Recipe from Sebastián Cisneros, Cocanú Chocolate
Yield: Approximately 1 pound
I know what you’re thinking. Pop Rocks? In a book on high-end chocolate? Absolutely! The fun punch of Pop Rocks adds an extra element to this chocolate bark, making an irresistible treat. For the uninitiated, chocolate bark is a sheet of solid chocolate covered in nuts, dried fruit, or whatever you’d like, broken into bite-size pieces for you to munch on. This recipe mixes the extra ingredients right into the bark. It comes from Cocanú Chocolate in Portland, Oregon, a bean-to-bar maker that deviates from the single-origin norm by including ingredients like bee pollen, fernet, and Palo Santo wood. Founder Sebastián Cisneros calls this Pop Rocks and cocoa nibs bar Moonwalk, and there’s definitely an astronaut quality to the whole thing. Sebastián suggests using bright Madagascar chocolate and cocoa nibs, because the high acidity cuts the sweetness of the Pop Rocks. You can find roasted cocoa nibs from many bean-to-bar makers these days. Pop Rocks, on the other hand, can be tricky to find in grocery stores; online is probably your best bet.
Chocolate bark is a fun trick to have in your bag, and it’s definitely a way to add some creativity to your chocolate repertoire. Try substituting the Pop Rocks and cocoa nibs in this recipe with your favorite inclusions: almonds, dried cherries, anything.
- 14 ounces dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cocoa), chopped
- 1-3/4 ounces roasted cocoa nibs
- 4 packs Pop Rocks (38 grams total)
- 6- x 8-inch sheet pan
- Temper the chocolate.
- Line a 6- × 8-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the cocoa nibs and Pop Rocks into the tempered chocolate.
- Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it around with a spatula.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Once the chocolate is solid, peel off the parchment paper and break the chocolate into smaller portions. You can store the bark in an airtight container at room temperature, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks. Or, if you’re like me, just eat it immediately.
Untempered Chocolate Bark
You don’t technically have to temper chocolate to make bark. If you don’t, you’ll have to store the resulting bark in the freezer, to keep it from blooming, and then let it warm to room temperature piece by piece as you eat it. But if that doesn’t bother you, here’s how to do it: Rather than tempering the chocolate, simply melt it in a double boiler or microwave. Then follow the directions above, adding the mix-ins, pouring evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, letting cool in the refrigerator, and then transferring to the freezer.
If you’re having trouble finding a sheet pan so small, try a pan from your toaster oven. Or, if you’re in dire straits, you can pour the mixture on a larger sheet, taking care not to let it spread to the edges. The resulting bark might be a bit thinner, but it will still taste good.
More from Bean to Bar Chocolate:
Excerpted from Bean to Bar Chocolate by Megan Giller. Photography by © Jody Horton. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.