Serves: Makes 1 pound
- ½ cup dry roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
- ⅔ cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (at least 64 percent cacao), finely chopped
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons coarse-ground smoked salt
- Line a 17 by 11-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the almonds and dried apricots in a medium bowl.
- The chocolate can be tempered either using a microwave oven (the easiest way) or on the stovetop in a double boiler. To temper the chocolate using a microwave, place three-quarters of the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside the remaining chocolate. Set the microwave at 50 percent power. With the bowl uncovered, heat the chocolate for 1 minute, and then stir using a rubber spatula. Repeat, heating for 30 seconds and then stirring, until almost all of the chocolate in the bowl is melted, about 4 minutes total. To temper chocolate on the stovetop in a double boiler, place three-quarters of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. (Check to make sure the water doesn't touch the top section of the double boiler, and be careful that no water drips into the bowl of chocolate.)
- Using an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature of the chocolate. It should be about 115°F. Heat briefly if it hasn't reached the desired temperature. Then add the remaining chocolate and stir constantly until it is completely melted and smooth and the chocolate drops to just below 84°F. At this point, very slowly and carefully heat the chocolate, bringing the temperature of the chocolate back up to 88° to 90°F. The chocolate is now tempered and ready to spread.
- Working quickly and using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in an even layer about ¼ inch thick on the parchment. Evenly and artfully scatter the apricots and almonds over the chocolate. With a delicate touch, use your fingertips to gently press the nuts and apricots into the chocolate so they set into and adhere to the chocolate.
- Immediately sprinkle the salt over the top. Set the bark aside in a cool, dry spot to set and harden, about 1 hour. Break into irregular pieces.
Storing: Store in a tightly covered tin lined with parchment paper. The chocolate bark will last for up to 3 weeks.