Cooking up Christmas: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

I’ve always loved mint chocolate – in any form. This is a traditionally American festive favourite, which I initially borrowed from the brilliant Martha Stewart Living and then adapted adding in a dark chocolate base. To max the mint, you can also add a couple of drops of peppermint essence into the plain chocolate once melted.

It’s so simple, anyone can pull it together in no time and it makes a perfect snow day recipe to make with kids. They will especially love the second stage – smashing candy canes to pieces with a hammer! For child-friendly chocolate melting, you can blitz the chocolate pieces in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, instead of using a double boiler.

Ingredients:

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 500g white chocolate
  • 12 peppermint striped candy canes
  1. Line a 32cm oven tray with baking parchment.
  2. Double bag your candy canes in durable freezer bags and smash into tiny pieces with a kitchen mallet.
  3. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a double boiler until smooth. Leave to cool slightly and pour the melted chocolate into the lined pan and smooth with a spatula. Put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. Now melt the white chocolate in the same way. After leaving to cool slightly for a minute or two, stir in half of the crushed candy canes.
  5. Take your pan from freezer and spread the white chocolate candy cane mixture on top of the chocolate layer [spread as quickly as possible as it will cool fast].
  6. Scatter the rest of your crushed candy canes across the top of the mixture, patting down with the spatula [to create a smooth surface, I layer a second piece of parchment over the top of the mixture and apply light pressure to smooth out the top layer].
  7. Return your pan to the freezer for half an hour, or until the whole mixture is firm.
  8. Remove from freezer, tip the pan upside down to free the solid block of bark and gently peel away the parchment. Break into different sized pieces at random and serve.

You can bag up and store any left overs in the freezer – but you’re unlikely to have any!

Peppermint Bark
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