Make yourself a treat for the holiday season with an impressive sheet of glossy chocolate bark.
I love the way that Christmas time upholds the wonderful tradition of homemade sweet treats appearing every year, in hundreds of thousands of kitchens worldwide. What a delicious response this is to this time of celebration, when so many homes fill with sweet, alluring scents of the season. I readily admit that, every year without fail, I find a way to celebrate Christmas with chocolate. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you are similar considering that statistical studies have declared chocolate the most craved food around the world!
A couple of my friends readily admit to never baking during the year, yet always make the time to bake a couple of heirloom recipes during the holiday season. I completely understand the temptation to bake at this time of year, and want to share a family favourite.
Indeed, if I am being honest, this chocolate bark frequently appears in our house. It is such a perfect combination of glossy, crisp chocolate with a chewy topping of cranberries (very Christmassy don’t you think?), coconut and macadamias. With a Thermomix as a capable kitchen assistant, the tempering of the chocolate is a breeze and the end result is very sophisticated and glam. It breaks up into wafers or shards with ease, and really gives you that mojo moment of feeling like you are directly channelling Nigella or Heston. I’ll leave it up to you whether you share with your guests how incredibly easy it is to make!
Macadamias are a key ingredient in this treat. and are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium,selenium and zinc. In addition they provide a rich source of oleic acid, known for its potent antioxidant properties that play an essential role in fighting free radicals. They are said to boost the power of the memory, improve the functions of the heart and circulatory system, and reduce insulin resistance. Yep, an impressive array. I don’t know about you, but I can take as many body-boosting ingredients as I can at this time of year!
Warning, this Chocolate Bark is very irresistible, and has been known to be pounced on by visitors and family alike….
Cranberry Macadamia Chocolate Wafers
50g coconut flakes
400g dark chocolate (look for 70–90% cocoa: Lindt or Green and Black Organic are two favourites)
70g macadamia halves, salted
30g dried cranberries (organic is best)
- Preheat the oven to 150 C.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, and spread coconut flakes onto tray – keep it roomy for even toasting.
- Place tray in the oven for 3-5 minutes, removing as soon as the flakes are golden brown around the edges.
- Place aside to cool to room temperature.
- Break chocolate into rough pieces and place in Thermomix bowl. Crumble 5 sec/ speed 9.
- Remove chocolate from bowl, and then weigh back in 300g of chocolate crumbs.
- Melt 2 min/50C/speed 2.
- Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Repeat 2 min/50C/speed 2.
- Add final 100g of chocolate, and mix 1 min/speed 2. (no temperature to be set here, as this is part of the chocolate tempering process)
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper, and immediately pour chocolate out onto paper to create a large rough rectangle, spreading quickly and evenly using a silicone spatula.
- Sprinkle over the macadamias, coconut flakes and cranberries.
- Gently press down on the toppings with your fingertips to help them bind to the chocolate base.
- Place tray in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, until hardened.
- Now your chocolate bark is ready to cut and break into pieces – enjoy!
Storage: The chocolate wafers are best stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week; if they last that long!