I made candied orange peel for the first time last year and loved it. This year, I decided to make a double batch and use it for Christmas stollen, today’s recipe (Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange Peels), and general nibbling.
Today’s recipe has its own instructions for making candied orange peel, but I just went with the tried-and-true process from last year. If you already have candied orange peel (homemade or store-bought, really), this recipe is a fast way to turn out a really elegant, edible holiday gift.
Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange Peels
Adapted from FoodandWine.com
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bars)
3/4 cup candied orange peel
1/2 cup shelled, salted pistachios
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a double boiler set over a pot of simmering water, heat the bittersweet chocolate until two-thirds melted. Remove from the heat. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted and registers about 90°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Spread the warm chocolate on the parchment paper to a rough 9-x-13-inch rectangle. Working quickly, so the chocolate doesn’t set, scatter the orange peels and pistachios evenly over the melted chocolate. Gently tap the cookie sheet on the work surface to flatten the chocolate and allow the toppings to sink in slightly. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, just until firm. Cut or break the bark into 2-inch pieces and serve.
Heavenly! This bark is a chocolate-y, salty, and sweet treat. The original recipe calls for unsalted pistachios, but the salt adds so much to the flavor profile. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
Plus, the bark is just gorgeous for gift giving. I didn’t think it would break very evenly since the orange peel is chewy, so I cut mine with a santoku knife. I really like the look of the hard edges. I’m making this one again!
TIPS: I was worried that my chocolate wouldn’t melt completely (we’ve all been there, right?), so I think I let it melt a bit too long in the double boiler. This didn’t hurt the chocolate, but it did get pretty warm (about 120°F) and took some time to come down in temperature. After extended stirring and letting it fall in ribbons to cool it down, my patience ended when the chocolate hit 97°F. I was afraid that it might be a bit too loose and spread too far, but everything turned out just fine.
Also, if you don’t know what a double boiler is or want to rig up your own at home, check out this post.
Recipe links: Candied Orange Peel and Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange Peel (the original)