I like to watch the Barefoot Contessa.
She has a show on the Food Network that's still actually about cooking. (Not crap like: How Tall Can You Build a Cake? or How Badly Can You Fuck Up Toast, Dumbass? Food Network has MTV syndrome.) Ina's ok, but parts of her, and her show, bug me. Like the ridiculously staged parties she throws, or the "surprise" she has for someone--like you haven't rehearsed it 17 times with your script and fucked with the lighting 'til it's just so. I also hate the way she makes everyone who's not her look like a fucking moron/child in the kitchen (Wow, Jeffrey! You turned the steaks all by yourself! Would you like a sticker?)
Anyhoo, this post was not meant to be a rant about Food Network or Ina Garten, because I actually do like her show. So I was watching it the other day, and she made drool-worthy white chocolate bark. I had a bag of white chocolate chips in the cupboard, as well as my favorite complementary flavors for this not-chocolate, so I hopped to making some.
I started with white chocolate chips, chopped pecans, dried apricots and dried cranberries.
Using Ina's tempering method, I microwaved 3/4 of the bag of white chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stopped and stirred. Another 30 seconds, then another stir. I repeated about four times, until the chocolate was melty and smooth. Then I dumped in the rest of the chocolate chips and let the residual heat melt them.
Ina's bark recipe says to spread the chocolate out onto a cookie sheet first, then sprinkle on the toppings. But I don't want all the shit falling off the second I break the bark. So I just stirred the toppings into the chocolate and then spread it out.
Isn't it pretty? Then I just popped it into the fridge for about an hour. Voila! It was completely set, and because of my handy-dandy Silpat mat, I was easily able to extract the bark from the cookie sheet and break into pieces.
The time for it to set is the longest part of the process. Making the bark took about five minutes; I don't know why I haven't made it before. But it'd be a great party snack, and the combinations are endless. I think next time I'll try dark chocolate with peanut butter chips and pretzels. Ok, that pretty much sounds spectacular! That is definitely in my future.