Monday, December 17, 2007

Chocolate, Dried Cherries, and Pecan Bark

I saw this fabulous bark creation on Emeril Live last week, but could not for the life of me find the recipe when I searched by episodes that aired last week, so I decided to create my own. Know that Emeril served as my inspiration, although I ad-libed in terms of how I concocted this delicious treat! But, bark itself is such a simple concept, you could really whip it up on a whim any time!

I started with caramelizing some pecans. I chopped pecans and added them to a mixture of melted butter and brown sugar. I used about 3 cups of pecans, half a stick of butter, and about 3/4 cups of brown sugar. I let the pecans coat thoroughly in the saute pan, and then transferred them to a parchment lined baking sheet where I baked at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. I let them cool for a few hours, sprinkled some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves over them, and then crumbled/separated the pieces a little bit.

Once the pecans were cool, I used a double boil to melt white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate (in 2 separate bowls of course). I used chips, for convenience, but of course you could also use chopped bars/squares. Once melted, I added a dab of butter to the mixtures for sheen (I remember Emeril doing that). I then poured the chocolates onto the parchment paper, and marbled them together. On top, I added the pecans and then chopped dried cherries. I worked the pecans/cherries into the chocolate mixture a little, but wanted them to stay mostly on the top. I then set the baking sheet in the fridge to cool. The next day I slammed the creation on the counter to break up, placed on decorative plates, covered in cellophane, and set them aside as gifts for my para-professionals at work.

I actually made 2 batches, one which I put together exactly as described above, and the other where I scattered the nuts and cherries on the bottom and poured, and then marbled, the chocolate on top...resulting in a more even distribution of the goodies. Both came out great and equally tasty!

(Here is a picture of the underside of the bark):

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