Dark chocolate cranberry pistachio bark is an easy, 3 ingredient recipe with under 5 minutes cook time. Dark chocolate is a healthy, iron rich chocolate and with lots of nuts and dry fruit, it is a guilt free snack and a dessert.
Iron Rich Ingredient
A-Z iron rich food is a series I started last year and post a recipe with an iron rich ingredient for each alphabet. When there is no ingredient for an alphabet, then the recipe is iron rich and starts with that alphabet.
Dark chocolate is a healthy chocolate with lots of nutrients and health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, good source of iron, fiber and minerals.
To reap the benefits of dark chocolate, use chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa in it. Though it has lot of health benefits, it does have lot of calories, hence consume in moderation.
What is chocolate bark?
Chocolate bark is a thin sheet of chocolate cover with chopped nuts and dry fruit. Melted chocolate is spread into a thin sheet and let cool until the bark is set. Any chocolate; dark, milk chocolate and white chocolate are good to prepare a bark.
Toppings for the bark
Use toppings of your choice. Nuts, dry fruit, coconut flakes, pretzels, candy such as M&Ms, chopped chocolate, cookie bites and let your imagination run wild for more variations.
Pistachios and cranberries are a good combination and are great for holiday seasons. The red and green color combination of these gives a festive look and a some coconuts flakes will really pop out the color.
Nuts - Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts are other nuts to consider. Walnuts are not my favorite nuts for chocolate but you can consider it.
Dry Fruits - Besides cranberries, raisins and cherries are other dry fruits to consider. When using dark chocolate, make sure dry fruit is sweet enough to offset the bitter chocolate.
- Chocolate - Dark chocolate or bitter sweet chocolate with 70% cocoa has some iron and that is what I used here. However, you can use chocolate with less percentage of cocoa as well. Regular chocolate, and white chocolate is also good to prepare a bark.
- Nuts - Use roasted pistachios and salted ones really bring out the flavor of chocolate. If using unsalted pistachios, add a pinch of salt to melted chocolate.
- Dry Fruit - Since it is dark chocolate, use sweetened dry cranberries or raisins.
Preparation & Storage
Bark preparation is very easy. Melt chocolate, mix nuts & dry fruit, spread on a parchment paper and let dry. It takes a few hours for the bark to set. Break into large pieces and eat.
Store the bark in an airtight container in a cool place or in the refrigerator for few days. It should stay good for couple of weeks but mine never lasts that long.
Methods to melt chocolate
- Microwave - this is the easiest & fastest method. Take chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, melt for 1 minute 15 - 30 seconds. In my microwave, it took 1 minute 15 seconds and I did two 30 second intervals and one 15 seconds.
- Double Boiler - this method is easy as well. Boil 1-2" level high water in a sauce pan. Lower the flame, place a glass bowl of chocolate on sauce pan and melt chocolate stirring it. Depending on the size of the bowl and the steam, it should melt in 2-3 minutes.
- Use a bowl that sits well on the saucepan so that steam doesn't escape. Also, the bowl should not touch the water in the saucepan.
- Use good quality chocolate for best results.
- Do not melt chocolate directly in the pan. Use a double boil method or use a microwave.
- With double boil method, make sure the glass bowl fits the rim of the saucepan and steam does not escape from the sides.
- Water in the saucepan/double boiler should not touch the base of the chocolate bowl.
- Do not over cook chocolate. Once most of the chocolate is melted, remove from double boiler or microwave and keep stirring until rest of the chocolate melts.
Chocolate bark is melted chocolate spread into a sheet. It is made it real chocolate; regular chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate.
Pistachios go really with chocolate and goes well with all kind of chocolates.
More Chocolate Recipes
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Bark Recipe
- Cutting board & knife
- Double boiler or a microwave safe bowl
- Parchment paper
- Wide platte or a baking sheet
- 8 oz Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa
- ⅓ cup Roasted Pistachios preferably salted
- ⅓ cup Dried Cranberries
- Chop chocolate and take in a glass bowl.
- Coarsely chop pistachios.
- Line a plate or a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
- Take chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. If using a double boiler, check instructions below.
- Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds in 30 + 30 + 15 second intervals. Stir between each interval.
- At this point, chocolate should be almost melted. If not microwave for another 15 or 30 seconds.
- Keep stirring and let rest of the chocolate melt. At this point chocolate is warm enough to melt remaining unmelted chocolate.
- Add ½ pistachios and cranberries to chocolate and mix well.
- Pour melted chocolate on parchment paper lined plate or baking sheet and spread into a thin, ¼" layer.
- Sprinkle remaining nuts and dry fruit on melted chocolate.
- Let chocolate solidify. This will take 2-4 hours. Or you can refrigerate for some time.
- Once set and firm, break chocolate into small pieces.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place or refrigerator.
How to melt chocolate in a double boiler
- Boil 1"-2" of water in a saucepan and reduce the flame to simmer.
- Place chocolate bowl on saucepan. Make sure steam does not escape from the edges.
- Stir chopped chocolate until almost melted. This should take about 3 minuets depending on how hot the steam is.
- Follow the preparation above from step 7.
- Chocolate - Dark chocolate can be replaced with regular chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate bark is bitter, hence use chocolate of your choice.
- Sweetener - Dark chocolate is bitter and not sweet. You can use ½ each of dark chocolate and regular chocolate. Add some maple syrup to sweeten the bark.
- Nutrition - values are approximate calculation.
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