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Peppermint and Cacao Nib Bark
Posted By Nicole On December 16, 2012 @ 1:47 pm In Candies,Chocolate,Recipes | No Comments
Peppermint bark is a type of chocolate bark where layers of white, dark and/or milk chocolate are topped off with a generous sprinkle of crushed peppermint candies. Many big chocolate brands, including Dove and Ghirardelli, release their own take on peppermint bark during the holidays, and even Haagen-Dazs has a limited edition peppermint bark ice cream flavor. But peppermint bark is easy to make at home if you have some chocolate and peppermint candies – or even candy canes – on hand and I always prefer it to store-bought.
My Peppermint and Cacao Nib Bark is topped with lots of crushed peppermint – like a traditional peppermint bark – and also with cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are small pieces of roasted, chopped cocoa beans and they add a nice additional chocolate flavor and quite a bit of crunch to the bark. The base of the bark is made with a layer of dark chocolate and a layer of white chocolate, as white chocolate always sets off peppermint well. Use a good quality chocolate that you like the flavor of (I used Callebaut) for the best results.
You can buy peppermint bits that are already crushed at many cake decorating stores, and those are a good and easy option for a recipe like this one. You can also make them, by crushing peppermints or candy canes yourself. If you do crush them yourself, sift them through a strainer to remove any of the peppermint dust and just keep the nice pieces.
I tempered the chocolate for my peppermint bark, which gives it a nice sheen and allows the chocolate to set up very quickly with no refrigeration required. Read my guide on How To Temper Chocolate at Home for tips and instructions. If you don’t want to temper your chocolate, you can still make the bark, but you may want to pop it in the refrigerator after you make it to help it set up. This bark is a great holiday treat and also makes a wonderful gift for friends and family. Feel free to double the recipe if you need a big batch, though it may be easier to simply make multiple batches if you really need a lot.
On a large sheet of parchment paper set on a baking sheet or on the countertop, pour out the dark chocolate. Use an offset spatula to spread it into a large, thin rectangle that is no more than 1/8-inch thick.
Allow dark chocolate to set until it is no longer tacky. Reheat the melted and tempered white chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds if necessary. Using an offset spatula, spread white chocolate in a thin layer on top of the dark chocolate rectangle, trying to cover it evenly.
Working quickly, sprinkle the white chocolate all over with crushed peppermint candies and cacao nibs. A few extra can be added, to taste.
Allow chocolate to set completely for a few hours before breaking into large chunks for serving.
Makes about 20-oz.
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