Holiday time is filled with glistening lights, beautifully decorated towns, and inviting city streets. It also happens to be the time Sydney and I raise the baking bar; it is the time of year we spend hours upon hours designing exquisite desserts that challenge the years past. It is competitively fun. I will let you in on a family secret; Sydney and DF claim I am extremely completive (against myself). However I will never accept it. I am a true definition of an oxymoron I believe that I am ambitious, but could care less about the competition.
Sydney and I create precious gift boxes for Christmas, without exception, every year. I wanted to to design Christmas bark unlike any years past; Sydney thought if we layered ivory chocolate with bittersweet chocolate it would create a unique look and the addition of the red and green fruit/nuts would be festive. Dried cherries and cranberries with the addition of pistachio nuts did the trick. I wanted the bark to be uniform so we built the the bark in a mini florentiners flexipan.
Bobbie & Sydney’s Fancy Holiday Bark:
- 340 grams/ 1 -1/2 cups white chocolate
- 170/ 3/4 cup grams bittersweet chocolate
- 90 gram/ ½-cup dried cranberries, chopped coarse
- 90 grams/ ½ -cup dried cherries, chopped coarse
- 61 grams/ ½-cup pistachios, shelled and chopped coarse
Prepare your mise en place.
Prepare the flexipan by placing it on a jelly roll pan.
The chocolates will need to be tempered. I have found it is easier to temper if you melt the chocolate ¾ of the way, remove from heat, and stir with a rubber spatula (heat resistant). Add about 40 grams of each chocolate after the chocolate has been stirred and becomes smooth. Repeat and stir with the spatula till the chocolate registers between 26 to 28 degrees C/ 82 to 84 degrees F. For the dark chocolate the temperature should register between 28 and 32 degrees C/ 84 to 90 degrees F.
Prepare two double boilers or Bain Maries.
As the chocolate melts, check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 82 and 86 degrees F. If it starts to rise above this temperature, quickly transfer the chocolate to the bowl on reserve and stir quickly to reduce the heat. Return the bowl to the double boiler to maintain heat between 82 and 86 degrees F.
Using a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon add the ivory chocolate to the flexipan, place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.
Once the ivory chocolate has set measure 1-teaspoon of the bittersweet chocolate per disk, starting in the middle, and allowing the bittersweet chocolate to spread naturally. Place the flexipan back into the refrigerator for another 20 minutes to fully set and until it becomes hard.
When the bittersweet chocolate has set, flattened and harden repeat the process with the ivory chocolate again using a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon, filling the middle, allowing the ivory chocolate to naturally spread to the edges. Add the dried cherries, cranberries, and pistachios. Place in the refrigerator for 20 to 25 minutes.
Store your fancy bark disks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow the bark to come to room tempature prior to serving.