I received my December issue of Bon Appetit last week and found several recipes I wanted to make immediately. For starters–a potato galette, baked gnocchi, and a version of this almond bark. This rarely happens. I am embarrassed to admit that although I have subscriptions to several foodie magazines, I rarely cook anything from their contents. I pore over them with enthusiasm, reading every column inch and admiring the luscious photography. They give me ideas and inspire me to get into the kitchen, but often the ingredients I need are not routinely found in the single person’s refrigerator. Sometimes a recipe just requires too much shopping and even money to execute, that it seems hardly worth the bother to do it for oneself. And that’s a shame, because I know how thoroughly the recipes are tested in most food magazines–more so than a lot of cookbooks.
But the recipes I was most intrigued by in Bon Appetit did not fall into the save-for-a-dinner-party category. For instance, I quickly whipped up this almond bark. I always have almonds on hand, as well as a slab of Callebaut chocolate. In a matter of minutes I had a tasty treat that would not have come cheap at my local gourmet food shop.
Chocolate Almond Bark with Sea Salt
from Bon Appetit, December 2011
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups roasted almonds
1 pound good dark chocolate (62-70% cacao), finely chopped
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
1) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Do not stir but occasionally brush down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is a dark amber–about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2) Immediately add butter and whisk until melted. Add almonds and stir well to coat. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading out to separate nuts. Let cool. Break up any large clumps of nuts. Set aside 1/4 of the nuts.
3) Stir chocolate in a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water until melted. Remove from heat and add nuts from baking sheet, stirring quickly to combine. Spread chocolate-nut mixture on same baking sheet, keeping nuts in a single layer.
4) Top with reserved nuts; sprinkle with salt. Chill until chocolate is set–about 3 hours. Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment or waxed paper.
Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.