16 Mar Easy Triple Chocolate Bark
How easy is this triple chocolate bark? I made it while putting together a dinner of roasted sweet potatoes, green beans and pan-seared chicken. I melted chocolate as I peeled, diced, and roasted the potatoes. As the beans steamed, I chopped the toppings. In between chicken piece flips, I poured, swirled and sprinkled. The bark cooled while we ate.
I make this bark at cooking demonstrations and it’s one of the recipes that pleases almost everyone. It wins over the dark chocolate lovers, the milk chocolate devotees, and even those who prefer theirs white (even though it’s technically not really chocolate).
No matter how big or small the class, no matter who the students are, the same questions pop up time and again, so I thought I’d create a FAQ before we get to the recipe.
Triple Chocolate Bark FAQ
Which method of melting the chocolate is better — stovetop or microwave?
Whichever works best for you. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you melt the chocolates on the stovetop over hot (not boiling) water, you can melt all three at the same time — in different pots, of course. However, if the water boils or condensation from the bottom of the bowl drips, you run the risk of seizing the chocolate. The microwave works well, providing you keep an eye on the chocolate and resist the risk of rushing things. I’m more likely to scorch chocolate in the microwave. But then again, my rocky relationship with microwaves goes a long way back.
Is seeding the chocolate necessary?
Not really. I suggest this step because it quickly drops the temperature of the chocolate which promotes crystallization. This gives chocolate its shine and snap. If you skip the seeding step, I don’t think your friends and family will complain. If they do, then they don’t deserver your lovely homemade bark.
How small do you chop the chocolate?
I chop the pieces to about the size of chocolate chips to ensure even melting.
Can’t I skip the chopping and just use chocolate chips?
No. Chocolate chips will melt, but they won’t temper properly to provide the lovely snap. Save the chips for cookies.
Do I have to use all three kinds of chocolate?
No. This can be made to your taste. Use only one if you’re a purist. Use two if that’s what you have on hand. I use three types to illustrate how the different chocolates melt at different speeds. That and it looks really pretty. Use what you like, but keep in mind if you use only milk or white chocolate the bark won’t have the same “snap”.
I’ve seen triple chocolate bark done in three distinct layers. Why didn’t you do that?
I’m lazy. And impatient. Sure, this blended approach creates a striking visual effect, but it also saves a lot time. A lot. That said, layering is definitely an option. If you want three distinct layers, melt the dark first, spread it in the pan and let it set. Then move onto the milk — melt, spread, set. And finish with the white, adding the toppings while it’s still warm. This variation will take much longer but it will taste just as good and deliver a very different look.
What if I can’t have nuts?
Skip the nuts. Substitute pumpkin seeds, broken cookies, or pretzel bits for the crunch factor. If you would sprinkle it on ice cream you can sprinkle it on bark.
I’m out of /don’t like / can’t have dried cranberries. What can I do?
Any dried fruit can be used. You can also use chopped up crystallized ginger if berries aren’t your thing. Or skip the fruit and just stick with toppings you like. Make it your own by adding as little or as much as you like.
I don’t have finishing salt. Can I use table salt?
Table salt is a bit harsh in this context. Finishing salt is more delicate and won’t overwhelm — unless you dump it on. Maldon flaked salt can be found at most grocery stores and is quite affordable. Himalayan pink salt works well too. It’s often sold in a small glass grinder. You can also use kosher salt. Remember to add just a sprinkle. It’s not popcorn.
Can I skip the salt?
If you want, but the salt contrasts really nicely with the sweet. Every time I demonstrate this recipe someone remarks how big a difference a tiny bit of salt makes. If you’re unsure about salting chocolate, sprinkle some on one corner as a test.
So, those are the FAQs of chocolate bark. If you have any further questions, just ask in the comments or email me. In the meantime, give this a try.
- ½ pound good quality white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ½ pound good quality milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ½ pound good quality bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cup shelled, roasted pistachios, chopped
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, chopped
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
- Place all but ½ cup of each of the different types of chocolate in its own heat-proof bowl. Place each bowl over a pot of hot, NOT boiling, water and stir occasionally while it melts. (Alternatively, microwave the chocolate in 30-second bursts, stirring each interval until the chocolate is melted.) Each type of chocolate will melt at a different speed. White melts fastest, dark melts the slowest. When the chocolate has melted, add the reserved ½ cup chocolate to its respective bowl. This is called “seeding”. Stir until the chocolate has melted and looks shiny.
- Pour all three chocolates onto the prepared baking sheet in any pattern you like. Swirl the chocolates together with a rubber spatula as you spread the chocolate thinly. Sprinkle the pistachios and dried cranberries over the warm bark. Press lightly with your hand to embed the topping slightly. Sprinkle lightly with salt, if using.
- Let the bark set at room temperature for at least an hour or refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. When the chocolate is hard, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.