darker and more bitter, the better. Lately I have been loving Endangered Species 88% Dark Chocolate, and the bonus is that instead of refined white sugar, the sweetness in their bars comes from unbleached beet sugar. How cool is that?
One of my favorite things about making my own chocolate bark is all of the fun combinations you can create with different ingredients. You can use dried fruits, different nuts and seeds, spices, herbs, etc. You can really make something special every time. Since I was creating another healthy Halloween treat for my ongoing series this month with Free People, I thought that adding toasted pumpkin seeds was the perfect seasonal twist on this, and the addition of the spices bring a nice unexpected heat, and the chipotle powder has a nice subtle smokey flavor.
Feel free to play around with your own favorite add-ins, and make this your own. Here is another dark chocolate bark recipe that I made a while back, that I love.
This recipe was originally shared on the Free People Blog BLDG 25.
[print_this]Spicy Dark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Sea Salt
- 12 ounces of gluten-free, vegan dark chocolate (I used this)
- 1/2 cup of hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon of smoked chipotle powder, plus a bit extra
- 1/4 teaspoon of chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse grey sea salt (Fleur de sel)
Place the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over a medium heat. Toast the pumpkin seeds for about 3-5 minutes, until they jump around a bit in the pan. Set aside to cool.
Line the bottom of baking sheet with parchment paper leaving a small overhang. (I drizzle a small amount of oil on the pan first so the parchment paper will stay put and not wrinkle).
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water, or in a microwave on low in 30-second bursts. Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly. Stir in the spices and half of the pumpkin seeds.
Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and smooth with a spatula into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin seeds and a pinch or two of additional smoked chipotle powder and the sea salt. Chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 20-30 minutes, or in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Peel the bark off the parchment paper and break into irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it is best in the first a couple of days but can be stored up to two weeks.