There is no challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge today, just warm holiday wishes from all the design team, along with some wonderful holiday inspiration (and a fantastic disount offer, see the end of this post)!
Obviously it's only right that I give them something too so I make bags of fruit and nut chocolate bark to give in return. It's easy to make and comes in handy for stocking fillers and teachers or hostess gifts. For the best results, chocolate needs to be tempered (a complicated process involving heating, cooling, heating again and candy thermometers), which is too much work in my book, but it does stop the chocolate getting that white "bloom". The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, shared a much easier method of tempering, which I have used below.
Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark
- Equal quantities of 2 types of chocolate (I used 150g bars of milk and white to make 3 bags like the one shown in the photo)
- Dried fruits and nuts for sprinkling (I used 50g of whole hazelnuts and 50g of mixed dried fruit this time but you can use whatever you like, dried cranberries, candied peel, walnuts, pecans, it's all good)
- Keeping your two kinds of chocolate separate chop finely and melt 2/3 of each, either in bowls over simmering water or in the microwave (30 second bursts, stirring after each one until it's melted).
- Add the remaining 1/3 of the chopped chocolate to each melted batch, stirring until it's all dissolved (this is how the tempering is achieved).
- Pour the first chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and spread out fairly thinly (the bigger you make your "pool" of chocolate, the more space to sprinkle on fruit and nuts later.
- Pour the second batch of chocolate onto the first, spreading out to the same size.
- Sprinkle on as much fruit and nuts as you like, giving it all a gentle press to make sure it sticks to the chocolate. If you're using large items like brazi nuts or dried apricots, chop them a little first.
- Chill in the refrigerator until cool and hardened.
- Cut or break into random shards, place into pretty food-safe bags and tie with ribbon (my bow was cut from the Retro Grunge paper stash).
Simon Says Stamp are offering you a fantastic Christmas gift - a 40% discount on clearance items, just use the code CLEAR40 at the checkout until December 31st!
Don't forget, Simon Says Stamp have a great Facebook page too! Check them out here!