6 Ways Christmas Bark

For many people, the holiday bark is synonymous with Christmas. This delicious treat is a chocolate leaf form made from tempered chocolate, which means it has been heated and cooled in order to stabilize it for confectionery making.

The bark perhaps got its name from the fact that it looks like the rough surface of a tree. Some even said he had his roots in french dessert, beggars, which are also served around Christmas in France.

While peppermint bark is certainly the most popular type of bark to eat while on vacation, it may be harder to find this year due to a report. sugar cane shortage. But the sky’s the limit as to the types of supplements you can put in your bark. And while it looks like a complicated confection best left to the pros, the bark is actually quite easy to make.

“The Holiday Bark is a fun, textured chocolate treat that allows everyone to crack the size of the bite they want to eat,” Kathryn Gordon, Pastry & Baking Arts Head Instructor at the Culinary Education Institute TODAY Food said in an email. “It can be made easily with any type of chocolate you prefer, sweet and sour, semi-sweet, milk chocolate or white chocolate, then you can sprinkle the chocolate with a rough filling to make it into a” bark. “If the filling on the chocolate bark is something you particularly enjoy, of course you just want to eat more!”

Gordon said that once you’ve set up your equipment to melt chocolate and get started, you can easily create a variety of flavors with different chocolates and toppings, depending on what you, your friends, and members of your family. family prefer. Add a drizzle on top to create a whimsical holiday finish. “The chocolate treat hardens quickly, and you can then break it into pieces to create an assortment that anyone can try and enjoy,” she said.

To make Christmas bark you will need:

  • A medium saucepan (half filled with water and brought to a boil).
  • A dry stainless steel bowl for melting chocolate in simmering water.
  • A baking sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or waxed paper or foil).
  • A heat resistant silicone spatula to help mix the oil into the chocolate (once it has started to melt).
  • A bowl (or large pot) of ice water that will fit the size of the stainless steel bowl.
  • An offset metal spatula to help you spread the melted chocolate onto the paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Your favorite toppings of your choice.
  • Storage containers for bark (or as a gift).

“A lot of people use a thermometer to make sure they won’t burn chocolate, which is important because ‘real’ chocolate is expensive,” Gordon said. However, if you follow the steps below, you can properly melt and prepare the holiday bark without scorching the chocolate or requiring a thermometer.

How to make Christmas bark:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil then lower the heat so that the water simmers.
  • Place a pound of any type of couverture chocolate (high quality chocolate) you want in a dry stainless steel bowl and place it on the simmering water.
  • Coverage has a percentage on it and can be purchased from many chocolate companies, including Valrhona, Guittard, and Scharffen Berger, at many grocery stores, or ordered from many other companies online. About 70% is generally bittersweet and about 60% is generally considered semi-sweet. If it’s already in small pieces when you buy it (like crisps), just place it in the bowl to melt it. If you need to, cut it with a chef’s knife on a cutting board into ½ pieces.
  • Let the chocolate melt without stirring until it appears half-melted. If steam collects around the bowl, use oven mitts to lift the bowl, lower the heat, then return the bowl to the water.
  • When the chocolate around the rim of the bowl seems to melt, stir gently with a heat-resistant silicone spatula until the chocolate is completely melted. Use the pot holders to remove the bowl from the heat.
  • Using the silicone spatula, stir in 3 tablespoons of neutral oil such as canola, sunflower, safflower, corn or coconut oil until completely blended. . Let some of the mixture drip off the spatula and note that when the chocolate and oil are hot the chocolate will drip again and not form any kind of three-dimensional pattern. This indicates that you are ready to begin cooling the chocolate and oil slightly.
  • Gently mix the chocolate and oil in the bowl over the ice water, being careful not to let the water get into the chocolate and oil mixture. Use the silicone spatula to help cool the mixture evenly. Stir the bowl of chocolate and oil, on and off the ice water, until the chocolate begins to form a pattern when you lift the spatula. This is called making a “ribbon”. If the chocolate and oil still drip into the rest without leaving a pattern, cool it a bit more until it just begins to form a ribbon or three-dimensional drip from the spatula.
  • Dry the bottom of the bowl with a towel so that it does not drip condensed steam into the bark.
  • Scrape the chocolate and oil mixture onto the baking paper. Gently pat the mold to help distribute the chocolate; use the offset metal spatula to help spread if needed
  • Sprinkle the top of the bark evenly as desired with your toppings.
  • Place in the refrigerator until the surface of the chocolate is not shiny.
  • Break into pieces about 4 “long and place in an airtight container in a cool place away from light or heat to store.

Make it yours

“The combinations to customize the bark are limitless,” said Gordon. “Some are classics, like chopped red and green peppermint candy canes or pistachios and cranberries, nonpareilles or red or green sprinkles, or even green and red M & M’s. Others are starting to get more expressive. : mini marshmallows and chopped brownie pieces for a variation of manners, or maybe a Christmas pudding with an assortment of dried fruits and candied ginger. ” Gordon said if you like jelly candies, or gelatin bears, or more salty snacks like pretzels, nuts or pignoli, go for it!

More ways to add flavor

It is possible to incorporate inclusion, a dry additive that works with your filling, like ground cinnamon and ginger with dried fruit for a full Christmas pudding effect, into the chocolate when the oil is incorporated, a Gordon said. “It won’t make it as shiny, but that’s usually okay as you’ll be decorating the top with the bark.”

“You can add white chocolate matcha powder, milk chocolate curry, and a dry spice like sweet and sour or semi-sweet chocolate cardamom quite effectively,” she said. “The correct amount to add will vary depending on flavor. For a very strong flavor, like chipotle pepper, I recommend ¼ teaspoon per pound of chocolate, but you can go up to 1 teaspoon per pound of chocolate. for something like an espresso And if you want to get super fancy, you can drizzle the leftover chocolate from making a white or milk chocolate bark over a bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate bark, and vice versa ! “

Ready to be the party hit with your own bark? Here are some other recipes to try:

Discovery +

Salted pretzels and toasted hazelnuts are tossed into melted chocolate, then garnished with crushed freeze-dried red strawberries and green pistachios in this funky recipe.

Marbled peppermint bark

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Bursting with chocolate and mint, this bark makes a great holiday gift.

3 Ways Microwave Chocolate Bark

Grace Parisi / TODAY

You can use a microwave instead of a double boiler with this easy recipe.

Dark chocolate almond rind with cherries and ginger

Vegan Vegetarian Omnivorous

Toasted almonds, tart cherries and a tangy touch of ginger give this simple rind a complex flavor.

Pomegranate and Ginger Chocolate Bark


The antioxidant-rich pomegranate arils and fragrant ginger make this bark extra special.

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