You absolutely have to try making this irresistible dark chocolate bark with nuts and dried cherries. Rich, velvety dark chocolate melting in your mouth, perfectly complemented by the crunchy, nutty goodness of nuts and tangy dried cherries. They add a pop of tartness that balances out the sweetness just perfectly.
I think this bark makes a great gift for the holidays and is nice to keep on hand for company. Of course, it’s also good to keep all for yourself if you want. I promise, I won’t tell:)
If you don’t have much experience melting chocolate, see this video.
Ingredients and Notes
Choose Quality Chocolate: Buy high-quality chocolate bars or chips made with cocoa butter. Avoid compound chocolate (ie, craft store “candy melts”), chocolate chips with stabilizers, old or bloomed chocolate, and flavored chocolate.
Mix-ins: I used mixed nuts and dried cherries, but the possibilities are numerous! Instead of nuts, consider using seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds for a nut-free option, providing a similar crunch and texture. Alternatively, pretzels or cereal such as rice crispies can add a satisfying crunch. As a replacement for dried cherries, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apricots offer a similar sweet-tart flavor profile.
Other mix-in ideas include mini marshmallows, chopped candy bars, candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms, crushed cookies (hello, Oreos!), or shredded coconut.
Aim for about 1 cup of mix-ins for this recipe.
Step by Step
This couldn’t be easier to make. The hardest part is melting the chocolate and ensuring it doesn’t seize, which happens when water is added or when you heat it too quickly or too much.
After your chocolate has melted, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl with the chocolate, stir gently, and spread on your prepared baking sheet.
To avoid seizing chocolate, whether using a microwave or stovetop, always ensure utensils and surfaces are dry before melting. Use low heat on the stovetop, stirring constantly, or microwave in short intervals, stirring between each, until just melted and no longer.
Tips & Tricks
Use a Double Boiler or Microwave: Melt the chocolate gently using a double boiler or microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently. Avoid overheating, as it can cause the chocolate to seize. You can melt the chocolate without a double boiler but you have to be careful to use very low heat and stir very often.
Stir in Add-Ins: Once your chocolate is melted, fold in your chosen toppings like nuts, dried fruits, crushed cookies, or candies. Make sure they’re well-distributed for even flavor.
Line Your Pan: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a silicone baking mat. This prevents the bark from sticking and makes for easy removal.
Spread Evenly: Pour the melted chocolate mixture onto the prepared pan and spread it evenly using a spatula. Aim for a uniform thickness.
Chill for Set: Place the pan in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set. This usually takes at least 1 hour.
Break Into Pieces: Once the chocolate is completely set, break it into irregular pieces using your hands or a knife. Embrace the rustic, uneven look.
Water Contact: Keep chocolate dry at all times. Even a drop of water can cause it to seize and become grainy. Use dry utensils and equipment.
Incompatible Add-Ins: Some ingredients, like frozen fruits, may release moisture and seize the chocolate.
Other Chocolate Recipes
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Easy Homemade Dark Chocolate Bark
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- 7.5 ounces dark chocolate (I used 85%)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts chopped (I used almonds, cashews and pistachio mix)
- 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if nuts are unsalted)
- Melt chocolate in the microwave using a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl; heat in 30-second increments, stirring very well after each minute until melted (stirring will help the chocolate melt).
- If you have not melted chocolate before, see link in my post about melting chocolate since overheating will cause the chocolate to seize up and be ruined.
- When the chocolate has melted, add the remaining ingredients and stir well to incorporate.
- Spread the chocolate mixture (about 1/4 inch thick) on top of the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or at room temperature if it's not too warm in your kitchen.
To Store the Chocolate Bark
- Once your chocolate bark has fully set, break it into pieces and store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources to prevent melting or blooming (the appearance of white spots on the chocolate).
- Chocolate bark can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- If your kitchen is particularly warm, you may want to store it in the refrigerator to prevent melting.
- If you refrigerate, please make sure to bring the bark to room temperature before serving to avoid condensation on the surface.
- For longer-term storage, you can freeze chocolate bark in an airtight container for 2-3 months after it has been completely cooled. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.