December 08, 2013
It’s a good day when you make candy and it works out so well. The first time I ever attempted to make bark didn’t go so well, but with a little trial and error, I was able to get it just right. We love bark around the holidays. Actually, we love bark all year round, but we try to limit ourselves to eating it just around the holidays =) (for obvious reason). To try to limit the amount of dollars we spend on the store-bought stuff, I decided to make my own this year. I’ll have a peppermint bark recipe up sometime this week, but I wanted to post this guy first. The reason? Because I think it’s the best holiday bark ever. Ever. This holiday bark tastes like cake, and when cake and candy come together, it’s a really, really good day. Bark is super fun. It’s super easy, and if you are patient, you’ll get the perfect consistency. With the holidays right around the corner, you will definitely want to whip up a batch of this bark to throw in your cookie tins. We paired it with the prefect brew so read ahead for the recipe!
Weather: I’m actually driving through the Sierras right now. Well, I’m not technically driving. That would be bad if I were typing and driving. Zach is driving. It’s a beautiful day with snow covered peeks and pines. It’s just beautiful. I love it when I can blog and watch the mountains roll by at the same time =).
Recipe Fun Facts:
Bark is pretty simple to make, but you have to be patient, and you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Melting chocolate can be annoying, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake. Personally, I think the best way to melt chocolate is low and slow over a double boiler (see recipe below for how to do this). You CAN do it in the microwave as well. Just make sure you only heat in 40 second increments, stirring after each 40 second interval until all has melted.
Freezing/chilling is 100% necessary when making bark. You can let it set at room temperature, but it will take FOREVER. Use your freezer. You can also refrigerate it in order to get the chocolate to set, but this will also take a little bit more time.
MAKE SURE YOU LET THE DARK CHOCOLATE SET COMPLETELY before you pour the white chocolate in top. Once you have poured the white chocolate, act quickly. The heat from the white chocolate could melt the dark chocolate underneath if you take your good old time. Once you have done this, place it immediately back in the freezer or refrigerator. I put mine on my back patio. Ha! It has been sooooo cold in Colorado, and by cold, I mean in the negatives. Talk about instant freeze on my bark! It was amazing! If you don’t have the luxury of experiencing negative digits, then the freezer will work just fine =).
It’s a really really really good day when I can pair my recipes with a beer that I can’t get in Colorado. Zach was super awesome when he was in the PA/NJ area last week and brought back some delicious brews that we can’t get here. In this little package, he brought New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk. Now, I have had Dragon’s Milk before, but only at the Great American Beer Festival. I was super excited to finally have a bottle. It’s the little things in life I tell ya. It’s a bourbon barrel stout, and it certainly lives up to it’s name. It’s perfect with desserts, especially chocolate…and especially especially with this cake batter bark. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it, or those of you who have tried it! Lucky lucky.
Enjoy the rest of your weekends everyone!
Holiday Cake Batter Bark
This cake batter bark is just the kind of sweetness you crave to get you through the Holidays.
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
14 ounces white chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons yellow cake mix (store-bought)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
holiday sprinkles, of your choice
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Create two double boilers by bringing two medium-sized saucepans of shallow water to a simmer. Place two heat safe bowls on top of each simmering pan (without letting the bottom of the bowls touch the water.
- In one bowl, add the dark chocolate. Melt over the double boiler, stirring frequently. As soon as the dark chocolate has melted, pour it onto your prepared baking sheet. Even it out to a thin layer with a rubber spatula. Place in the freezer to set (about 15-20 minutes – or longer as needed).
- While the dark chocolate is melting, prepare the white chocolate. Add the white chocolate to the second bowl of your double boiler. Stir it frequently until it has melted. While the bowl still rests on the double boiler, whisk in the cake mix and the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and no lumps remain. Remove the chocolate from heat and let cool down for just 1 minute.
- Remove the dark chocolate from the freezer, and gently pour the white chocolate on top of the now hard dark chocolate. Act quickly, and smooth the white chocolate out with a rubber spatula until it is about 1/4 – 1/2 of an inch thick. Immediately sprinkle sprinkles on top of the white chocolate and place in the freezer immediately to freeze and set for about 1 hour.
- Remove the bark from the freezer, and break into pieces or cut with a very sharp knife.
- Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- Hardware: * 2 Medium Saucepans * 2 Heat Proof Bowls * Rubber Spatulas * Wooden Spoons * Whisk * Baking Sheet * Parchment Paper * Measuring Spoons *
- Inactive Time: 2 hours