Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cinnamon White Chocolate Bark with Cranberries

Still trying to come up with something delicious for your Valentine but he or she only likes white chocolate?  White chocolate treats can sometimes be hard to find. So it's time to make your own!


Here is a simple recipe that can turn a plain white chocolate baking block into something wonderful...

You need:
  • 1 tsp (15 ml) cinnamon
  • 16 ounces (450 grams) of white chocolate (Baker's brand is fine, or check your bulk store for white chocolate - if it is pure white in colour, it is artificial. It should be a little yellow and have cocoa butter, whole milk powder, sugar and possibly vanilla in the ingredients list to be real white chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of dried cranberries
Tools:
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Spatula and a wooden spoon
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • Double boiler (pot with 1" of water nearly simmering and a very dry stainless steel or glass bowl to put your chocolate in)
  • Waxed paper or... if you want to get fancy like mine are, you'll need impression sheets, but you'll need to buy them online at a supplier like this one. Or you can use one of those patterned impression mats for rolling fondant icing out (buy in your cake decorating section of Walmart, Michaels or an online retailer like this one), or even transfer sheets like this one. Try it with waxed paper this time and if you like it, get fancy next time.
Instructions:
  1. Lay out a large piece of waxed paper (or an impression sheet or mat, if using) on a large cookie sheet.
  2. Chop your white chocolate into 1" cubes and place them in your dry bowl (no water, not even a drop, can get into this bowl! So be very careful with your double boiler. See tip below for what to do if your chocolate is exposed to water.).
  3. Melt and temper your chocolate.  For tempering white chocolate, see chart and instructions here: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/there-is-more-than-one-method-to-temper.html
  4. Once your chocolate is tempered and at about a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, add your cinnamon and cranberries.  Mix until well combined and cinnamon is evenly distributed.
  5. Quickly pour your white chocolate onto the waxed paper and spread it around with a spatula or an offset decorating spatula (you can also shake the cookie sheet to spread it out a little more).
  6. Place in the refrigerator on the cookie sheet for an hour.
  7. Remove from the fridge, then break into 2" pieces (expect jagged edges, or use a dry hot knife to try to cut pieces with straight edges, if you wish).
  8. Wrap in small treat bags or in a Valentine's Day tin (buy at the dollar store).
Feel free to e-mail me at info@ultimatelychocolate.com if you have any questions.


You can also pour your chocolate into moulds like
these heart-shaped ones, instead of making bark. Moulds can
be purchased on the www.chocolat-chocolat.com website.
Simply let the chocolate set in the mould in the fridge for
1 to 2 hours before tapping them out onto waxed paper.

Tip if your White Chocolate is Exposed to Water:

If you accidentally get water in your bowl and your chocolate seizes, which means it will become very thick, no matter how much you melt it (it may even appear lumpy), you can save the chocolate by adding a liquid and creating a slightly truffly treat instead. 

Keep all 16 ounces of seized chocolate in the bowl (it should be somewhat melty, not rock hard or it will need to be chopped again). Then place 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a small pot (or half and half, or milk or water if you have nothing else on hand) and bring it to a near boil (be sure it is not quite boiling) and pour it over the chocolate.  Stir until smooth while over the ice bath to help cool it a little.  Add the cinnamon and cranberries and stir until well combined so the cinnamon is evenly distributed.  If it is starting to thicken, immediately pour it into a loaf pan that is lined with plastic wrap.  Let rest in fridge for 4 hours then slice it into squares or loaf slices and serve. 

You can roll each piece in icing sugar if you wish. Keep it in an airtight plastic container for up to 10 days in the fridge.  It can be frozen this way also. Enjoy it as a slightly truffly white chocolate treat!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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