My first attempt at this bark failed on a looks basis alone - the chocolate was cloudy and sort of grey. This is because I didn't properly temper the chocolate. I followed directions given by Barefoot Contessa, who has this recipe in a couple of her books I think, but either the recipe was off or, more likely, I didn't follow it right. When you make chocolate candy, you can't just melt the chocolate and cool it and voila you will have a pretty truffle. In order for chocolate to have a nice gloss and a good snap when you bite into it, it needs to be tempered - which basically means it needs to be the right temperature before it cools and sets. Rather than follow a specific recipe for my second try, I just trolled the internet reading all I could about tempering and decided in what appears to be a simple method, and I did it without a chocolate thermometer, since I don't have one. This second try, as you can see from the pics, came out really well. There are so many variations of this bark that you can attempt (pretzels and peanuts? crushed candy canes?) - I went here with classic nut and fruit since it seemed the most fitting for the magic Lakashi bark from State of Wonder. I am sorry to report that this bark does not have any fertility effects, but it is delicious and great for the holidays. Since I did not use a chocolate thermometer, my directions below are just based on feel generally, not precise. You can easily find precise chocolate tempering advice on the internets if you want to make sure you get it right.
About 17 ounces chopped chocolate - mixture of bittersweet and semisweet would be good.
1/3 to 1/2 cup each of assorted nuts and dried fruit - I used pistachio, cashew (roasted and salted), chopped apricots, dried cranberries.
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take 12 ounces of chocolate and put in a heat tolerant bowl.
- In a small sauce pan, bring a few inches of water to a simmer.
- Place the bowl with the chocolate over the summering water - careful so that the simmering water doesn't touch the chocolate bowl - and stirring often, slowly melt the chocolate.
- When the chocolate is melted, take it off the heat, and a third at a time, add the remaining 5 ounces of chocolate.
- When you add the cold chocolate to the warm, stir vigorously to melt the chocolate. This is actually cooling the temp of the chocolate down.
- Add the two remaining portions of the chocolate, one at a time and stir vigorously to incorporate into the melted chocolate, this may take a few minutes.
- Spread the melted chocolate, with a rubber or offset spatula, onto the parchment covered baking sheet and generally shape it into a rectangle.
- Add the chopped fruit and nuts and press them slightly into the chocolate.
- Let cool for a 2 - 4 hours at room temperature and break into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container.