Dark chocolate is definitely one of my favourite indulgences.
Is there anything better than a hot sip of coffee followed by a bite of rich dark chocolate? It immediately melts into a smooth and creamy moment of pure bliss!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there is no better time to make some handcrafted chocolate. What’s a more fitting way to say ‘I love you’ than with a gift of homemade Dark & Decadent Chocolate Bark?
I’m delighted to skip the expensive chocolate stores and inflated prices of Valentine’s Day merchandise. I also get to avoid all of the iffy ingredients (refined sugar, preservatives) found in store-bought chocolate.
You can get quite creative and personable with this gift. A classic tin lined with wax paper or parchment paper always makes for a pleasing package.
I’m considering heading to the craft store and picking up some clear gift bags. I’d love to secure the bag closed with some cooking twine and attach a personalized gift tag.
This bark has a mere 3 ingredients for the base. The toppings are optional and customizable to taste.
- Raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- Raw cacao butter
This is as healthy as chocolate gets! It’s refined sugar-free, full of antioxidants and also dairy free which is great for those with food sensitivities (like me!). Once you have the chocolate bark made, have fun and get creative with your toppings. I used an equal mix of slivered almonds, flaked filberts and currents.
Don’t fret if chocolate making is new to you. Making homemade chocolate is actually much easier than you might think! This recipe is beginner friendly and serves as a great start to chocolate making.
Dark & Decadent Chocolate Bark
* I used a double boiler & a loaf pan lined with parchment paper
- 1 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (dutch dark chocolate)
- 125 g of hard cacao butter chunks* (will yield 1 cup melted cacao butter)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tbsp currents
- 1/2 tbsp slivered almonds
- 1/2 tbsp flaked filberts
*I’ve been told you can replace cacao butter with coconut oil, however, the result will not be as creamy. I recommend cacao butter if possible.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper on all sides of the pan (for easy removal of the hardened chocolate)
- Using a double boiler (or a saucepan with a heatproof bowl placed on top), bring a small amount of water (about 1/4 pot) to a boil in the bottom pot
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cacao butter and honey to the top pot (or bowl)
- Slowly melt the ingredients while keeping the temperature as low as possible
- If the temperature rises too fast, remove mixture from heat and let it melt slowly, stirring frequently (I normally remove from heat when half the mixture has melted)
- Once the mixture is fully melted, transfer to a medium bowl, add cacao powder. Note: Be EXTRA careful not to let any water drip from the bottom of your pot into the cacao powder when transferring the honey/butter mixture or the texture will not turn out as desired.
- Mix ingredients together until thoroughly combined (The mixture should resemble dark chocolate sauce)
- Pour combined mixture into prepared loaf pan, making sure to hold parchment paper in place
- Gently drop the toppings onto the chocolate bark, spreading across the entire surface
- Let dry and harden fully on a flat surface. You can also pop the tray into the fridge to accelerate the process. I like to refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Once hardened, enjoy or gift away!
You can also double or triple the batch to make more than one chocolate bark (more loaf pans will be needed). You can also cut the bark up into mini bark pieces using a sharp knife.
Here are some other fun topping options:
- Ginger & orange rind
- Dried banana slices & vanilla bean
- Cinnamon, seeds of choice & dried chilli
- Dried cherries & mint
I love giving and receiving home-made gifts and feel they are truly from the heart. The time and effort that goes into each and every homemade gift makes them one of a kind and extra special.
If you’re looking for a homemade gift idea, try Homemade Dark & Decadent Chocolate Bark. A recipe filled with taste, love & thoughtfulness.
Happy Valentine’s Day!