This idea was too pretty not to share.
Strawberry Chocolate Bark. Instead of chocolate covered strawberries, we have strawberry covered chocolate. How cool is that? I’d like to say that I thought of this idea myself, but I actually saw it in Food Network Magazine. I was inspired and I wanted to share it with you in case you didn’t see it for yourself. (See? I’ve got your back :)
It’s also the week of Valentine’s Day and it’s all strawberry, cream and chocolate this week in my kitchen. I didn’t exactly plan it that way. My editorial calendar had some other things on it that will either get moved aside or moved out. I did follow the plan for some recent posts…Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting, then Strawberry Cake with that amazing frosting…and had then planned to post a cookie or breakfast treat but made a quick U-turn and decided on yet another strawberry confection…
Freeze dried strawberries are the fruit gracing this thin chocolate slab of yum. Who would have thought? Freeze dried strawberries. I’ve seen them. I’ve tried them. I kind of categorized them as a cereal topper and left them there. Since we don’t eat lots of cereal, I rarely pick them up, unless someone spies them as a potential snack and throws it in the cart. So when I saw it as a topping for chocolate bark? No brainer. Throw it in the cart. Go home and melt some chocolate.
It was too easy and too pretty not to try. I hoped the berries would be as red as I remembered, and they were. The red contrasts beautifully; the berries look like graceful rose petals resting on the chocolate. But I had to drizzle on some white chocolate too…one, because it makes the red “pop,” two, because it balances the bit of tartness in the berries and three, because it makes it look like strawberries and cream.
The berries are sliced as thin as the chocolate and you know what’s really cool? When you break the bark into pieces, the berries break with it because they are crispy. I think this is the prettiest bark I’ve ever made. You get strawberries and cream and chocolate in every bite.
What valentine wouldn’t love that?
Strawberry Chocolate Bark
- 1 pound chopped semi-sweet chocolate or your favorite good quality chocolate
- 3/4-1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 2 ounces chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon shortening I use non-hydrogenated
- (To insure that your chocolate is shiny, with a good snap and no white spots, you'll need to temper it. The following steps are one quick way to do that.)
- Melt about 3/4 of the chocolate (12 ounces) in microwave stirring at 15-30 second intervals until thoroughly melted. Ideally you want the mixture at about 115 degrees. Add the remaining chopped chocolate into the bowl of warm melted chocolate and stir until the pieces are melted and the chocolate mixture is smooth. The addition of the unmelted chocolate should bring the temperature down. You want to get it to 81 degrees. Finally, put the chocolate back into the microwave and heat at 10-15 second intervals, stirring after each until the temperature reaches 88-90 degrees F.
- Spread the melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet to desired thickness. Top with strawberries.
- Place the white chocolate and shortening in a small bowl and heat in the microwave stirring every 15 seconds until melted and smooth. If it seems too thick, add a bit more shortening.
- Place melted white chocolate into a plastic Ziploc bag, cut off the tip and drizzle over bark.
- Chill until set then break into pieces.
*I found the freeze dried strawberries at Trader Joe's.
*Why go through all the tempering of the chocolate? It will insure your bark is shiny and snaps when it sets up. If your chocolate doesn't set up well or has a white haze, it hasn't been tempered properly. You can try to skip taking any temperatures and just go with melting the first 3/4 of chocolate thoroughly and then adding the chunks of the remaining chocolate, stirring until it's completely melted.
Recipe Source: Food Network Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015 Issue
The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2015