Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aztec Chocolate Bark

Earlier, I made this super easy chocolate bark for us to eat tonight.  It's just semisweet chocolate with pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) and spices mixed in.  For the spices, I used the cinnamon called for, and then I used chipotle chili powder and Portuguese piri-piri instead of the Ancho chili powder and cayenne.  Piri-piri is similar to cayenne anyway.  I was scared of it being too spicy, so I put in a little less than 1/4 tsp. of the chipotle and piri-piri.  Turns out I could have put in more, because I can only detect a slight spicy after-taste when I eat this.  Add the spices to taste when you make this. 

We had some roasted, salted pepitas on hand, so I just used those instead of roasting my own.  If you go this route, obviously you can skip step one.  :)  Oh, and if you do roast your own, I think you should still add some salt to this recipe- my salted ones provided some salt, which is a nice contrast to chocolate. 

Aztec Chocolate Bark
adpated from Simply Recipes

1/2 cup of hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas).     
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, plus a dash extra (I used piri-piri powder)
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, plus a dash extra
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of ancho chili powder, plus a dash extra (I used chipotle chili powder)
12 oz. of bitter or semi-sweet chocolate (I used mini semi-sweet choco chips)

1.  If using raw pepitas:  place the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toast them for about 5 minutes; allow to cool.

2.  Melt the chocolate according to the manufacturer's directions. (I used a saucepan over the lowest heat, on the stove).  Once melted, add the spices, and most of the pumpkin seeds, saving some for the top.

3.  Spread onto a flat baking pan lined with wax paper. Sprinkle pepitas over the top, and press them into the chocolate.  Sprinkle on a dash more of the spices. Place in the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Best eaten in one or two days.
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