triple chocolate peppermint bark

 

peppermint bark

(Another holiday recipe from the archives! I make this every year, and wanted to share again in case you are looking for more Christmas treats. xx)

************************************************

Okay. So I’m posting about peppermint and chocolate again.  But it’s Christmas, and I have a lot of holiday baking to do. And this chocolate bark was so delicious that I assumed you would want to make it, too. For instance, you might want to give this out to friends and neighbors, or bring to the office. And all those holiday parties you don’t want to miss? What a nice little something to slip into your host’s hands, along with that bottle of wine.

Or, of course, you could make it with really good intentions, then set it in your fridge, or your secret chocolate stash spot (try to find mine. You can’t.) and then nibble away at it little by little when your husband is at band practice or your little ones are supposed to be napping. You can pretend it’s a little present to yourself: a sweet chocolate gift sprinkled with peppermint and more chocolate. Merry Christmas, you.

peppermint bark

peppermint bark

adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1998

Note: make sure the middle layer (the one with the heavy cream) is really really firm before you spread the white chocolate on top – otherwise you will get dark chocolate smudges in your pristine white layer. I chopped my peppermint candy in a food processor so the pieces were very small – I find it’s easier to eat.

8 ounces (226g) bittersweet chocolate 60-70%, finely chopped

3 candy canes, coarsely crushed (or a handful of peppermint candies, crushed)

8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 tablespoons heavy cream

¾ teaspoon peppermint extract

8 ounces (226g) good white chocolate, finely chopped

With a pencil, measure out and mark a 9- by 13-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Flip the parchment over (so the pencil marks are on the bottom), and then place the paper on a baking sheet.

Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth (about 110 degrees). Remove the chocolate from the heat, and then pour it onto the rectangle on the parchment. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate to fill in the rectangle. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract. Warm over the barely simmering water again, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and pour the semi-sweet chocolate mixture over the first chocolate rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the semi-sweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 40 minutes.

In a clean bowl, warm the  white chocolate over barely simmering water, until the chocolate reaches 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm semi-sweet layer, using a clean icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the parchment from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles.

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax or parchment paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator.

Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. The bark should last 2 or more weeks.

peppermint bark

The post triple chocolate peppermint bark appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

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triple chocolate peppermint bark

 

peppermint bark

(Another holiday recipe from the archives! I make this every year, and wanted to share again in case you are looking for more Christmas treats. xx)

************************************************

Okay. So I’m posting about peppermint and chocolate again.  But it’s Christmas, and I have a lot of holiday baking to do. And this chocolate bark was so delicious that I assumed you would want to make it, too. For instance, you might want to give this out to friends and neighbors, or bring to the office. And all those holiday parties you don’t want to miss? What a nice little something to slip into your host’s hands, along with that bottle of wine.

Or, of course, you could make it with really good intentions, then set it in your fridge, or your secret chocolate stash spot (try to find mine. You can’t.) and then nibble away at it little by little when your husband is at band practice or your little ones are supposed to be napping. You can pretend it’s a little present to yourself: a sweet chocolate gift sprinkled with peppermint and more chocolate. Merry Christmas, you.

peppermint bark

peppermint bark

adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1998

Note: make sure the middle layer (the one with the heavy cream) is really really firm before you spread the white chocolate on top – otherwise you will get dark chocolate smudges in your pristine white layer. I chopped my peppermint candy in a food processor so the pieces were very small – I find it’s easier to eat.

8 ounces (226g) bittersweet chocolate 60-70%, finely chopped

3 candy canes, coarsely crushed (or a handful of peppermint candies, crushed)

8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 tablespoons heavy cream

¾ teaspoon peppermint extract

8 ounces (226g) good white chocolate, finely chopped

With a pencil, measure out and mark a 9- by 13-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Flip the parchment over (so the pencil marks are on the bottom), and then place the paper on a baking sheet.

Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth (about 110 degrees). Remove the chocolate from the heat, and then pour it onto the rectangle on the parchment. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate to fill in the rectangle. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract. Warm over the barely simmering water again, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and pour the semi-sweet chocolate mixture over the first chocolate rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the semi-sweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 40 minutes.

In a clean bowl, warm the  white chocolate over barely simmering water, until the chocolate reaches 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm semi-sweet layer, using a clean icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the parchment from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles.

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax or parchment paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator.

Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. The bark should last 2 or more weeks.

peppermint bark

The post triple chocolate peppermint bark appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Panettone Swirl Buns

Panettone Swirl Buns

I’ve mentioned quite a bit on this site that I contribute over at Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – I’ve been working with Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François for about six years. While I write some blog posts for them and spend a good deal of time over on their Instagram account, one of the highlights of my job is helping them work on cookbooks. About this time a year ago Zoë was baking piles of bread and I was photographing them for the new book, Holiday and Celebration Breads in Five Minutes a Day. We spent a lot of time together talking and not talking, laughing hysterically, singing, and ranting about the state of the world. It was a lot of hard work, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

I was a fan of the Bread in Five series before I met Jeff and Zoë, and now after spending time with the two of them, I can’t rave about them, and their books, enough. I’ve made boules, baguettes, bagels, doughnuts, beignets, coffee cake, sandwich bread, dinner rolls, bostok, and cinnamon rolls with their dough. This new book is one of my favorites in their collection – filled with breads of the world, for just about every occasion. From Tahini Swirled Challah, to Christmas breads from all over Europe (and beyond), pitas for Ramadan and other celebrations, monkey bread for after school, Honey-Glazed Doughnuts, and of course, plenty of sticky bun and cinnamon roll recipes.

