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Chocolate Bark with Fruits and Nuts 

Courtesy of Anna Tolazzi Artisan Chocolates
– Saturday market vendor

Spoon stirring chocolate

(Makes 12, takes 40 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups or good quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • A mix of your favourite dried fruits (tangy and strongly flavoured ones work best, as in: cranberries, pineapples, orange or lemon – dried or candied ginger, cherries, and for more exotic flavour combinations: dates, figs, mango, or tamarind.)

Tools:

  • Thermometer
  • Aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a Mylar sheet
  • Steel spatula

Preparation:

  • Heat water in a double boiler, making sure that the thermometer always stays below boiling and making sure the melting bowl never touches the water.
  • Chop chocolate finely and melt (use chocolate fresh from the store, this method will not work with chocolate you may have previously melted!)
  • Stir occasionally so that no hot spots develop in the chocolate. Check temperature: do not heat over 90 degrees F. Stir until all chocolate is melted.
  • Once melted and at 90 degrees F, wipe the water vapour off the bottom of the bowl and pour onto the foil or paper in a thin layer and very quickly spread evenly with a spatula 9the chocolate will harden fast and you will have to work fast, and have all ingredients ready at hand).
  • Very quickly spread the nuts and/or fruit onto the chocolate.
  • Let chocolate crystallize for several hours in a cool places (never the refrigerator), and break into shards. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.