Think again before you toss out your pumpkin seeds!
Dark chocolate bark is a dessert that you can make when you have no time to make dessert; it comes together quickly and looks elegant.
It makes a wonderful homemade gift, too!
I can’t really call this a recipe since it’s pretty much just melted, re-solidified, and garnished chocolate. Rather, I’m providing a method of preparation along with some ideas to help you get creative.
You’ll want to use a good quality chocolate, as it is the main component. I used a dark chocolate with 65% cacao. I prefer to make a thinner chocolate bark, but if you want a more substantial thickness, don’t spread it as thin.
- 12 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate (ideally 65% cacao)
- 1 thin skinned orange
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and cooled
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, cooled and roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and cooled
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tsp orange zest
* You can use whatever toppings you’d like (nuts, seeds, fruits, spices, herbs and/or teas)
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thinly slice orange width-wise and place on baking sheet. Bake for 2-3 hours until dry, but slightly sticky. Remove from oven and let cool. (A dehydrator works too, and it will take about 8-10 hours at 118 degrees F.)
- When cool enough to handle, break orange slices into pieces; set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together nuts, seeds and orange zest (and whatever else you would like to add) to thoroughly combine. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler until it reaches 88-90 degrees F (a food thermometer is ideal but not necessary…melt the chocolate well enough but don’t let it burn) and pour over the mixture on the baking sheet to coat completely.
- When chocolate is semi-cool but still tacky, sprinkle surface with sea salt and orange shards.
- Place in a cool area of your kitchen or refrigerate until bark cools completely, and break up into bite-size pieces.
Tip: Orange chips can be made several days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Brooke Mader MS, FDN-P, CHHC, has a master's degree in Functional Nutrition from Maryland University of Integrative Health and practices in California. Brooke has an understanding of the complex role of food and nutrition on our health.