This swirled creation of chocolate bark containing ginger, hazelnuts, and apricot was prompted by a recent ugly sweater Christmas potluck I had the pleasure of attending. I first created a simple, dark and white chocolate ginger bark for the party and then decided something more elaborate and blog-worthy was in order.
I was happy at how quick and easy it was to put this together. No matter how simple or complex you wish to make this, the chocolate swirls turn out so beautiful that you will and your guests will be fairly pleased (well, I suppose only if you are amused by food).
I decided to mix in the crystallized ginger pieces with the base dark chocolate layer so that a sweet and spicy bite would be experienced throughout. I found this added more texture and flavor and enhanced the white chocolate as well as other toppings. I must say the apricot and white chocolate pairing is oh so tasty as well.
You may customize anything here, but I am providing you with the method I took to create the specific bark in the photographs, moreover one I would recreate.
This would make a great addition to any holiday table, party, or even gift. Customize to your guest’s taste and food allergy preference. These cannot be fed to cats unfortunately.
Some substitution ideas:
-Sans white choc., use only dark and milk chocolates or milk and white choc. or different types of dark chocolate
-Replace hazelnuts with any sort of nut or seed or even crunchy cereal
-Mix in nuts or cereal or any topping, including white chocolate chips, into the chocolate
-Replace apricots with any kind of dried fruit (cranberries, mango, pineapple, etc.) or omit if you prefer chocolate without
-Add in some orange or other citrus zest
-Add in peppermint extract to create a mint chocolate bark
-Mix almond extract into the white chocolate. Pair this with dried cherries and hazelnuts.
-Coffee or other various spices
-Have your fun with nut butters and/or caramel
-Lemon cinnamon vanilla cranberry
-Sea salt caramel
-Orange clove cayenne
-Honey lavender lemon
-Vanilla green tea (maybe green tea powder??)
-Coconut cherry macadamia
-Dry roasted edamame and goji berries
-Smoked paprika dark chocolate with almonds (would recommend at least 70% cocoa content)
-Hemp & flax seed, drizzled with maple syrup + pecans
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or any kind of chocolate bar, chopped)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (” “)
crystallized ginger, chopped
roasted hazelnuts, chopped in halves
dried apricots, chopped
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. If not done already, chop the ginger, nuts, and apricots in pieces that please you. Set aside.
I didn’t really put measurements for the ginger, nuts, and apricots because you should put what you prefer. I didn’t measure, but I most likely used ~ 1/8-1/4 cup for each. Next time I want to put way more.
2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or fairly medium sized sturdy base. Make sure it’ll fit in your fridge.
3. Melt dark and white chocolate in separate bowls. Use whatever method you please. I used a ghetto double boiler, which consisted of a ceramic bowl over a small sauce pan containing boiling water (reduce to low once boiling starts or you may have a hot mess, no pun.). You may use the microwave instead. Heat chocolate on a lower power setting for 15-20 second increments, stirring after each time and monitoring carefully as to not burn the chocolate. Once the majority of chips are melted, you can simply gently stir the chocolate and the rest should start to melt as well. This is an important measure, as heating up the chocolate without stirring until each chip is obliterated may cause burnt chocolate.
4. Separately mix vanilla in with the dark and white chocolate. I measured out the 1/4 tsp vanilla and put the majority in the dark chocolate and the rest in the white chocolate. Accuracy is subjective here, but white chocolate is already pretty sweet tasting IMO.
5. Stir-in some crystallized ginger in the dark chocolate, then spoon onto the parchment paper and spread. Make as thick or thin as desired. I would recommend thicker over thinner for a satisfactory bite.
6. Pour the white chocolate over the dark and carefully spread out as much as possible (I used the back of a big spoon to do so).
7. Swirl the two chocolates together with a dull, butter knife (carefully, don’t cut the parchment paper peeps), making any patterns that you so desire.
8. Sprinkle on nuts and dried fruit and GENTLY press them a tad into the chocolate so they’ll stick once hardened.
Add additional ginger as well if desired (I would recommend)
9. Place in fridge until hardened. It may depend for you, but I started photographing the final product about an hour later.
10. Break into desired pieces. I used the parchment paper to do this so my fingerprints wouldn’t get on the chocolate when touched. I don’t quite know who enjoys receiving a chocolate present with someone else’s fingerprints on it, but who’s to really say ya know…
10. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Should last quite a bit.
What are some of your favorite bark flavors? Do you enjoy the appeal of the chocolate swirls as much as I do?
I’m going to be passing this out to any local friends in GNV for free. I will bike to your place. All I ask for in return is a hug or maybe if you have an animal, some playtime.