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 CHHC, is a certified holistic health coach with a master's degree in Nutrition from Maryland University of Integrative Health. Working at NIHA, Brooke is gaining an understanding of the complex role of food and nutrition on our health. She loves to share holistic health tips and integrative medical news from NIHA and the community via the facebook page and her website, naturalwildandfree.com.