Minted Chocolate

I just got done with a whirlwind kitchen session.  There was a ton of the good kind of multi-tasking going on in there.

I made

Yogurt

Kombucha

Nettle tea

Lentils

Carrot Cake

Laundry Detergent (more on that tomorrow-the inaugural load is spinning right now!)

Salad

And MINT CHOCOLATE BARK!

I’m on a kick and although the kitchen has been mostly sugar-free in 2012 it has been full of chocolate!

This bark is pretty painless to throw together and really tasty.

In a bowl I combined 2 tablespoons local, raw honey with just under a 1/4 of a teaspoon mint extract.

In a double boiler I melted 4 squares (4 ounces) of unsweetened baking chocolate.

If I was not such a lazy cook I probably would have chopped and  tempered the chocolate for better results…but I didn’t.

I did make sure to take the pot off the heat before the chocolate was completely melted and stir it until smooth, that’s kind of like tempering right?

Anyways, to the chocolate I added the honey-mint mixture and a pinch of coarse salt and quickly stirred to incorporate completely.

Honey and chocolate have an interesting interaction: together they form a sort of dough.    Work quickly to smooth the dough onto a silpat or parchment paper with a rubber spatula or your hands (it won’t stick to your hands).

Looks like bark!

You can score it with a butter knife or just break it up once it’s cool.

Set in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden then break into pieces.  I store my bark in a mason jar in the cabinet.

I gave Tate a piece to Tate taste test without any hint as to the special ingredient.  His eyes lite up big and he said “whoa, what is that?”.  Super minty.  Super chocolaty.  Super sugar-free goodness.   My favorite part is the lingering mint breath.

16 Comments

  1. I find unsweetened chocolate tends to make a doughy texture when mixed with coconut milk too and possibly other ingredients. It doesn’t quite stay smooth like I wish it would, but that doesn’t affect the taste!

    • gracefulfitness

      I pretty much agree except years ago I overdid it on Andes and couldn’t eat mint chocolate for a long time! I’m over it now though and loving the combo!

  2. Oh my. This looks so good! And I love that it’s shaped like bark. Might have to make a a couple batches this weekend and gift one to a friend and one for our house!

  3. steph

    Hi Faith, I noticed that you said you make your own yogurt. Do you have a recipe that is easy to put together? I received a yogurt maker for a wedding gift and it seems complicated! Thanks!

    • gracefulfitness

      I started making my own yogurt just over a year ago and love it! It’s much cheaper and greener (we can’t recycle yogurt tubs here) than buying and I can make it with grass-fed milk. At first it seemed kind of complicated and I was really concerned about temperatures and time but now I’ve got it down and it’s really pretty simple, especially with a yogurt maker!
      Back to your actual question, I have blogged about yogurt making but it was pretty early on in the blog and I didn’t seem to tag it very well because I can’t find it now!
      I’ll do another post soon but for now here’s the basics.
      1. Plug in your yogurt maker and turn it on, this insures that it is warm and ready to go when your milk it. Set the containers out on the counter and remove the lids, this will come in handy later when you need to work fast to fill them.
      2. Set starter yogurt out on counter to warm to room temp.* Use 2 tablespoons per quart of milk.
      3. Pour desired amount (you can measure using your yogurt maker containers, just don’t fill them all the way because the added starter and the foam will take up a little space) of milk into pot and put it on med-high.
      4. Keep an eye on the milk and whisk occasionally. When foam starts to form check the temperature and keep checking it every minute or so until it reaches 180 degrees.
      5. Once the milk reaches temp (180*), remove from heat and whisk every few minutes to facilitate even cooling. You can also set the pot into a sink of ice water to cool it faster, just make sure to keep a close eye on the temperature.
      6. Keep checking the temperature every few minutes because the easiest way to ruin the process is to let it cool down too much. You want to catch it between 115 and 120 degrees. Some recipes say 110 but I’ve had better results with 120 degrees.
      7. Once the milk is 115-120 degrees, add a little bit of it to your starter yogurt and whisk until smooth then add it back into the pot of milk and whisk until incorporated. It’s important to move fast thru this part because you don’t want the milk mixture to cool too much.
      8. Pour warm milk-starter mixture into your yogurt maker containers and put them in the maker.
      9. Leave it alone for at least 6 hours, I usually for for at least 8. Put containers in fridge and allow to cool completely before eating.
      *No matter what milk you use you will have thicker yogurt if you use a full-fat yogurt for the starter. Greek produces the thickest yogurt. Also, make sure the starter yogurt doesn’t have any gelatin or anything besides good bacteria added to it.
      It sounds like a lot but it only takes me about 10 minutes of actual work and I usually time it around making a meal or cleaning the kitchen, of course the first time you may want to just focus on the task at hand.

      Let me know if you have any questions!

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