Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom

photo 8Makes about 20 pieces

There are many great cook books out there, but once in a while, I pick one up and seems to have been written just for you. My love for Persian food has been reinvigorated by Louisa Shafia’s The New Persian Kitchen, which is filled with great, easy recipes that all seem to turn out very well. This book also featured this amazing chocolate confection that so beautifully pairs the taste of dark chocolate with cardamom, integrating sweet and sour notes, in the form of dried currants and tart cherries. Louisa also includes coffee beans, but I decided to omit them for the sake of a good night sleep.

photo 4Ingredients:
2 cups semisweet chocolate (either chips or a bar, broken into pieces)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 cup dried mulberries (I went for currants, as I couldn’t find a Persian food supply store in my area)
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cups almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
Pinch of coarse salt

photo 7Instructions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate in water bath over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the cardamom and mix well.
Turn off the heat and stir in half of the dried fruits and nuts.
Remove the bowl from the heat and dry the bottom of the bowl to make sure no water drips on the parchment paper. Pour the chocolate on the baking sheet and using a spatula, carefully spread into a wide rectangle, no more than 1/4 inch thick.
Sprinkle with remaining fruit and nut mixture and press it gently into the chocolate. Dust with  salt.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When firm, break bark into pieces and keep refrigerated until just before serving, as the chocolate will get soft at warm temperatures.

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