I love dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate with cranberries. I love dark chocolate with cranberries and pumpkin seeds. If you do too, then this recipe is for you. The brilliance of making dark chocolate bark is that it looks mightily impressive but is really as easy as melting chocolate, pouring it into a pan, and then sprinkling some stuff on top. If you can manage those steps, you are well on your way to always having a beautiful and delicious snack to bring to a knitting night, movie night, holiday party, work party, [insert occasion here]. And, if that weren’t enough, dark chocolate is good for you. And pumpkin seed are good for you. And dried cranberries – well, I think they aren’t exactly goji berries, but I’d venture there is some Vitamin C and antioxidant goodness there. So. Taste? Check. Nutritional value? Check. And colour? Check check.
It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Even the quantities can be adjusted based on how much pan you want to fill and how much stuff like you in your bark. And feel free, of course, to change up the ingredients. I’d always advocate for dark chocolate – for the health benefits and taste, but also because dark chocolate tends more often to be vegan – but you could mix in almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, goji berries, dried plums, dried blueberries, raisins, or, for a more decadent treat, candy cane pieces, vegan marshmallows, or dark mint chocolate chunks. You could also try adding some cinnamon, espresso powder, nutmeg, or chile powder to your chocolate.
Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Bark ingredients
- Dark chocolate (your favourite vegan brand) – use at least 300g
- Organic dried cranberries – as much as you like
- Pumpkin seeds – as much as you like
One: chop your chocolate into small pieces and melt over a double boiler. Evenly sized smaller pieces help ensure that the chocolate melts more quickly and that most of the chocolate melts at the same speed. The double boiler needn’t be fancy: my double boiler is a stainless steel bowl resting on a saucepan with water heated to boiling. The double boiler system just helps to make sure that you don’t get any water in your melting chocolate. Water can cause chocolate to seize, which is as undesirable an outcome as it sounds.
Two: once melted, pour the chocolate into a prepared pan that has been lined with wax paper. I used about one-third of a baking pan and just propped one end of the wax paper up against some coasters to form a barrier. I’d recommend starting with a smaller space and if you find the chocolate is too thick, just pull back your barrier and expand the available space for the chocolate.
Three: sprinkle your cranberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the still liquid chocolate. Set aside in a cool place to firm up. Once firm, cut into slices or triangles, or get in there and snap into bark-like pieces with your bare hands.
You’re done! Package in a festive tin if you are bringing the bark to someone’s house or to the office, or just go ahead and enjoy with a cup of tea.