‘Tis the season to bake and this recipe is one of our family’s Christmas traditions. This chocolate almond bark and hazelnut bark are a must in our cookie tins and my family and friends always expect a piece at Christmas time. I always made almond bark but then I met M and he’s crazy for hazelnuts so I also make a hazelnut version as well.
This is really easy and the only secret to this recipe is high quality ingredients and a little patience. This recipe has two ingredients: milk chocolate and the nut of your choice. Note to self: the shorter the ingredients list, the higher quality the ingredients because they don’t have anywhere to hide!
I use high quality Swiss chocolate and raw Spanish Marcona almonds. This chocolate almond bark keeps for quite some time in an airtight container so you can make this now and this way you’ll for sure have something when those unexpected guests pop by for coffee.
The other trick to this recipe is a little patience when melting the chocolate. I like to melt the chocolate using the double boiler method (in my kitchen it’s a metal bowl that fits over a pot, sophisticated, I know). You put a couple of fingers of water into the pot and bring it to a very gentle simmer, in other words, on the low setting on your stovetop. Don’t be tempted to boil the water cause weird stuff happens to the chocolate if it gets heated to fast and too high and for some reason it gets messed up. Trust me, I speak from experience and you don’t see the weird stuff until a couple of days after the chocolate is set. If you want this to go faster then make sure you cut your chocolate into really small pieces and that way it melts quickly.
I LOVE Christmas and all the baking that goes on so I’d love to hear what is a must on your Christmas cookie tray. This chocolate bark makes a great gift and you can personalize it to whoever’s tastes so just add whatever you want to the melted chocolate and ENJOY! This recipe is totally trashable with your favourite stuff but I’ve kept it simple cause M is a purist and he’d have a conniption if I added anything else to his beloved Christmas bark.
My Spanish family calls this turrón de chocolate, which is on every Spanish family’s dessert table come Christmas. You can call it whatever you want but just make sure to make it cause your family will thank you.
- 500 gr. / 17.5 oz high quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup of raw and peeled almonds or your favourite nut (raw and peeled), whole
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F to toast the nuts. Toast the nuts for approximately 3 to 5 minutes but make sure to keep a watch because they burn very quickly. You want to toast the nuts until they're light golden brown. Set aside and let cool. It's best you do this step the night before or about an hour ahead of time because you should not add the hot nuts to the melted chocolate because it'll raise the chocolate's temperature and weird stuff will happen to your amazing chocolate.
- Line a brownie pan with aluminum foil.
- Bring about two fingers of water to a very gentle simmer on the stove top. Add the chopped milk chocolate to a metal or glass bowl and set over the gently simmering water.
- Slowly mix the chocolate until melted and remove from the heat. Be careful when you remove the bowl because lots of steam will be released as soon as you lift the bowl off of the pot. Also wipe the bottom of the bowl in order to remove any droplets of water/steam because the melted chocolate will seize if water is added.
- Mix the nuts into the melted chocolate and spread the mixture into the lined brownie pan.
- Set aside until the chocolate has set.
- Break/cut the chocolate into pieces and store in an airtight container.