When one really takes time to delve into all things festive it quickly becomes clear that it is unlikely that there will ever be an end to Christmastime culinary possibility. In fact, it turns out that it’s dreadfully difficult to keep one’s blog up-to-date with all that is being produced. The weather is the entity most at fault here, but what can one do? It’s difficult to castigate the weather – it makes a mockery of us all.
Following on from my recent monologue regarding presents and the meaning of Christmas, a little gifting advice may be necessary. For those of you that weren’t aware, chocolate is always a safe bet – is there anyone who doesn’t covet one form of chocolate or another? It is in this spirit that I bring you my recipe for chilli and nutmeg dark chocolate bark; it is both frugal and spectacularly delicious. Perhaps this is one case in which the old adage ‘his bark is worse than his bite’ isn’t entirely watertight. Someone get me a muzzle.
Be warned, gift this bark to a child and/or teenager and you’re likely to meet with tears, violence or, at the very least, a sneer. However, adults are likely to thoroughly enjoy every facet of the sophisticated flavours on offer in this frugal bark recipe. Each bite provides sensation after sensation, with the fiery chilli hitting your tongue at first, backed up by mouth-watering nutmeg and, finally, a slight saltiness which always manages to complement dark chocolate.
Now that I’ve done literary justice to this recipe for dark chocolate bark I’d like to draw your attention to my new recipe index which went live a couple of days ago. Rather a lot of you had requested such a thing, so I hope it’s much appreciated – Katherine spent a long time organising my 265 recipes into different categories! Click through to the recipe index and you’ll find a set of categories which link to a list of relevant recipes lower down on the same page, this seemed like the most helpful way in which to structure such a thing. If you have any queries or issues with the index feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me via twitter or facebook!
Chilli and Nutmeg Dark Chocolate Bark
Makes enough for 2-4 gifts
• 300g dark chocolate, 70-80% cacao
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• A generous pinch of coarse or flaked sea salt
1. Place a large mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt ¾ of the chocolate in the bowl and remove from the heat, throw in the remaining chocolate in small chunks and allow to melt.
2. Pop the chocolate back on the gentle heat and bring to a pouring consistency. Pour the chocolate onto a lined baking tray and spread until roughly 0.5cm thick. Mix together the chilli, nutmeg and salt and sprinkle evenly across the surface of the chocolate. Allow to cool completely, break into shards of roughly equal size and gift to the adults of your choice.
Cost: Since this chocolate is essentially being used simply as chocolate and nothing more complicated it’s important to get a slightly more expensive, darker variety. This may not sound like advice pertaining to frugality, but if it is not followed it may result in waste and nothing is less frugal than waste! As such, the entire bark should set any want-to-be chocolatier back a mere £3, which is a darn sight cheaper than anything of comparable quality in the shops.
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