A simple and delicious holiday treat. Luscious salted dark chocolate wrapped around fresh pomegranate seeds, chewy medjool dates, and crunchy almonds. This bark is a texture lover’s dream!
I have a love/hate relationship with bark.
I’ll admit right now that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate with stuff in it. I love flavoured chocolate — orange, mint, raspberry, hazelnut, peanut butter — and I adore ganache-filled chocolates, but I will often pass on a chocolate bar with other ingredients mixed in. (I’m looking at you, Fruit & Nut Bar.)
At Christmas get-togethers, I’ll slide right over the chocolate bark and grab handfuls of cookies, tarts, and other confectioneries. I probably wouldn’t even go near it if it were the last treat on the table. If I receive bark as a gift, I’ll politely thank them and then drive it straight over to my father who is more than happy to take the offending chocolate off my hands.
I think part of the reason I don’t much like chocolate bark is that I can never find a happy medium. Every single one I’ve tried is either too sweet, too bitter, dried out, too hard, or there’s never enough stuff. Don’t tell me you’ve never had a good-sized hunk of stuffed chocolate and only gotten like 1.6 almonds in it, because that happens to me all the time.
So this year I was on a mission. I was determined to create a chocolate bark that satisfied all my idiosyncrasies. I didn’t want it too sweet or bitter, so I chose to use a good quality dark chocolate. I personally find dark chocolate on the slightly bitter side, so I figured I could get away with putting sweet ingredients in it without it being overwhelming. I also wanted the bark to have a variety of textures. I chose almonds for crunch, pomegranates for a pop of tartness, and dates for that sweet chewiness. I couldn’t have picked a better combination. Enhanced by a little coarse sea salt on top, these flavours work wonders together. I also made sure I used a 2:1 stuff to chocolate ratio to make sure that everyone gets a proper amount of extras!
Finally, a chocolate bark that I would be happy to eat every day. Make some, package it up in cellophane, and give some to your friends for the holidays! Or you could be like me and hoard it all to yourself. No judgement.
- 605g good quality dark chocolate, divided
- 1½ tsp coconut oil, divided
- ½ heaped cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 1¼ cups pomegranate seeds
- 150g medjool dates, chopped (about 9 dates)
- ½ tbsp coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- Line a large baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt 455g of the chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil and then pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate into a thin layer over the parchment paper. Evenly disperse the dates, pomegranate seeds, and almonds over the layer of chocolate. Melt the remaining 150g of chocolate with the ½ teaspoon of coconut oil. Using a large spoon, drizzle the chocolate all over the bark, locking in the fruit and nuts. Sprinkle the sea salt over the bark.
- Place the tray in the refrigerator for 2--3 hours to allow the bark to cool and harden. Break or slice the bark into pieces and serve or package for gifts.
- This bark should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain structure and freshness.