Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Almond, hazelnut bark

I have been having a big time chocolate tooth since last week (partly, thanks to SHF). When I saw a recipe in Leite's Culinaria for a Pistachio, hazelnut chocolate bark, I decided to try it. I always need a reason to make a particular recipe, it seems. I have never worked with tempered chocolate and this was the reason for choosing to make this one (besides an unused chocolate thermometer). What I was expecting to do was a homemade version of Cadbury's Fruit and nut bar.

The recipe called for 1.5 cups of tempered chocolate and seriously, I do not know how much of chocolate I would need for that. So I used a recipe for Almond bark from Nick Malgieri's Chocolate book.

The result was perfect and would be even better with my favorite milk chocolate.

Almond, hazelnut, pumpkin seed bark

8 oz 60 % bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli), tempered
8 oz mixed nuts (I used almonds, hazelnuts, pepitas)
Handful of black raisins
A pinch of fleur de sel, for sprinkling on top

Toast nuts separately. Remove skin off the hazelnuts. Chop all the nuts coarsely.

Tempering based on Malgieri's instructions:

1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or microwave till the temp. rises to between 115 and 200 F.
2. Cool chocolate at room temp, stirring occasionally, until temperature falls to low eighties. When the chocolate satrts to set up around the top edge of the bowl, you can say that the temp is right. I did not use the seeding method here.

3. Keep the chocolate again on top of a double boiler and let temperature rise to between 88-91 F for dark chocolate (or 86-88 F for milk or white chocolate). If the temperature rises to above the given range, you have to start all over again.

Mix some of the nuts and all the raisins into the tempered chocolate. Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining nuts and fleur de sel on top. Let set at rom temperature for about 30 min. Break up the set chocolate into large pieces. This keeps well at room temperature in an air-tight container.


  1. I'mnot crazy about chocolate, but chocolate with nuts is something I like - I guess because the nuts provide a break from the sweetness of the chocolate itself. Very yummy looking, Mika! :)

  2. Mika, Which method did you use, double boiler or microwave?
    I melted the chocolate in microwave for SHF entry. This double boiler method sounded little bit difficult so I went with microwave and resutls are ok.
    I am curious to know your experience.

  3. Shammi- Raisins or dried cranberries are a good addition to the nuts. Their sourness cuts the richness of the chocolate.

    Indira- I used a double boiler. I find it easier because I have to monitor temperatures closely for tempering. For just melting chocolate, MW is a great option.

  4. It looks so attractive! I love the chocolate-nut combo...have eaten a lot of cadbury's fruit and nut though I am not much of a chocolate fan...your version looks incredible.

  5. OH... MY... GOD... were the comments that came from my mouth. It barely loaded in picture before I'd drooled on my keyboard. I'm always seeing white chocolate and nut confections. White chocolate... pooey! What a delight to see the dark bark! I am SO trying this recipe as I have all three nuts that you have to be used up. And an empty place in my tummy for it to land ;-)