It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Somehow, I managed to skip over Thanksgiving, along with the first three weeks of December (aka the most important month for food blogs). Quite impressive.
I was busy working on a story about financial aid/paying for college. I deemed it the “Story from HELL”. It was possibly the most time-consuming, boring, and depressing article I have written/will write. I completely blame it for turning me into a sleep-deprived grump.The entire financial aid system is completely confusing, and slightly messed up. “It depends…” was the favorite phrase of the directors of financial aid that I interviewed. I really feel for all the families trying to navigate through this process right now. Honestly, paying for college sucks. But, after 3 1/2 hours of interviews, and countless nights spent writing, backspacing, (and googling), it was finished. WHAT A RELIEF! I think my friends were almost as excited when I finished it as I was (thanks for putting up with me guys) :)
Even if it was a pain in the “you know what” to write, I did learn a lot about what I have to look forward to in the next two years. If you need information about the financial aid application process, give me a call. I’ll send you three hours of super informative interviews ;)
Because of all the craziness, I didn’t have much time to bake last week. But, my friends and I were doing a Secret Santa gift exchange, so I had to come up with something quick and easy. Luckily, my friend loves peppermint bark, which doesn’t even require using the oven. I also happen to be slightly obsessed with the peppermint/chocolate combo.
I chose this recipe because it’s non-traditional. The dark chocolate center is ganache, not solid chocolate, which gives the bark a smooth, truffley texture. I suggest you make the whole batch, or even double it. Peppermint bark is super giftable!
Tis the season!
Peppermint Bark with a Mint Truffle Center
- 12 oz good quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 9 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 6 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure mint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
- Cover a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Melt half (just eyeball it) of the white chocolate in a double boiler set over medium heat (the water should be barely simmering). The chocolate should be just melted, and warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat, and spread the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet. An offset spatula is awesome for this job. You should be able to cover a 10×8 inch rectangle with the white chocolate. Don’t worry if it’s a little bigger or smaller. Sprinkle half of the peppermint candy over the white chocolate. Refrigerate the pan for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, and stir in the heavy cream. The mixture will look lumpy at first, but it will come together if you keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the mint extract. Allow it to cool to lukewarm. Spread the dark chocolate ganache evenly over the refrigerated white chocolate rectangle. Chill the pan for 25 minutes, or until cold and firm.
- Melt the remaining white chocolate. Spread it over the dark chocolate ganache layer, and sprinkle the top with crushed peppermint candy. Refrigerate the bark for 25 minutes, or until completely firm.
- Chop the peppermint bark into rough pieces. I think it looks best when they’re all different shapes. Store the finished bark in the fridge.
adapted from epicurious.com