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Recipe Swap: Bite into this bark

These recipes reach your door on Valentine’s Day, so you may already have had a chocolate treat today.

But I’m pretty sure your hankering for chocolate isn’t limited to February 14.

I’m including a recipe this week which my sister gave to me after we sat down around her coffee table and munched a little too much of it at her house over Christmas. It’s for ‘Chocolate bark,’ a recipe I’ve seen popping up a lot lately.

The appeal making this is the simplicity. In no time, with very little effort and just a couple of ingredients you’re done, plus you can make a different version every time you make it too. Other recipes I’ve seen suggest toppings like dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, any kind of nut you like.

Enjoy! And as the chocolate bloggers wisely say, “put ‘eat chocolate’ at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.”

Chocolate bark

This recipe from Pat Johnson of Winnipeg Beach takes slightly longer because she has two layers of contrasting white and dark chocolate to freeze.

  • 2 pkgs. dark baker’s chocolate
  • 2 pkgs. white chocolate chips
  • 3 tsp. white cake mix

Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler. Pour and freeze 20 minutes or until firm.

Melt white chocolate. Mix in cake mix. Let sit three minutes till thick. Pour over dark chocolate. Add sprinkles. Freeze.

Break into pieces and serve.

Accept compliments from the family!

To make variations: Use a pound of dark, milk or white chocolate, and chop into smaller bits, heat in the microwave until melted. Then pour it onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle on whatever topping you’re using over the surface of the melted chocolate, then freeze.

Here are two more terrific chocolate recipes to enjoy.

Espresso chocolate Turtle cake

Serve this luscious cake with ice cream, then drizzle with caramel or chocolate sauce and additional chopped nuts. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired.

  • 1 (18-oz.) pkg. dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. instant espresso coffee
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 (14-oz.) bag caramels, papers removed
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Canola oil spray a 9×13-inch pan. In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, water, canola oil, eggs, espresso coffee powder and cinnamon. Beat at low speed for one minute, scraping bowl continuously. Do not overmix. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Heat caramels and evaporated milk in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in chopped pecans. Pour caramel mixture over warm cake in pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Then spread remaining batter over all. Bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate-orange pudding cake

This is one of those recipes that you don’t need a special occasion to whip up and makes a sweet finish to any meal any time.

  • 1 (18-oz.) pkg. chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1-1/4 c. water
  • 2 c. cold milk
  • 1-1/4 c. orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 (4-oz.) pkgs. instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven 350 F. Combine first four ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Pour into a canola oil sprayed 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour milk and orange juice into a large bowl. Stir in orange zest. Add pudding mix and sugar and whisk mixture until well blended, about two minutes. Quickly pour evenly over the cake batter. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch batter which might bubble over the edge of the cake pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Mixture will thicken on standing.

Smile and have some chocolate

  • I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process… It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?
  • I could give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.
  • Chocolate doesn’t make the world go around, but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile!

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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