Monday, December 24, 2018

Coffee Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Sea Salt

Every holiday season friends and family make tasty treats. I on the other hand don't have a claim-to-fame recipe. Until now! In November I spent some time down in Mendocino County for my birthday. At Papa Bear's Chocolate Haus I picked up some coffee chocolate bark, and wondered if could make something similar. After playing a bit, I did, and maybe even better!

I'm not a big recipe follower, but so many friends have asked me for the recipe. So here you go. This is very simple. It does not require any special equipment like a candy thermometer. I don't even have a double boiler, I just placed a smaller sauce pan inside another one. 

Go wild. Play with your food, people! 

Coffee Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Sea Salt

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2-2 cups of your choice of raw nuts (I really like almonds or hazelnuts mixed with some salted pistachios thrown in)
4 Tb fresh ground coffee beans
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt (or omit if you are using salted pistachios)
1 12-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips 
1 4-ounce 100% cacao chocolate bar, roughly chopped 
sea salt for topping (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
  • Set oven to 350* F. (I don't wait for the oven to preheat, just turn it on, follow next step, then throw the nuts in the oven)
  • Very roughly chop up your choice of raw nuts. You can leave a few whole even. (Don't chop the pistachios. In fact leave them out of the equation until later.)
  • Roast the raw nuts in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure they don’t burn.
  • In a small bowl, mix coffee grounds, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Melt coconut oil, then mix in the vanilla in a small bowl. 
  • Once the nuts are done roasting, let them cool a bit...
  • Then toss them with the pistachios, then the coconut oil-vanilla,  and then toss all of them with the coffee-cocoa powder mixture. 
  • Dump the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate bar into double boiler (or pan placed inside another pan with water in it)
  • Melt the chocolate in a (makeshift) double boiler. 
  • Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once the chocolate is completely melted, pour about 3/4 of it on to the lined-with-parchment-paper cookie sheet. Spread the chocolate out to form a rectangle, be careful not to make it too thin. 
  • As evenly as possible, sprinkle the nuts and coffee mixture over the chocolate. 
  • Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate overtop of everything. 
  • I kind of spread and smoosh the nuts and chocolate together at this point.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. 
  • Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Once it cools it easily peels off parchment.  Break bark into pieces. Enjoy!!!
I don't think I'll be buying any of those specialty chocolate bars anymore. I've played with other variations too. My latest concoction was toasted millet + cinnamon + chipotle powder + sea salt for an adult, crispy, Mexican-ish chocolate bark. Don't ask me about spice amounts. I didn't measure. I always taste along the way when I cook.  

Let me know what you think of it. I think it's freaking awesome. I think I'll go have a bite right now....



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