Dark Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Bark
Crunchy hazelnuts and tangy cherries swim in a sea of richly sweet dark chocolate. Sinfully delicious for Halloween or any occasion your sweet tooth calls.
- 8 oz of dark or semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces if they're solid bars or blocks
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 cup of dried cherries, sliced into small pieces
- 1 cup of hazelnut pieces
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and a space in your refrigerator to place this pan.
- Set up a double boiler on your stovetop.
- Place the chocolate into the upper pot and slowly melt it until fully liquid.
- Stir in the coconut oil, cherries, and most of the hazelnuts, reserving a small handful.
- When the cherries and hazelnuts are fully blended with the chocolate, remove the upper pan from the double boiler.
- Carefully pour the mixture on to the parchment paper, using a spatula to spread it out into a single layer.
- Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts and the pinch of sea salt on top of the chocolate.
- Leave the pan to cool for an hour on your countertop or table.
- After one hour, place the pan into the refrigerator and chill until the bark has fully cooled and hardened.
- Break up the finished bark into smaller pieces and serve.
If you are unsure on how to use a double boiler, please see our quick guide in using one.
Take your time when melting the chocolate, and be sure to stir occasionally so the solid pieces melt thoroughly.
The coconut oil helps adds a smooth texture to the chocolate.
Reserving a small handful of hazelnuts is purely for visual reasons. It just looks nice with some exposed nuts in the final bark.
The sea salt is purely to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. Feel free to skip it if you so desire.
In many cases, the bark will fully cool and harden on its own without refrigeration. However, if you see your bark is still quite soft after an hour, then place the pan into the refrigerator to finish the process.
This recipe can be used as a basic framework for most bark. You could use milk chocolate or even white chocolate if you choose. You can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, and almost any dried fruit per your personal taste. I've seen some use dried kids cereal pieces. Those with more skill in a double boiler can even try swirling caramel or melted peanut butter into the mixture before pouring.
Healthy It Up
Sugar and Dairy-Free Version: I was actually tasked with making this bark for someone with allergies to cane sugar and cow's dairy. I started with unsweetened chocolate found in any baking section of a grocer. To sweeten it, I mixed in 4 tbsp of Stevia in the Raw as well as organic honey until I reached the flavor I desired. Agave nectar is also an option if you do not wish to use Stevia or honey. I also used an additional 1 tbsp of coconut oil to smooth out the texture, since unsweetened chocolate has no cocoa butter in it.