RECIPE: Salted Pistachio Dried Cherry Chocolate Bark
It's tricky, sometimes, to come up with a decadent treat that may actually be on the healthy side. If you substitute sugar with some natural sweeteners like Stevia or Monkfruit, and stick with whole foods and grains in your sweet treats, you can indulge with less guilt.
Chocolate bark has been a staple in our house for a while. You can add various mix ins to liven things up-like nuts, fruits, zests and spices, and we use monkfruit sweetener to keep the sugar down. This concoction received big accolades at work. I think it was all gone by lunch time.
One watch out when working with chocolate, liquids in melted chocolate seizes it up. This is why I have vanilla powder in this recipe, versus extract. The first time I made this I threw extract in without thinking and realized a second right after I added it, it was a mistake, complete with face palm. I knew better, but rushing is never a good idea in the kitchen.
It still worked and it tasted fine, but with a grainier texture and not the hard "snap" I like in my chocolate candy. It's good to invest in some vanilla powder anyway, for your candy making excursions. If you skip the vanilla, they will be just as tasty. Keep your bark in an airtight container to much on for that chocolate craving throughout the week.
Salted Pistachio Dried Cherry Chocolate Bark
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla powder
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup toasted, hulled and chopped pistachios (salted or unsalted, up to you)
Flaky sea salt
1 Tbsp. of stevia or Monkfruit sweetener
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roughly break up the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it at 50% power at 30 second intervals until melted, stirring occasionally (if you don't have a microwave use a double boiler).
Stir in the vanilla, zest, cherries and half the nuts. Pour onto the parchment and spread into a flat, even layer. Sprinkle top with remaining nuts and sea salt. (I used about a teaspoon, but salt to your taste.)
Let chocolate cool until set. I set mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Once chocolate is set, break up into chunks with your hands and store.