Whew! The past two weeks have been a blur. We vacationed out in Copper Mountain, Colorado with my side of the family and we had a wonderful time skiing and spending time together. Everything was great until Saturday afternoon, when we were at the airport ready to head back to Ohio, we found out my mom fell and fractured her tibial plateau while my parents were squeezing in some last minute skiing. The physician at the med clinic on the slope wanted her to go to Denver that day to have surgery, but we were able to scramble and find a last minute non-stop flight back to Columbus instead. To make a long story short, my mom was able to have surgery here in Columbus and is currently staying at our house recuperating. Unfortunately, the healing process after a tibial plateau fracture is a long one and she isn’t able to put any weight on her affected leg for about 3 months. As a result, my very active mother is assuming more of an inactive role for now. Luckily, though, it looks like she will be just fine when it’s all said and done.
So, after a short break, I’ve finally returned to the blog. I made this French chocolate bark as part of a care package I sent my Aunt Khaki for her birthday. It’s an easy treat to make and with cashews (or Kah-Shoes as Ina Garten would say), dried cranberries, apricots, and orange zest, it has to be a little bit good for you, right? 😉 It’s highly customizable and it only took me about 15 minutes to make. I also made Khaki Dorie Greenspan’s rum raisin chocolate cake, whiskey oatmeal cream pies, and caramel sauce. Unfortunately, in my haste to get it sent out as soon as possible, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the other stuff.
I’ve said it before, but my Aunt Khaki has inspired me since a young age to be adventurous in the kitchen. She isn’t afraid to put her own twist on recipes and I admire her so much for it. She is such a wonderful hostess and I remember always getting so excited to go over to her house when she lived close to us. Whether it’s a birthday party, an Easter egg hunt, Thanksgiving, or just a regular old dinner, my Aunt Khaki has the incredible gift of making things fun and the food delicious. She is one of the most generous people I know and I love her dearly. Happy belated, Khaki!
French Chocolate Bark
Yield: About 24 pieces
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Melt the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth and shiny. Set aside
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, about 1/8 inch think. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots, cranberries, and orange zest over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark into squares pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Source: Barely adapted from Ina Garten