If you have holiday gatherings to attend, chocolate bark is one of the easiest homemade treats you can bring. Basically, just melt chocolate and add things to it. There are standbys that are always good, but you can get really creative with your choice of add-ins. We had a party yesterday, and I made candycane bark (a classic), ginger coconut bark (a little out there), and miso almond bark (sounds weird, but it’s really good!). The only one that I needed a recipe for was the miso almond bark, which requires a batch of miso nuts. I adapted the nut recipe from the cookbook Hiroko’s American Kitchen, which I found here. The nuts by themselves are great for snacking, but they’ve got a delicious salty-sweet relationship with the dark chocolate that’s too good not to share. So here’s how to make the miso almond chocolate bark.
Miso Almond Chocolate Bark
First, you’ll need to make a batch of spicy miso sauce. Then you’ll use that sauce to make miso nuts. Finally, you’ll add those nuts to melted chocolate.
Spicy Miso Sauce
(makes 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup red miso paste
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sake
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Place the miso, sugar, rice vinegar, and sake in a medium pot and whisk until smooth. Place the pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, add the red pepper flakes, and stir.
1 tablespoon spicy miso sauce (recipe above)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon water
1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted almonds (or other nuts)
Preheat the oven to 250F. Place the spicy miso sauce, sugar, salt, paprika and water in a small bowl and mix until well blended. Add the almonds and stir to coat them. Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. After 40 minutes, stir them, and return the nuts to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a serving bowl.
Making the Bark
12 oz dark chocolate (I used part of the 72% Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar), chopped
1/2 cup miso nuts, half chopped
In a double boiler (a metal bowl set over a pot of boiling water), melt the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface such as a baking sheet or countertop, spreading it into an even rectangle about 1/4″ thick. For a decorative effect, reserve a tablespoon or two of chocolate for flicking over the nuts. Evenly sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the whole miso almonds into the chocolate, then sprinkle the chopped nuts in and drizzle with any chocolate you reserved.