It seems like every baking blog out there has their own recipe for candy cane chocolate bark. It’s pretty much a Christmas staple, and that’s because it:
a) is easy to make
b) is pretty as hell
c) tastes gorgeous
and d) makes a really great Christmas gift for anyone who likes chocolate (and you really shouldn’t be making friends with people who don’t like chocolate).
And so I’m throwing my hat into the ring and sharing my very own peppermint bark recipe with the world. Voila:
So, what’s so special about this bark? Why should I make it above all the others? Well, honestly, there’s nothing groundbreaking here. White chocolate plus peppermint is always going to taste fantastic, unless you use the whole bottle of extract, or choose really crummy tasting chocolate to begin with. So be my guest and shop around for the candy cane chocolate bark recipe that suits you best. Want to add some crushed candy canes to the top? See here. Want to use dark chocolate instead? Head on over here. Want to use a bit of both? Try Sally. The world is your candy store.
I’ve gone for the red and white striped look, because what more can you want from a candy cane? I’ve experimented with colouring chocolate bark before (see: sunset bark) and so I know that the best way to colour chocolate is with powder or oil based colourings. Look around for ones specifically designed for colouring chocolate if possible, but any powder based colour will work perfectly. I use this one.
Getting the cute swirl effect on top of your bark is as easy as piping lines of red chocolate on top of the white, and then drawing a toothpick or knife through to swirl together. It is surprisingly easy to do, and even if it doesn’t end up perfectly, it will still look (and taste) amazing.
This candy cane chocolate bark is just screaming out to be gifted to someone this Christmas – break it up into squares and wrap up in plastic, put in a small Kilner jar, or just tie up with ribbon. Whatever you’ve got to hand.
I’ve got something very exciting to announce next week, so please stick around for that. I’ve been working on this for the past few months, so I’m incredibly excited to finally share it with you. Hint: if you’re the sort of person who loves Christmas baking, then this is definitely going to be the blog for you over the next few weeks… ?
- 400g (14 oz) good quality white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- Red food colouring (powder or oil based)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (oil based works best)
- Place 300g (10.5 oz) of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on medium in 30 second bursts, mixing well between each. Once the chocolate has completely melted, and feels very warm to the touch, add the remaining 100g (3.5 oz) of chocolate pieces and stir together until completely melted. This will help to temper the chocolate so it has a nice texture to it.
- Spoon about a quarter of the chocolate into a small bowl, and add red food colouring to it until you reach the shade of red you are looking for. Set this aside for a moment.
- Add the peppermint extract to the remaining white chocolate and stir well. If you use water-based extract then this may make the chocolate cease up a little, but it should still be okay to use.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, and spread the white chocolate out on it using a spatula, knife, or the back of a spoon. You are aiming for a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches (A4 paper size), but it doesn't have to be exact. Drizzle or pipe the red chocolate on top in lines going from one side to the other (either the long way or the short way, but not both ways). Take a toothpick or knife and gently draw through the chocolate in the opposite way than your stripes of red. This should make a nice swirl effect, like the photos above. Don't worry if it's not perfect - it will still taste amazing!
- Place the chocolate bark in the fridge and leave to set completely (1-2 hours). Once set, remove from the greaseproof paper and either break or cut into pieces.
- Always use powdered or chocolate-safe food colourings when colouring chocolate. Normal water-based food colourings will cause the chocolate to seize up and be unusable.
- The bark will keep for a good few weeks. Make sure to keep somewhere cool (not necessarily in the fridge).