For most of us, the thought of Easter approaching might be a little bitter sweet. All that lovely, silky smooth chocolate artistically formed into enchanting woodland creatures brings us back to our childhood.
I remember waking up bright and early and running through the house checking the corner of every window sill, under every plant pot and inside every lampshade to find the eggs the Easter Bunny had meticulously hidden. Then we would pull on our new (usually quite colourful) outfits and sprint outside to share our treasures with our friends.
Now of course I see chocolate in a slightly different light. Initially I think of just how far I have to run to work off every bite, then I think of how lusciously it slowly melts in the mouth into a smooth, velvety texture, and then the dietitian in me kicks in and I'm reminded that it's rich in antioxidants and boosts serotonin and endorphin levels which improve mood!
Of course, we're talking about DARK chocolate. Milk chocolate has had much of the flavonoids removed and doesn't have the same benefits. So the beautifully crafted milk chocolate Easter bunnies might look great, but they are loaded with sugar, have little antioxidants and do not contain the same vitamins and minerals found in dark chocolate.
So to help you enjoy the wonderful creamy texture of chocolate, while reaping the benefits, I'm posting a recipe for Almond bark that everyone LOVES!
I prepare this using 1/2 pure dark Belgian chocolate and 1/2 semi sweet dark chocolate, but that might be a little bitter for some of you, so here is the original recipe.
Dark Chocolate Almond Bark
1 pound (454g) Semi sweet Dark chocolate
1/2 pound (227g) raw almonds (to add a little sweet/salty edge to it, use salted almonds)
Preheat oven to 350F. Roast almonds approx 15 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a double boiler until smooth.
Add the roasted almonds. Mix well. Pour onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Chill and cut into pieces when firm.
Enjoy & Happy Easter!!!