I love making Bark. It is such an adaptable recipe and makes a great gift for someone. It’s not too common this side of the ‘pond’ but it’s basically a sheet of chocolate (milk, plain, white – your choice) with things like fruit and nuts embedded into it. Click here for a ‘proper’ explanation http://www.word-detective.com/2011/07/bark-candy/. Bark seems to come from the likeness to tree bark, as it’s broken into chunks, apparently similar to the tree variety! I first discovered Martha Stewart’s version, which uses rice krispies, white chocolate and crushed candy canes (it’s a Christmas one).
But ever since, I have been pimping it for different seasons. I hope to bring you my different variations over time.
But as we are heading toward a very British summer what with the Jubilee (I’m not a Royalist but it’s good to party!) and the Olympics, plus all the Union Jack adorned items in the supermarkets, I thought why not come up with a Great British Bark?
I mostly use the staples of white chocolate and rice krispies in my bark and this version was no exception. But I wondered what else I could use. The kind people at M&M’s have brought out a red, white and blue variety, so they would be perfect I thought. But what quintessentially British item would be good to put on top? Custard Creams I realised – so here is how I made it:
200g white chocolate, broken into pieces
500ml of rice krispies (pour up to that level in a measuring jug)
A large bag of Red White and Blue M&M’s
8 Custard Creams, each chopped into 8 pieces
Some Red White and Blue Sprinkles
I melted the chocolate in a bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water. I then added the rice krispies and mixed thoroughly. Taking a large cookie sheet/baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, I poured the melted chocolate/rice krispie mix onto the sheet and with a rubber spatula spread this out as thin as I could, without seeing pieces of the greaseproof paper peeking through. This is where you get to be a bit creative by adding your toppings in any way you like. I first took the M&M’s placing them randomly on top of the choc/rice mix. I then took the custard creams and randomly dotted them around the mix. Lastly I poured over some red, white and blue sprinkles I had. Then taking another sheet of greaseproof paper, I placed this on top and gently pushed all the toppings into the choc/rice mix, sort of smoothing over with my hands. I removed the top sheet of paper and popped the tray into the fridge until the white chocolate was re-set, at least 1 hour. When set, I took it out of the fridge and carefully peeled the slab of chocolate from the greaseproof paper. Then using my hands, broke the slab into random chunks – et voila - Great British Bark!
If you try this at home, let me know how it turns out!