This is one of the perfect holiday gifts to give. I mean, who doesn’t love to receive chocolate? And if we are going to be eating chocolate, why not cover it with healthy superfoods like nuts, seeds and dried fruit? Somehow it makes me feel better knowing that the toppings are all really good for me! This bark has such a great crunch from the nuts and seeds, and has the added chewy sweetness from the dried fruit.

When I buy the dark chocolate for the bark, I look for high quality dairy-free dark chocolate with a 70% – 85% cacao level. Organic and fair-trade bars are ideal.

Superfood Dark Chocolate Bark
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
– 8-10 ounces high-quality dark chocolate
– 1/4 cup each of toppings of choice, including: chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried goji berries, chopped dried pineapple, chopped dried mango, and currants.

Directions
1. Chop your chocolate bars and melt 3/4 of it it in a double broiler. (If you don’t have a double broiler, heat water to a low boil in a pan and put a metal or ceramic bowl on top and melt the chocolate in that.) Heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Dark chocolate can be heated to 110° F. You don’t want to burn your chocolate, so keep a close eye on it.
2. Once your chocolate is melted, take it off the heat and then stir in the remaining 1/4 of the chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted. Doing this will cool and temper your chocolate.
3. Next, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spoon the melted chocolate in circular shapes over the parchment.
4. Before the chocolate melts, place the nuts and fruit on your bark. I prefer to do this in batches of 4 at a time to make sure the chocolate doesn’t melt before I get the toppings on. (You could also pour the chocolate out onto the parchment paper and spinkle with toppings. Once cooled, you would then break apart the chocolate into pieces.)
3. Allow your bark come to room temperature. You can also pop it in the refrigerator to speed up the process. If you’re packaging the bark for gift giving store in a cool spot.

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About the Author

Claudia Laffin

Claudia Laffin is a food photographer and owner of The Traveling Spoon Personal Chef, serving clients in and around Asheville, North Carolina. She has been a health food advocate and natural lifestyle follower for over 20 years. During that time she enjoyed working in numerous stores in the health food industry, including Earth Fare! Claudia’s desire to bring health food to more people motivated her to start her personal chef business. She loves cooking healthy, organic, non processed and delicious food for busy families in their own homes and helping them find a path to a healthier life. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see what new things she’s cooking up!