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Wednesday 18 December 2013

Sluttishly Sweet: Chocolate Peppermint Cranberry Bark

If you are having a last minute present panic, or need something a bit swanky to show off with at a Christmas party - look no further. THE BARK is here. Caleigh's already shared her gorgeous simple bark recipe with us. This monumentally epic version is the invention of my mum's friend Judy - I got the recipe off her after losing all my teeth in a glorious explosion of chocolate flavours last Christmas, and she has very kindly let me share with you. It takes peppermint bark up to eleven.

It's completely moreish and looks absolutely beautiful, whether wrapped in cellophane and ribbons, or served at a party alongside mince pie fudge. May the joy of early onset diabetes be yours this festive season!

Three Layer Chocolate Peppermint Cranberry Bark
Makes about 64 pieces

You'll need:
  • 800g white chocolate
  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 1.5 tsp peppermint essence
  • 150ml double cream
  • 10 small peppermint candy canes (smashed into small pieces)
  • 1 pack dried cranberries (cut in half if they're quite large)
Make it!

Re candy canes: I left some artistic chunks, but better just get them down to a powder of shards - it looks prettier, and you don't run the risk of eating a chunk of hardened toothpaste.
  1. Lightly oil some baking parchment and line a baking tray - I sellotaped the back so it didn't shift. 
  2. Melt half the white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  3. Spread your mixture out on the parchment in a rectangle shape. Sprinkle with half the smashed candy canes and half the cranberries. 
  4. Cool in the fridge for about 15 minutes until firm.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the dark chocolate, cream, and peppermint essence in a small saucepan and warm over a medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. 
  6. Remove from heat and let it cool for about five minutes until it's barely lukewarm.
  7. Take the baking sheet out of the fridge, and pour the dark chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle and spread to cover.
  8. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.
  9. Melt  the remaining white chocolate as before, then pour it over the dark chocolate and spread to cover. Don't panic if the chocolates melt into each other a bit, it will all look really pretty. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed candy canes and cranberries before chilling just until firm, about 20 minutes. 
  10. Break up into bits and INHALE wrap up nicely as presents.

Picture from Judy of her beautiful arrangements. Look how neat they are - mine were more like crags of something that sank the Titanic.

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