Peppermint Bark, and More Science!

4 Jan

I feel kind of silly writing this post since it’s so easy to make this stuff, but sometimes it helps to have a little step-by-step situation in your kitchen when making something for the first time.

Some think of this as a tutorial rather than I recipe, I guess.

So chocolate ratios:

  • 8 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 8 oz white chocolate

In other words, the same amount of chocolate for both kinds.

Wow.

For that amount of chocolate, you should use about four or five candy canes, smashed into pieces small enough that you feel comfortable breaking your teeth on them.

DSC_0057

 

So chop the chocolate up for better melting.  Also, make sure you buy really nice white chocolate.  I know it’s expensive and you’re going to want to go for the cheapest bar on the shelf.  However!

White chocolate isn’t really chocolate.  It’s pretty much just milk fat and butter and mysterious solids.  As a consequence, it’s very hard to melt.  Also, do not, do not, do not buy white chocolate chips because those are actually made not to melt.  See, when manufacturers make chips, they make them unmeltable so that they hold their shape in the cookies.

Buy bars, and buy good ones.

Milk, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate are much easier to melt.  Again, don’t buy chips as I said above.  Also, be careful of overheating the chocolate, because it will seize at super high temperature and become a giant lump.  This has happened and made me really really sad.   Really.

So what you do, then, is melt the semi-sweet chocolate first in a double boiler of your design.  Or an actual double boiler if you have one of those.

DSC_0061

 

Pour it onto a baking pan, or ideally a SilPat (how do you spell that), or a bendy cutting board as I did.

I just want you all to know, by the way, that my dad is watching The Day After Tomorrow at top volume behind me, and I’m writing about peppermint bark, which suddenly feels highly undramatic.

Not that it felt dramatic before but the contrast is comical, okay?

Maybe you have to be here.

Anyway.  Refrigerate the semi-sweet while you melt the white.  Allow it to cool for a few minutes, stirring in most of the peppermint pieces, before pouring over the semi-sweet.  It can’t be too hot, and the semi-sweet can’t be frozen solid because then the layers will separate.  If the white is pretty warm and the semi-sweet is pretty cool, they’ll melt together when you pour the white on.

Finally, sprinkle the rest of the peppermint on top and press down gently with your fingers so the pieces don’t fall off.

DSC_0067

 

Refrigerate again before breaking into bite-able pieces.  I usually wait a day, but a few hours is probably sufficient.

See how easy that was?  Nothing like that nasty caramel stuff.

(It’s really not that bad, though.)

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