Smoked Salt, Dried Apricot and Almond Chocolate Bark

Makes 1 pound

This sophisticated candy from Portland author Diane Morgan makes an outstanding holiday gift. There are only four ingredients, so make sure your nuts and fruit are fresh, and that you use a good-quality chocolate. The tempering process, which gives the chocolate a glossy finish and the proper snap when broken, isn’t complicated, but you’ll need to be precise and keep an instant-read thermometer at hand.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped apricots
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (at least 64 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons coarse smoked salt

Instructions

Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the almonds and apricots.

Place three-quarters of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or in a metal bowl set over (not touching) barely simmering water, and stir occasionally until melted. (Be careful that no water drips into the chocolate, or it will seize.) Check the temperature of the chocolate; it should be about 115 degrees (heat briefly, if necessary). Place the bowl or the top of the double boiler on a towel. Add remaining chocolate and stir constantly until it is completely melted and smooth, and chocolate drops to just below 84 degrees. At this point, very slowly and carefully heat the chocolate, bringing the temperature back to 88 to 90 degrees. The chocolate is now tempered and ready to spread.

Working quickly and using an offset spatula, spread chocolate in an even layer about 1/4-inch thick on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Evenly scatter the apricots and almonds over the chocolate, then gently press them in so they adhere. Immediately sprinkle salt over the top. Set aside in a cool, dry spot to harden, about 1 hour. Break into irregular pieces.

Make ahead: This bark can be enjoyed for up to 1 month when stored in a cool, dry place.

NUTRITION

Calories

185

Total Fat 13.7 g

Sat. Fat 7.5 g

Cholest. 0.0 mg

Sodium 193 mg

Total Carb. 16.8 g

Protein 3.0 g

Fiber 3.6 g

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