Ina Garten's French Bark Contains 2 Types Of Chocolate

If there's one genre of food celebrity chef Ina Garten knows like the back of her hand it's French cuisine. Her love of French cooking is shown across a multitude of her recipes including her French chocolate bark. What makes her version of a French chocolate bark extra special is the two types of chocolate she uses in her recipe. Instead of just using one kind of chocolate, she combines "very good" semisweet chocolate with "very good" bitter chocolate for a balanced, rich flavor.

The reason these two chocolates work so well together is because each chocolate brings a special quality to the dessert. As the name implies, semisweet chocolate is going to be on the sweeter side — but not overpoweringly sugary. Meanwhile, bitter chocolate brings in earthy, tart qualities that can actually help highlight the sweet flavors found in other ingredients, including the sweeter chocolate and dried fruit like cherries, raisins, and apricots that Garten adds. Having a balance of flavors prevents your taste buds from becoming overwhelmed and makes for a more enjoyable dessert experience.

Get creative with your own fancy French chocolate bark

Ina Garten relies on dried fruit and roasted cashews as the toppings for her bark, but you can experiment with different combinations to find the one you enjoy best. If you want a sweeter chocolate bark, add hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips for an extra chocolatey taste in every bite. You can also try chocolate almond bark and add other types of dried fruits to see which you enjoy best. You could also give your French bark a holiday flair by adding crushed peppermint candies as your topping. Or, go for a salty sweet flavor combination by topping your bark with crushed pretzels or flaky sea salt. This brings even more balance to your dessert and would be excellent on a cheeseboard.

You can also try different types of chocolate to find which ones you enjoy together the most. If you want to make your bark sweeter, you could use ruby chocolate or white chocolate for a more indulgent flavor. Or you could swirl in some peanut butter with your melted chocolate for a Reese's-inspired flavor combination. The beauty of this recipe is you can customize it however you want and there's no limit to the combinations you can create.