Mon, Feb 10, 2014
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I made this chocolate bark for holiday gift baskets. I made a second batch for family visiting over the holidays. I made more for a birthday gift. And I made yet again more for Valentine’s Day. The combo of homemade salted caramel sauce, chocolate ganache and chopped Oregon hazelnuts has become an immediate favorite for friends and family.
Chocolate bark is so easy I don’t know why I haven’t made more of it. I have made this specific bark with and without chocolate ganache and my taste-testers liked both versions. With the ganache the bark is thicker and becomes a bit more gooey, reminiscent of a candy bar. Without the ganache it is thinner like a traditional chocolate bark yet still plenty rich. The beauty of chocolate bark is that you can mix and match toppings depending on your taste preferences.
*Chocolate bark packed in jars makes a pretty gift.
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp fleur de sel
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salted caramel
- Chocolate ganache
- 2 cups+ chocolate chips
- Dark chocolate chips
- Oregon hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- Heat the sugar in a 2-3 quart pan over medium-high heat until it starts to melt, at which point start whisking it.
- Continue whisking it as it clumps up, until it completely melts.
- Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees with a candy thermometer(it will be a dark amber color).
- Stir in the butter and mix it with a whisk or a wooden spoon until the butter melts.
- Remove it from the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring it constantly until a smooth sauce forms.
- If salted caramel is desired, stir in the fleur de sel and mix well until combined.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container.
- Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let the chocolate rest for 2 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate until a smooth ganache forms.
- Adjust the consistency of the ganache by adding more or less cream. You can also refrigerate it to thicken it.
- Let cool and then refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double-boiler, stirring frequently and pulling off the heat once the chips start to melt.
- Once removed from the heat, stir the chocolate continuously until it is smooth.
- Spread the melted chocolate on a parchment-lined baking sheet or 9x13 pan.
- Drizzle the salted caramel over the chocolate.
- Sprinkle dark chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts over the chocolate.
- Gently press them into the chocolate so that they stick.
- Drop chocolate ganache over the top and drizzle additional caramel if desired.
- Take a table knife or the back of the spoon to swirl the ganache and spread it out more.
- Let cool for a about 15 minutes then place in the refrigerator to harden.
- Remove from the refrigerator and break into pieces.
- Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. (The ganache and caramel sauce need to be refrigerated.)
Tags: candy, candy bar, caramel, chocolate bark, chocolate ganache, dark chocolate, homemade candy bar, homemade caramel sauce, homemade chocolates, Oregon hazelnuts, salted caramel, salted caramel sauce