My four letter happy word I want to share with you today is: bark. Starting from the bottom you’ll find a dark chocolate layer kicked up with a bit of cherry extract and then for a more teeth grabbing bit of black forest authenticity, I added Kirsch soaked dried cherries. Providing a textural interruption between the black and pink chocolate layers are chocolate wafers. Pink? Yes, pink. That’s white chocolate lightly dyed for some whimsy and decorated for a final touch.
So this is going to be short.
Like goodbye-now short, since I know most of are probably in the middle of Thanksgiving day planning and prep.
Enjoy the Black Forest Bark!
A few notes:
- White chocolate can easily become scorched in a matter of seconds, so don’t multi-task while melting it.
- I know many of you like exact measurements but for the food coloring portion I wrote the recipe as 1-4 drops. It’s hard to measure a drop and since there are a variety of brands with varying shades (I used Americolor’s Hot Pink), two drops for one brand may equate to three drops for another brand. That said, start slow when coloring the white chocolate. It’s always easier to add more color as needed-impossible to remove it if you been heavy handed with dying it.
- To add a crunchy layer of texture I used these chocolate wafers from Nabisco, if those are unavailable where you are chocolate graham crackers or cocoa pebbles will work just as well.
- To keep a nice sharp edge while cutting the bark: (1) Use a really sharp knife and press the blade’s tip into the bark and then bring the remainder of the blade down into the bark. Depending on the kind of knife you use, most blades are shaped at an angle, so don’t bring the knife down in one push, the uneven pressure will crack the bark. (2) After the bark has set in the refrigerator bring it to room temperature before cutting. This will soften the chocolate and make for easy cutting. If the bark starts to spilt or bits start to chip off as you cut the bark is still too cold to cut. That said, keep in mind you will most likely still have some tiny shards of chocolate.
Black Forest Bark
Makes one 8×8 pan | Preparation: Line pan with parchment or wax paper.
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup Kirsch
- 9 oz dark chocolate 65% cacao; plus 1oz for top finish
- ¼ teaspoon cherry extract
- 7 oz white chocolate
- 1-4 drops of pink food coloring
- Place dried cherries in a bowl and pour Kirsch on top and then toss to coat. Set coated cherries aside to soak for at least 10-15 minutes. Drain any excess Kirsch not absorbed.
- Place dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over (not on) simmering water and stir until melted. Add in cherry extract and stir to combine. Pour half of the melted chocolate into a parchment lined 8×8 pan. Using an offset icing spatula smooth out chocolate until an even layer is achieved. Sprinkle soaked cherries on top of chocolate. Place chocolate wafers on top of cherries layer and pour remaining half of dark chocolate on top. Place pan in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes for chocolate to become slightly harden.
- Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over (not on) simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Dip toothpick or skewer in pink food coloring and then dip it into the white chocolate; stir to combine. Continue to add color as needed until preferred shade is achieved. Remove pan with chilled dark layer and pour melted white chocolate on top. Using an offset icing spatula smooth out chocolate until an even layer is achieved.
Finishing top pattern:
- Place remaining 1 oz chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave. Transfer melted chocolate into a Ziplock baggie and cut a small hole in the corner or fill chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a size 2 round tip and pipe straight horizontal lines across from left to right over pink chocolate layer. Using a the tip of a knife or skewer drag it vertically through the pink lined chocolate from top to bottom. Return the fully assembled bark to the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes or until bark is fully set.