My post today features the Panettone dough from the new book. I’ve swirled it with sugar and cinnamon, and then baked the buns in soufflé molds. One of the things absolutely love about Zoë’s doughs is that they are so versatile; you can use them in so many applications and they turn out great. This is another example of that.

If you haven’t tried out any Bread in 5 recipes yet, I highly encourage you to! If you’re new to bread baking, their recipes are a great place to start, and if you’ve been baking bread for awhile, there is so much room for experimentation. It’s an easy and delicious way to make bread a part of your daily life.

***Also: I am giving away 5 copies of Holiday and Celebration Breads in Five Minutes a Day over on Instagram!***

Panettone Swirl Buns

Panettone Swirl Buns

Panettone Swirl Buns

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Panettone Swirl Buns

Adapted from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Zoë Francois and Jeff Hertzberg

The panettone dough recipe will make more dough than you need for the buns. The leftover dough can be held in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 weeks. To freeze the dough: divide it into loaf-sized portions (1-2 pound portions), and wrap it very well or seal it in airtight containers. Defrost in the refrigerator when ready to use, then shape, rest, and bake as usual. The recipe can be halved if desired. Artisan Bread in Five has instructions for regular Panettone here.

I’ve made the rolls in individual soufflé molds, specifically, these 3 x 2-inch copper mini molds from Mauviel. If you do not have soufflé molds, you could use ramekins instead, just make sure they are roughly the same size (you can also bake these buns in a 9×13-inch baking pan if you do not own any molds). The molds I used have straight 2-inch sides, which helps give the rolls their tall shape. The sides of the pans are buttered and then dusted with sugar, which caramelizes the sides of the buns, making for an incredible roll.

The one downside to the copper molds is that they are crazy hot when they come out of the oven, which can make it a little tricky to get them out. I use a kitchen towel and wrap it around the base of the copper mold, then run a knife carefully around each roll, and flip them onto a wire rack. Make sure to line the bottom of each mold with parchment paper as noted in the instructions, or the buns will stick to the bottom and it will be extra hard to get them out. Dough recipe makes about 4 1/2 pounds of dough

1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water (100F or below)

1 tablespoon (10g) granulated yeast

1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt

1/2 cup (170g) honey

8 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup (2 sticks | 225g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated

2 cups (340g) mixed dried and/or candied fruit (I used a mixture of dried cranberries and candied orange peel, but golden raisins, dried pineapple, dried apricots, and dried cherries are all good options.)

7 1/2 cups (1065g) all-purpose flour

Filling

3/4 cup (149g) brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Icing

2 ounces cream cheese

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons water

2 cups (226g) confectioners’ sugar

For the dough

Mix the water, yeast, salt, honey, eggs, melted butter, extracts, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, a 6-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the dried fruit and flour without kneading, using the paddle attachment (if using a stand mixer), a Danish dough whisk, or a spoon. If you’re not using a stand mixer,  you many need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be very loose, but will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).

Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises for 2 hours.

Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 5 days.

On baking day: Butter ten 3 x 2-inch soufflé molds (see note above about soufflé mold specifics, or for other baking options). Line the bottom of each mold with parchment paper, and then generously coat with granulated sugar, tapping out any excess. Place the molds on a baking sheet.

Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Remove 2 pounds of dough from your dough bucket, and place it on a generously floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, and shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

Roll the dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top, pressing it lightly into the butter so it adheres. Starting at the long side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam gently to seal it and position the dough seam side down. Use a scissors or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 10 equal pieces. Transfer the pieces to the prepared pans and place them cut side up. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle lower position. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Remove the plastic and bake 22 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the rolls are golden brown. While the rolls are baking prepare the icing.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls cool for a few minutes. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitts to pick up each soufflé mold, then run a knife carefully around the edges of the pan, and flip the roll onto a wire rack. Carefully put the roll right side up, and repeat with the remaining rolls. Let cool for 5 minutes, then place a piece of parchment paper under the wire rack. Pour the icing over each roll. Serve warm.

For the icing

Place the cream cheese in a small bowl. Add the salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water and mix until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until combined, adding more water if needed, until the desired consistency is reached.

Panettone Swirl Buns

The post Panettone Swirl Buns appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Win A Christmas Dog Pin!

I can’t believe it’s already November–and we’re sliding into the holiday season! Maybe it’s because it was nearly 90 degrees earlier this week, but it has taken me by…

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