Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes and goes as it pleases, and like lightening it rarely strikes the same spot twice, so you have to make an extra effort to grab it while you can. The nice part about having a partner in crime is that inspiration rarely runs dry. Rina and I are constantly bouncing ideas off each other, swapping dream recipes, nostalgic eats and complimenting each other's ideas with embellishments and corrections.
I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to dessert I have little-to-no willpower. Whether it's ice cream in a waffle cone or a piece of decadent chocolate cake, I always have to at least have a bite. Sometimes, though, I really just want something simple. Something I can throw together quickly when the sweet tooth strikes. Something with fresh ingredients and a few flakes of sea salt. Something like this chocolate bark.
Rina and I were polishing off a bowl of pomegranate seeds after shooting this salad when I mentioned combining chocolate and pomegranates, the sweet and tart complimenting each other perfectly. And then, just like that, Rina was riffing off chocolate bark combos, settling on adding the subtle sweetness of pistachios to round out yet another dessert I can't say no to.
While cooking and baking for others is one of my favorite stress relievers, I recognize that for some people it invokes images of them setting fire to their kitchen. Different strokes, I guess. If there's one thing Rina and I strive to do, it's make cooking seem approachable. Nowadays, with a zillion Instagram perfectionists, it's easy to dismiss a recipe as being too involved. But believe me, if Rina and I can cook a recipe in her tiny with no dishwasher, then so can you. Despite this, I recognize that sometimes a microwave is all you can manage. In that case, we've got you.
In matter of mere minutes (minutes!), you'll have a sheet of professional looking chocolate bark that you can gift to family and friends or eat all yourself. Hey, dessert's dessert, man. And of course, for those picky eaters out there, feel free to improvise with toppings. Coconut shreds and dried cranberries. Slivered almonds and health. White chocolate and sprinkles. Whatever you decide to do, bark is essentially melted down chocolate chips, so it's pretty hard to mess up.
And on those days when you're expected to feed a group (perhaps, for an overblown football game...? Sorry, I'm just bitter the Lions will never be good enough to make one of those Super Bowl thingies), and inspiration is replaced with a strong desire to lay in bed and binge watch sitcoms, this chocolate bark will save your behind. Or at least inspire you to make the laziest dessert known to mankind.
It's all about the baby steps.
POMEGRANATE PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE BARK
Yield: 8-12 pieces
Total Cook Time: 3m
Category: Chocolate, Candy, Sweet, Gift Idea
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate of choice)
¼-⅓ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
¼-⅓ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
Sprinkle of flaky sea salt (we use Maldon)
Melt chocolate: you can do this two ways, either in a double boiler (a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water) or the microwave. We went with the latter, but you do you. If using a double boiler, add a few inches of water to a saucepan and place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the bowl isn't touching the water. Heat on medium-low to simmer, and stir the chocolate until it's completely melted. If using the microwave, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second increments, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is completely melted.
Spread and decorate: line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour the melted chocolate on top. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the chocolate into a thin, even layer. Immediately sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and pistachios, and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt. Allow to harden in the fridge, then break into pieces with your hands.
To keep: this is great to eat immediately or to gift as soon as possible. Store in an airtight container with pieces of wax paper separating the bark.