Chocolate Bark with Anise, Figs, Pistachio & Sea Salt

Chocolate is a food group. Or so says my mother. I tend to agree.

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And in addition to being a welcome addition to your tastebuds and mental sanity, chocolate can be a healthy addition to your lifestyle if you head on over to the dark side and select one that doesn’t have too much added sugar or icky preservatives. I believe that once you get into dark chocolate you don’t go back. It’s just richer and more satisfying. Maximum “mmm” per bite sort of thing. My favorite chocolate EVERΒ is Mast Brothers. That stuff is on another level. It’s $8-9 a bar. And before I tried it I wondered why people would spend that much on one bar of chocolate. After a single bite I instantly understood why they did such a thing and became one of them.

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I don’t think I go a single day without eating chocolate. I always need a fix after dinner. And dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and has even been shown to improve blood flow and circulation. Which is important as the weather gets colder and colder around these parts.

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Not to mention that chocolate goes well with basically everything. My favorite is with nuts. And dried fruit. But sometimes it’s also fun to do something a little different with chocolate and taste and appreciate it in a new light. So when presented with the October challenge for Recipe Redux to create a recipe that incorporate a spice that tends to sit around in cabnets without frequent use, I instantly thought of this chocolate-anise bark that my mom made around the holidays last year. It was epic; not so epic is when Sasha tried to eat it. Luckily she survived, as did the legend of the marriage of chocolate + anise.

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Anise is plain awesome in my opinion. I feel like it’s one of those flavors you either love or you don’t. I’m on team love. It tends to show up here and there around the holidays, but it’s licorsey, spicy/sweet taste is really one to be celebrated all year long. I encourage you to peer all the way back into your spice cabinet, blow the dust off your anise shaker, and make this bark. It’s incredible.

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The anise adds the most terrific flavor pop to dark chocolate, and the figs bring an element of chewiness and sweetness, not to mention some fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium. Yay nutrients! If you know me, you know I’m crazy aboutΒ textures in my foods. The more interesting textures going on the better. Which is why the crunchy pistachios are an amazing contrast to the gooey figs. Ugh. It’s so perfect. Not only do they add a burst of bright green color, they provide some protein, healthy fats, and even more fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium. And then there’s the anise, which adds a fragrant spicy note of tongue, that keeps you going back for more, along with a dose of antioxidants, calcium and copper. So yeah. Basically this bark is almost health food. ;-).

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Truly though, this bark is extremelyΒ satisfying for a sweet/chocolate tooth, a lot less junky than a candy bar, and makes an awesome and beautiful gift or addition to a party spread. Not to mention, it’s super easy to make. Just chop the toppings, melt the chocolate, pour and cool, and just like that you have a beautiful tablet of bark before you. Break into squares as large or small as your heart desires and share as gifts or simply gift it all to yourself. Because you’re worth it. πŸ™‚

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes (but needs at least 30 minutes to chill)

Level: Easy!

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces high quality dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips, chopped {2 bagsΒ chocolate chips}
  • 3/4Β cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 3/4Β cup figs, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon anise
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Chop pistachios, figs, and anise.

2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave by placing chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, heating in 30 second increments and stirring after each increment, until chocolate is melted.

3. Sprinkle about half the pistachio/fig/anise mix into the melted chocolate and mix gently. Pour melted chocolate into baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula.

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4. Evenly sprinkle remaining pistachio, figs, and anise over the melted chocolate. Gently pat down toppings into chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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5. Place bark into the fridge until chocolate sets and is solid, at least 30 minutes.

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6. Break bark into pieces using your hands or a knife and enjoy. πŸ™‚

To check out more creative uses for neglected spices, click around here!:

8 thoughts on “Chocolate Bark with Anise, Figs, Pistachio & Sea Salt

  1. Pingback: Homemade Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Larabars | kbaked

  2. Pingback: Nutty Gingerbread Granola | kbaked

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