End of the year means holidays and entertaining, and friends and family. With all this going on festive time can get expensive. Last year I started a new tradition – homemade hostess gifts using candied nuts and flavoured sugar. These were so well received by my friends that I decided to make it an annual tradition.
When Lindt Chocolate invited me to meet with one their Maîtres de Chocolatiers and learn about chocolate I knew I had to say YES! The experience was amazing. I learnt that not only does Lindt Chocolate make glorious chocolate, they are also committed to a high standard of ethics and sustainability. That means the chocolate that you buy is delicious AND it’s giving back to the people who deserve it – the farmers.
After the session, I came away filled with inspiration, as well as tips and techniques for working with chocolate.
Did you know:
- When tempering chocolate, do not let the melted liquid reach a temperature higher than 33 degrees.
- Use Silpat instead of parchment paper – it will be easier to handle the chocolate. I learned my lesson early in working with chocolate.
- When making chocolate bark use chocolate with cacao no more than 70%, the flavour will be unbeatable.
And boy were they right! One of the recipes I learned was for Chocolate bark – just what I needed for homemade hostess gifts.
Pistachio Chocolate Bark With Himalayan Pink Salt
Recipe for Homemade Chocolate Bark
- 4 bars of 100 grams each dark choc – chopped
- 1/2 cup of chopped roasted pistachios
- A sprinkle of Himalayan salt
- I also tried other toppings – see below.
- Melt and temper the chocolate. See tips below
- Add the pistachios to the melted chocolate. Stir to combine.
- Spread on a baking tray lined with silpat.
- Sprinkle with some more pistachios and press them down with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to let it set.
- Let it sit on the counter (at room temperature).
- Store in an airtight container, in a cool place.
Tips From My Kitchen
- Ideally one needs a double boiler to temper chocolate. Since I don’t have one (and I refuse to buy another kitchen utensil) I put together a make-shift solution – a small Pyrex glass bowl that fixes on top of a pan with boiling water. Don’t let the bowl touch the boiling water otherwise, the chocolate will seize.
- I tried different toppings – candied orange peels and nuts were by far my favourite. Experiment with the flavours you like and customize the recipe with your favourites.
Disclaimer: This post was inspired by a visit with the Lindt chocolatiers and I came away with samples. The narrative and opinion is mine.