The Ingredients You Should Never Add To Chocolate Bark

Everyone craves chocolate during the holidays. Hot chocolate, truffles, fudge, brownies, cake, and of course the sweet snack: chocolate bark. Chocolate bark is a classic for a reason, there is something entirely satisfying about biting into hard chocolate like it's a dessert chip, which makes it super fun too! Especially peppermint bark where you are meant to smash candy into small fun-sized bits.

According to The Nibble, chocolate bark (or "Mendiants" in French) was made to be a traditional Christmas candy that would appeal to followers of several Christian orders as a variety of colors and flavors were available to represent the various groups. Today this versatility means chocolate bark can appeal to a wide variety of palates as any number of nuts, berries, seeds, and other yummy goodies can be studded into bars of chocolate which are then broken into small "bark-like" pieces. It is a relatively easy candy to make at home and so many families that celebrate Christmas have folded it into their culinary traditions, especially since it is a treat even kids can help make. But, despite its delicious simplicity, your chocolate bark recipe can still go wrong if you incorporate the wrong ingredients.

Don't mess with chocolate

Chocolate bark is not just beloved for its cocoa base, but for its decorative and flavorful ingredients. It is meant to be a rustic and colorful, hand-held dessert made out of whatever ingredients you like best! If you prefer white chocolate and macadamia nuts, that can be arranged. If you like almonds and dark chocolate, that can be arranged too. But whatever you do, Mama Gourmand firmly reminds us, at-home candy makers, not to add any kind of oil or shortening to your chocolate. The most satisfying aspect of chocolate bark is that it is hard and will snap off into pieces with a sharp crack. If fat or oil is added to the chocolate it will soften its structure and ruin the desired effect!

Chocolate is a temperamental creature, so it must be handled precisely while making desserts. With chocolate bark specifically, Food & Wine says that you must finely chop your preferred type of chocolate and carefully melt it, being sure not to overheat it. No ingredients should be added to the melted chocolate until just before it is spread onto parchment paper to cool. This will ensure that the oils from the outside ingredients don't heavily affect the hardening chocolate.