One thing you should know about me: I take my holiday gift-giving responsibility very seriously. I like to gift items to my family that are thoughtful, useful, and of course tasty! There hasn’t been a year that’s gone by where I haven’t made gifts for my family. I’ve done it all – tins of homemade cookies, handmade clay ornaments & tags, and my famous honey & cinnamon butter. This year I wanted to give a little personalized touch to something everyone loves, chocolate.
Chocolate bark is one of the easiest and most customizable gifts you can make this holiday season. Not to mention the possibilities are endless! Cookies and cream, orange and pomegranate, caramel and sea salt… I could go on!
While chocolate bark can easily be made by heating the chocolate in the microwave, I like to use a double boiler. The control I have over the heat on my LG Gas Range is unlike any other stove I have owned, making it perfect for melting chocolate in a double boiler. And when my lack of patience gets the best of me, my LG Door in Door Refrigerator is perfect for quickly cooling & hardening my new chocolate creation!
As I mentioned, with hundreds (or maybe thousands) of options to choose from, I had a hard time narrowing it down… but pretty quickly came up with some flavour combinations that I know my family will love. For dad I created a salted maple bacon bark. For my sisters, a white chocolate bark topped with dried cranberries and walnuts. And for mom, a delicious caramel and pistachio bark. BUT WAIT! I had you at bacon, didn’t I? Ok, let’s explore how I made the bacon bark… because I know your dads will thank you! 😉
Salted Maple Bacon Chocolate Bark
Sure to please the bacon lover in your family, this easy to make holiday gift combines the saltiness of maple bacon with the sweetness of chocolate – it’s a match made in heaven!
Yield: Makes 2 “gift sized” servings of bark
6 strips maple flavoured bacon, thick cut
14 oz milk chocolate, chopped
Course sea salt (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. On a parchment-lined baking tray, arrange slices of bacon. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bacon is really crispy. Remove from oven and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain and cool. Once cooled, chop bacon into pieces. Set aside.
3. In a double boiler, add chopped chocolate. Melt chocolate being sure to stir frequently. Once all large pieces are melted add chopped bacon (ensure it is as dry and free from grease as possible). Stir just until combined.
4. Line a baking try with parchment paper. Pour chocolate out into tray, spreading with a spatula as you go. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow to harden.
5. While chocolate is still tacky (but cool) sprinkle with course sea salt. Place baking tray aside or in fridge to allow bark to harden fully.
6. Once hardened, break into large or medium pieces. Package in a clear cellophane treat bag with a pretty festive ribbon. Consume within 3-4 days.
Tip: A double boiler is easy to use, simply fill a saucepan with an inches of water. Place saucepan over high heat until it begins to boil, then lower to a simmer. Place a small bowl (metal or glass) over the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add chocolate to bowl. Heat until chocolate is melted.