Thin, crackly wafers of this dark chocolate orange and almond bark are the ultimate decadent treat. They're perfect for passing between meals on Christmas day!
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If you're one of those kindred spirits whose soul lights up at the first sight of those foil-wrapped dark chocolate "oranges" that suddenly appear in the grocery stores at Christmastime - this recipe is for you!
Dark Chocolate Orange and Almond Bark
This chocolate bark may be the easiest holiday treat you'll ever make - so easy it almost feels like cheating. And the taste is deeply reminiscent of those chocolate oranges, except (dare I say it?) - even better.
Below I'm going to chat quite a bit about choosing chocolate, but feel free to use the button at the top of the page to skip right to the recipe if you just need the recipe!
Choosing the Right Chocolate for Making Chocolate Bark
Since the main ingredient in chocolate bark is chocolate, the final result truly hinges on which chocolate you choose to work with.
Some brands of chocolate tend toward a slightly gritty texture, even in their "milk chocolate" bars, which contain the lowest percentages of cacao. And there's a place for that (you may even love it in this recipe, in fact.) For me, there's something about enjoying a nice stone-ground piece of chocolate (like this one from Taza) as a part of a hearty snack with nuts, cheese, and dried fruit.
For baking and treat-making though, I lean toward chocolate that's silky-smooth - even in the very darkest bars, with high percentages of cacao. For this particular recipe, my preference is for a very smooth, very dark chocolate, with a nice "buttery" mouthfeel.
You can, of course, just make this recipe with regular old chocolate chips, and it's still totally wonderful. But for it to really wow your socks off, I recommend going with the smoothest, high-quality chocolate you can justify.
One benefit to going with as dark a chocolate as you enjoy, is that it contains more health-boosting polyphenols and less sugar than "lighter" chocolates with lower percentages of cacao.
Another bonus of being able to select your own chocolate for special holiday treats is that you can choose to only buy chocolate from companies that don't employ slavery. I really believe that every chocolate purchase makes a difference in standing for what's right, so this is another reason I make most of our chocolate-derived treats, rather than buy ones that support a morally-reprehensible trade system. You can find a list of slavery-free chocolate brands here.
Making and storing chocolate bark
Here are a few quick tips and cheats for whipping this dark chocolate orange and almond bark together, and keeping it on hand for the holiday:
If you want an even speedier way to make gift-worthy orange & almond bark, just place a bar of orange-flavored chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place in a 325° oven until chocolate is melted and glossy. Spread thin with a knife or spatula, sprinkle with almonds, and let it set. Voilà. Almost-instant gift-basket material.
Try this with other flavors! Once you've made one batch of dark chocolate bark, you're going to think of a thousand other combinations that sound amazing. Try substituting one of these combinations: peppermint flavoring with chopped walnuts, almond extract with crushed peppermint sticks, coffee extract with chopped hazelnuts...you get the idea!
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for best results. Don't put these in the refrigerator, since this can lead to unsightly "sugar bloom". Chocolate should never be stored in the refrigerator, unless your room temperature is too warm to allow storing chocolate without it melting. This page has lots of great advice for storing chocolate with best results.
Read Next: Paleo Honey Ginger Spiced Nuts
This is one of my favorite new company-worthy Christmas treats, that is so much easier than it looks. I hope you love it as much as we do!
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- double boiler
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 T orange zest
- 1 tsp orange flavoring (or 3 drops orange food grade essential oil)
- In double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth.
- .Genty wisk in orange essential oil, or orange flavoring.
- Spread chocolate in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle evenly with almond slices and orange zest.
- Allow to cool thoroughly until hard, then break into pieces.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.