Leftover Easter Egg Salted Nut Bark
Remember when chocolate pretzels came to the UK? I do. I begged my mum to buy them, and eventually she relented. What was this foul salty, salty biscuit combo? Bah, be GONE. I didn’t hear about chocolate and salt again until The Great Salted Caramel Revolution of 2006. Now even Cadbury’s are at it.
One recipe that caught my StorrCupboard leftover radar on my first flick through of Sue’s ‘Cocoa’ book was the chocolate bark. Leftover Easter chocolates and crisps and nuts all used up all at once?! Making a virtue of the hot mess of all those random chocolates? Luckily, I have embraced salt & chocolate. It works because the salt sharpens the other flavours that make up our experience of chocolate. And this works for leftover Easter chocolate (or Christmas, when some weirdos don’t want to eat the strawberry creams or pralines) because you are melting and mixing chocolate and using strong flavours to top the bark.
But, why are we talking about using up all this cheap chocolate? Surely it’s just full of sugar, fat and crap? Well yes – but there’s a lot more to the cost of cocoa that the price of your egg or chocolate bar. Farmers in countries such as Guyana and Equatorial Guinea earn around 78 American Cents a day or less. About 90p a day. Cocoa farming is a difficult skill and farmers are not fairly paid; most are too poor to ever have even tasted chocolate. The situation is too complex for me to write about here but respect the farmer’s work and don’t waste the food. I highly recommend Sue’s book to learn more about the problem. Yf you have a deeper interest, the amazing ‘Bread, Wine, Chocolate’ by Simran Sethi is excellent.
Salty. Crunchy. Easy. A zero-food-waste hoover. Make your chocolate bark to mix up the chocolates you don’t like and respect the work of each farmer along the way.
Leftover Chocolate Bark
Recipe from 'Cocoa' by Sue Quinn, Hardy Grant, p 232
- at least 100 grams chocolate
Potential toppings; use a total of 10 grams to every 100 grams of chocolate
- peanuts/any nuts/crisps
- salt crystals/crushed peppercorns/chilli flakes
- chopped dried fruit
- chopped biscuits/biscuit crumbs/dried cake crumbs
- Butter or dampen the baking tray and line with greaseproof paper
- Chop the chocolate roughly and place into the heatproof bowl
- Place the saucepan on the hob and bring about 5cm of water to a simmer; place the bowl on the pan and make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water (lift the bowl up and see if it's wet). If it is, just pour a little water down the sink.
- Gently stir the chocolate as it melts
- As the chocolate melts, chop up any of the toppings you're going to use
- Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the lined tray and spread it around using your wooden spoon. If you have an off-set spatula, if can help.
- Sprinkle the toppings over and place in the fridge to set (takes a couple of hours). When totally set cut into shards.
- Store at room temperature in a lidded container.