Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chocolate Bark with Pecans & Aronia Berries



This week I have been experimenting with an amazing new-to-me superfood called Aronia berries. These tiny little berries are nothing short of astounding! They contain agents that make them anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-diabetic. They fight the formation of plaque in arteries, lower cholesterol, are natural cancer fighters, fight Crohn’s disease, inhibit HIV, and preliminary studies have shown that they may prove helpful in slowing the growth of a form of fatal brain cancer. That is one tall order. The other good thing is that they are really delicious. Small, and with the texture of raisins, they are both sweet and tart -- but not too tart -- at the same time. I gingerly tasted one, and then could have gobbled up the entire container.

I'll be sharing other recipes using this amazing berry, but today, in what appears to be the midst of the Monsoon season here in the Mississippi Valley, I felt like chocolate.

There really is nothing to making chocolate bark. A good quality chocolate is a necessity and, if you want to keep in the healthy vein, the darker the chocolate the better. Me? I like a rather even mix of really, really dark chocolate and milk chocolate. The flavor is rich and delicious, but the bitterness of dark chocolate is tempered by the addition of the milk chocolate.

Chocolate Bark with Pecans & Aronia Berries

6 oz. block of dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher)
6 oz. block of milk chocolate
1/2 cup broken pecans, toasted
1/4 cup
Melissa's dried Aronia berries

Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper; set aside.

Place the blocks of chocolate on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, chop, or shave it into thin pieces. Put the chocolate into a medium saucepan and melt, over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until chocolate has cooled.

Pour chocolate onto parchment paper. Using an offset spatula, spread it out as thinly as you like.

Scatter top with nuts and berries, pressing them down lightly with the tips of your fingers if some threaten to go astray.

Allow to harden at room temperature (which can take a while) or pop into the fridge for 30-40 minutes.

Cut into irregular pieces with a pizza cutter.

Enjoy the delicious taste and the health benefits. What could be better?
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5 comments:

Linda said...

Your chocolate looks so smooth and yummy. Do you have a favorite brand?
I am not a raisin fan, I do like Craisins - are they similar to those?

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I use Valrhona chocolate, Linda, and if you like craisins, you will like these. They are so much better than craisins, and scads better for you.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I will look for those berries at the market. Probably Sprouts will carry them. I have never heard of them before. Thanks so much for the information.
Mary

Melissas Produce said...

Mary - If you can't find them in Sprouts, you could always order them directly from us: http://www.melissas.com/Dried-Aronia-Berries-p/1440.htm

We're glad to take care of you. =)

CJ Huang said...

Don't you love those types of foods - healthy, but also yummy? Loving this bark! Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds!