(Another holiday recipe from the archives! I make this every year, and wanted to share again in case you are looking for more Christmas treats. xx)
Okay. So I’m posting about peppermint and chocolate again. But it’s Christmas, and I have a lot of holiday baking to do. And this chocolate bark was so delicious that I assumed you would want to make it, too. For instance, you might want to give this out to friends and neighbors, or bring to the office. And all those holiday parties you don’t want to miss? What a nice little something to slip into your host’s hands, along with that bottle of wine.
Or, of course, you could make it with really good intentions, then set it in your fridge, or your secret chocolate stash spot (try to find mine. You can’t.) and then nibble away at it little by little when your husband is at band practice or your little ones are supposed to be napping. You can pretend it’s a little present to yourself: a sweet chocolate gift sprinkled with peppermint and more chocolate. Merry Christmas, you.
adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1998
Note: make sure the middle layer (the one with the heavy cream) is really really firm before you spread the white chocolate on top – otherwise you will get dark chocolate smudges in your pristine white layer. I chopped my peppermint candy in a food processor so the pieces were very small – I find it’s easier to eat.
8 ounces (226g) bittersweet chocolate 60-70%, finely chopped
3 candy canes, coarsely crushed (or a handful of peppermint candies, crushed)
8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
8 ounces (226g) good white chocolate, finely chopped
With a pencil, measure out and mark a 9- by 13-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Flip the parchment over (so the pencil marks are on the bottom), and then place the paper on a baking sheet.
Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth (about 110 degrees). Remove the chocolate from the heat, and then pour it onto the rectangle on the parchment. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate to fill in the rectangle. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract. Warm over the barely simmering water again, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and pour the semi-sweet chocolate mixture over the first chocolate rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the semi-sweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 40 minutes.
In a clean bowl, warm the white chocolate over barely simmering water, until the chocolate reaches 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm semi-sweet layer, using a clean icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.
Carefully lift the parchment from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles.
Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax or parchment paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator.
Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. The bark should last 2 or more weeks.