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.
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.
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Photo: Pernille Pedersen