I’m brainstorming all sorts of sweet, gifting treats for us to make this month, and lemme tell you… it’s an exercise in self-control.
Actually… it’s more like observations in my utter lack of self-control.
This combination of dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and candied ginger makes for an incredibly delicious, mega simple, way decadent holiday gifting treat… or you can personally hoard it for your own cookie jar. Both make good sense.
This recipe comes from the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook. Full of so many delicious things. I’m making Chocolate Caramels next. I won’t be stopped.
This bark is simple and highlights crisp almond flakes, sweet and spicy ginger, and really great chocolate. Sea salt, the fancy kind, enhances the sweet. It’s balance. Simple, happy balance!
If you’re looking for other gift-friendly sweets, here are a few delicious ideas:
Dark chocolate baking wafers. Just a hint of bitterness (like me on a Monday morning).
Melting chocolate can be a frustrating process. Sometimes chocolate will seize as it melts, making that glossy, smooth melted chocolate impossible to achieve.
I’ve had the most luck melting chocolate in the microwave, believe it or not. I place the chocolate pieces in a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 second increments, removing to stir the chocolate after each 30 seconds until glossy and melted to divinity.
The almond slices are mixed with corn syrup, a dash of warm water, and powdered sugar until the sugar dissolves. The nuts are spread on a baking sheet and toasted until irresistibly fragrant and golden brown. Perfect!
If makes sense if you want to eat all the almond just like this. Me too.
The toasted almonds will be in clusters. I didn’t break them up, leaving them mostly in big (delicious) clumps. I tossed candied ginger, sliced thin, with the cooled almond clusters.
I love the way the slight spice in ginger plays with the almonds and dark chocolate, but if you’re ginger-opposed, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or dried apricots would also be fantastic.
Melted chocolate is quickly poured over the almond and ginger mixture and tossed to coat. Chocolate for everyone!
Quick stir and quick spread.
The mixture won’t be entirely smooth as it’s spread. Nothing to fret. The almond and ginger clusters will come to stick together as the chocolate cools.
Sprinkle with fancy sea salt before the chocolate hardens.
Chilled until the chocolate is hardened, broken into big bite-size pieces, and hoarded selfishly… or packed neatly and gifted generously. It’s so so so addictive. Be careful when snacking.
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1/2 cup candied ginger, or any other dried fruit you like, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 1/4 (340 g) cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate baking wafers, Guittard would be the way to go!
- coarse sea salt, for topping
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the almonds, powdered sugar, corn syrup, and water and toss to combine until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the almond mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer, covering the entire sheet.
- Toast the almond mixture for about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- When cool, place in a medium bowl and toss in candied ginger pieces. Place a new piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove from the microwave and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, remove from the microwave and stir. Continue until the chocolate is melted and glossy.
- Quickly stir the completely melted chocolate to the almond and ginger mixture and stir to coat. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared sheet and use an off-set spatula to quickly spread the mixture into an even layer. The shape doesn't have to be perfect. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes then refrigerate until chocolate has hardened, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Break the chocolate bark into pieces, store in an airtight container (or little gift bags or tins) in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.