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Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds

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Yields about 2 lb.

Salty almonds meet deep, dark chocolate in this festive party nibble. If you can’t find Spanish Marcona almonds, which are generally sold salted, use toasted blanched almonds and add a good pinch of salt to the brittle.

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 9 oz. Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped and sifted
  • 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Make the almond brittle

Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Put the sugar in a 2-quart heavy-duty saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and swirl (don’t stir) to moisten. Cover and boil over high heat until starting to turn golden around the edges, about 4 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, swirling occasionally, until the caramel is deep amber, 3 to 4 minutes more. Stir in half of the nuts. Pour the mixture onto the foil-covered baking sheet, and spread to 1/8 inch thick. Cool completely at room temperature.

Peel the brittle off the foil, chop coarsely, and sift through a medium-fine sieve to remove the extra-small pieces and the brittle dust, which will make the chocolate bark too sweet. At this point, you can proceed with making the bark, or store the brittle in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a week.

Make the chocolate bark

Line two 8x8-inch pans with foil. In a 12-inch skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Put the chocolate in a dry stainless-steel bowl that fits in the skillet and put the bowl in the simmering water bath. Stir until most of the chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the water—be careful not to get any water in the chocolate—and stir until smooth. Stir in the remaining almonds and the almond brittle.

Divide the chocolate mixture between the prepared pans, making sure that none of the brittle is exposed. (The brittle will sweat and soften if not coated in chocolate.) Shake the pan a little to level the chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Turn out the bark and remove the foil. Cut into small, rustic pieces and refrigerate for up to 1 week before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 65; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Pernille Pedersen

Excellent and this may have gotten the most compliments at the holiday party even up against the croquembouche. The Marcona almonds and brittle added a lot and will keep this a standard for parties and gifts.

I have made this several times. I don't bother with the brittle, just chop up the almonds and add to the melted chocolate. Delicious.

Layers of flavor: the olive oil and salt of the Marcona almonds, carmelized sugar, bittersweet chocolate. Sophisticated chocolate! Gave as Christmas gifts-people loved it.

This is so ridiculously good. We had 28 people for our party and all of them commented on how awesome it was. There wasn't any left after the party! The bark is addictively deep and rich and goes so well with prosecco. We just couldn't get enough of it. For more about the party where we featured this menu, check out cookthestory.wordpress.com

Addictive. Yes, refrigierate until needed, but it develops complexity as it warms to room temperature, when it becomes awesome.

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