I have posted a couple of variations of bark on the blog (Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark, Dark Chocolate Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt) and Ina Garten has a few different recipes, but once I saw her Peanut Rocky Road Bark, I was pulled in by the combination of flavors and the fact that I had leftover vanilla vegan mini marshmallows and a can of cocktail peanuts in my pantry.
Peanut Rocky Road Bark
From Ina Garten, via FoodNetwork.com
(Yields Abut 16 Pieces)
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup salted peanuts
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips)
1/2 cup mini marshmallows (I used these)
2 oz good white chocolate, finely chopped
Using a pencil, draw an 8 x 11-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the pencil mark doesn't get onto the chocolate and place it on a sheet pan.
Place three-quarters of the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl and put it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. (Time it carefully.) Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula, return it to the microwave for another 30 seconds, then stir again. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Immediately stir in the remaining bittersweet chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. (If you need to heat it a little more, place it in the microwave for another 15 seconds.)
Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly to fill the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly with the peanuts, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Press them lightly so they will set in the chocolate.
Place the white chocolate in a small, heatproof glass bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds. Stir with a rubber spatula and return to the microwave for 15 seconds, then stir again. Continue to heat and stir in 15-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted.
Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate onto the bark in straight lines.
Set aside for at least 3 hours until very firm. (Note: It's still pretty warm and humid here for chocolate to set properly, so I covered it well and popped it in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set up. I will have to store it there too, so I keep it well wrapped with waxed paper and a layer of paper towels on top under the lid of the airtight container to keep any condensation away from the chocolate. I take out the pieces I plan to eat or serve a few minutes before enjoying--if I can wait that long!) ;-)
Cut or break the bark in 16 pieces and serve at room temperature.
Notes/Results: If you love Rocky Road and/or its components, you will love this chocolate bark. It is rich and decadent and the contrast of the sweeter vanilla marshmallows and white chocolate drizzle, combined with the bittersweet chocolate and salty peanuts is really tasty. Because I like a salty-sweet combination, next time I would sprinkle some flaked sea salt on top too, but that is the only real change I would make--other than using a bigger pan. I used my half-pan and my bark was a bit thick. Nothing wrong with that but a thinner bark would be nice too. I would happily make this bark again.
This post is for our Monthly Featured Ingredient Challenge at I Heart Cooking Clubs. December's ingredients are chocolate and/or vanilla. Besides making a dish with the ingredients from our current or past IHCC chefs, it's always fun to go back and highlight some of my favorite recipes with those ingredients from our IHCC chefs.
There were two recipes that featured vanilla (where it was a standout ingredient in the recipe) from past IHCC chefs that stood out to me:
Nigella Lawson's Doughnut French Toast
Ellie Krieger's Very Vanilla Rice Pudding
When it came to recipes featuring chocolate, I had just picked my third Donna Hay recipe to feature and decided to just go with her for my chocolate favorites--so here are five of her recipes that I enjoyed. (The deconstructed tiramisu and the grilled pineapple are both dipped in good chocolate--shavings or melted.) Donna's recipes are always so quick and good--she does chocolate simply and she does it well.
Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu:
Donna Hay's White Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles
Donna Hay's Cheat's Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
Donna Hay's Chocolate French Toast "Sandwiches"
Donna Hay's Caramelized Pineapple Skewers with Dark Chocolate Dipping Sauce
I'm linking this post up with I Heart Cooking Clubs. You can see what chocolate and/or vanilla dishes everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.
I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.
Happy Aloha Friday!