In they days leading up to Valentine’s Day, I came to the resolution that no special baking was going to happen. I was too busy and didn’t really feel like baking anything.
But then on Monday (the day right before Valentine’s day), sometime in the afternoon, the idea hit me. I didn’t have to bake. I didn’t have to get out red food coloring or sprinkles or anything fancy. I just needed to think outside the box (or rather, the chocolate box).
And so was born this chocolate bark. Coconut, almonds and dried cherries are all bound together by deliciously rich dark chocolate. Matches, if you will, that were all made in heaven.
Coconut Almond Cherry Chocolate Bark
Yield: about 20 pieces
3 cups chocolate (about 15 oz)
1 cup almonds, toasted
1 cup coconut, toasted
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla
1. To toast the almonds & coconut: Spread on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 for 6-8 minutes, stirring once or twice. The nuts should smell toasty and the coconut be light golden in parts. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, bring 1-inch of water to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low so the water is at a simmer. Place a large, glass bowl over the boiling water and melt the chocolate.
3. Mix 1/2 of the almonds, coconut and dried cherries into the chocolate. Stir in the tsp of vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture onto a parchment, foil, or silpat-lined baking sheet to 1/4 inch thick.
4. Sprinkle the remaining almonds, coconut and cherries over the chocolate. (You may wish to press them down a bit so they all stick). Let cool until hardened (this took about 3 hours on the counter, you could speed it up to an hour in the fridge).
5. Break the chocolate into individual pieces. Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge.
Source: Anna Maria original, with help from epicurious