I’m somewhat addicted to chocolate. Actually, I think I’m mostly addicted to shopping for chocolate. Every time I go to the grocery store, I end up perusing the fancy chocolate bar aisle for the newest, most interesting flavor combination I haven’t yet tried.
I keep my chocolate bar collection in a small, sealed storage container in the pantry and nibble on a square or two every once in awhile. I just counted eight chocolate bars in my current collection:
- Mast Brothers Limited Reserve Chuao 75% Cacao
- Wild Ophelia Southern Hibiscus Peach Milk Chocolate 41% Cacao
- Vosges Haut Chocolat Cherry Rooibos Bar 45% Cacao
- Fearless Raw Organic Chocolate Sweet & Hot Hibiscus Ginger 70% Cacao
- Fearless Raw Organic Chocolate Matcha Green Tea Peppermynt 70% Cacao
- Divine Ginger & Orange 70% Cacao
- TCHO Mokaccino with milk chocolate and Blue Bottle Coffee
- Dagoba Lavender Blueberry 59% Cacao
That last one was the inspiration for making my own gourmet chocolate at home. I had 60% cacao, lavender flowers and dried blueberries at home. How hard could it be? Not so hard at all it turns out. Just melt your favorite chocolate chips, add a few exploratory flavors and toppings, and voila! Your own fancy chocolate bar appears.
I certainly don’t need more chocolate to add to my collection, so the main purpose of this project was a fun and exploratory treat to give away to friends, family, neighbors and work colleagues.
Happy cooking and sipping!
Tea-Infused Chocolate Bark: Rooibos-Ginger and Lavender-Blueberry
By Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie
Each recipe makes 10 oz. of chocolate bark
For the Rooibos-Ginger:
10 oz. white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons fine ground Rooibos tea or Rooibos tea powder
2 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger pieces
2 to 4 pinches ground cinnamon
For the Lavender-Blueberry:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
4 teaspoons coarse ground lavender flowers
2 tablespoons dried sweetened blueberries
The preparation for the Rooibos-Ginger and the Lavender-Blueberry is pretty much the same for each:
1. Mix three quarters of the chocolate chips in a medium glass or porcelain bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir the chips vigorously a few times to help them melt into each other. Return bowl to the microwave for 30 seconds longer. Remove, add the remaining chocolate chips, and stir vigorously until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.
2. Add most of the ground Rooibos or ground lavender to the melted chocolates, saving a few pinches to sprinkle on top of the bark. Stir the ground herbs into the chocolates until well mixed.
3. Spread the chocolate mixtures into rectangular shapes about 1/8-inch thick onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Top with dried blueberries or crystallized ginger. Sprinkle with pinches of remaining ground herbs. Sprinkle the Rooibos-Ginger with a few pinches of ground cinnamon as well.
4. Allow chocolate slabs to cool for a couple of hours until solid enough to break into bark pieces. Store in a sealed container between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
- The dark chocolate will likely bloom (turn white) if it sits around too long or if it’s stored in the fridge. So it’s best given away or served right after it’s made so it still looks good. It’ll still taste great after it blooms, it just doesn’t look as nice.
- Experiment with other bark toppings, like dried fruits, toasted nuts, chili powder or sea salt.