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Spicy Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt

Chocolate is good for you!  Nuts are protein!  Sea salt is fancy!

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  Even though the holidays are over, you don’t really need an excuse to make this simple recipe.

(almost all of) the ingredients

(This post is brought to you by the bulk foods section at Central Market. :P)

After seeing Victoria‘s brilliant Cookie Dough Bark a couple weeks ago, I started thinking about what sort of not-peppermint-bark I would make.  I love spice and seem to be fond of throwing it into chocolate, so of course my mind went that route. 

dark chocolate is set pouring on the white chocolate

And a confession: I’m not the biggest chocolate snob.

When I bake, I usually use Ghirardelli, which I know is a last resort for some.  However, when I make things like bark, I step it up a bit.  For this, I used El Rey: Gran Saman 70% dark and Icoa 34% white.  No, I’d never had either before, but they sounded good.

Spicy Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt

The result?  Totally worth it.

Spicy Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt

Spicy Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt

I just kind of threw these things together, so of course you can add more or less spice to taste.  Speaking of, if you have access to Vietnamese cinnamon, GET it. Ever since I bought some in November, I’ll never go back to the regular stuff again.

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
8 oz. white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of regular cinnamon)
handful of roughly chopped roasted almonds
sea salt for sprinkling

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.   Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, then stir in the chipotle powder.   Pour onto the center of the parchment, then with a spatula, spread it out into a rectangle.  Stick the pan in the freezer while you work on the next layer.

Melt the white chocolate over low, then stir in the cinnamon.  Take the pan out of the freezer, and pour the white chocolate onto the center of the dark chocolate.  Carefully spread the white chocolate to about 1/4 inch from the edge of the dark chocolate.

Sprinkle the almonds evenly around the bark, then do the same with the sea salt. Put the pan back in the freezer. When set, break into chunks and store in an airtight container.

TIP: For a really smooth bark surface, whack the pan (or drop it) repeatedly against the counter until the streaks from the spatula are gone.  Tada!

Now EAT!

Spicy Bark with Almonds and Sea Salt

(Thanks to my parents for the fun pie plate!)

By the way, Whole Foods/Allegro Coffee has a Mayan-Spiced Mocha right now.  Has anyone tried it?  Since I generally keep sugar and coffee separate, I don’t go for the flavored drinks, but it intrigues me…of course.