Hi everyone! What is Chocolate to you or in the case of this post, what is not chocolate? I hadn't thought of White Chocolate as chocolate, because it has no cocoa solids not to mention taste and looks. Made by combining cocoa butter with milk and sugar...
Cocoa butter is the result of processing Cacao beans. Hmm so if cocoa butter comes from cacao beans, does that mean white chocolate carries the DNA of chocolate? I enjoyed reading from Huffington Post about Cocoa Butter. I already know Chocolate is used in spas, oo la la and cocoa butter is used as an ointment, medicinal as well as edible treats, but the HP article also has a video showing the Cocoa butter making process, which is very interesting.
So with the blending of milk and cocoa butter and sugar I get something with a melty chocolate feel. A treat that evokes the aroma of Easter for me making it a comfort treat.
So I can't resist this bark. I love cranberries and pistachios, but you can put in what ever seed, nut or dried fruit you like... Or try the Dark chocolate Bark with the same fruit and nut combos, which makes it a more beneficial treat because the fruit provides a milder sweetness packed with iron and protein. Try them both have some friends over!
|makes 16 pieces|
1/2 c. white shelled salted pistachios
16 oz. (1 lb) White chocolate
1/4 c. dried candied cranberries
1/4 c. med. diced dried apricots
A Heat proof bowl and Spatula
Parchment- I didn't understand the point of this step until I didn't do it, but it helps with the thickness you want to have, for coverage of the fruit and nuts. Using a pencil draw an 8x10 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Turn the parchment over and place on the baking sheet.
Offset spatula or spoon-for spreading and keeping chocolate from going outside the lines.
Microwave or Double boiler- Honestly I'm not in the habit of using a microwave... for cooking, (I love fire) but in the case of White chocolate...a microwave can be better in humid temperatures..less chance of too much moisture.
Sharp knife- for Scoring out the pieces of bark...if you don't care for the rustic look like me and just crack it by hand.
- Bake 350* Place the Pistachios on a baking sheet and bake for 8 min. Tossing on the stove top in a skillet works well and gives you more sensory control of the cooking of the nuts . Generally when they smell toasted. I pour them onto a dish Then cool.
- Place 3/4 of the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl, place in the microwave for 30 sec.
- Stir & Return to microwave for another 30 sec. Stir again, Repeat until melted. Stir in the rest of the chocolate and let it set at room temp. Stirring often until smooth. Pour and spread chocolate onto parchment square. Sprinkle nuts and fruit-Press in. Let set for a couple of hours in the fridg.
* Be sure to compare sugar on the ingredients of the specialty chocolates...their not all created equally.