Marx Bark – Capricious Chocolate Challenge

You may remember a couple of weeks ago when I made these Arborio Veggie Burgers with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce for a Marx Foods challenge.  Theresa from Food Hunters Guide and I ended up sharing the title of most creative.  It was a super fun experience.  Well it wasn’t long after that challenge that I received the invite to be a part of the Capricious Chocolate Challenge put on by Marx Foods.  A few days later, my mystery box arrived.

Whenever the “Goodies Inside” box shows up on my front door step I feel like a contestant on Chopped.  You know, that cooking show on Food Network where cheftestants (my dream to be called that) get a mystery basket and are required to use each ingredient in some over the top dish that actually tastes good.  Well the nice folks at Marx Foods aren’t so crazy in their mystery ingredients.  No lamb brains were injured in the making of this Marx Bark, I swear.  Also, they are equally nice in the fact that they only require you use one ingredient, not the entire box-worth.  You’re probably wondering what the heck was in the box, right?  Here’s the low down:

After mulling over the ingredients for several days, I decided that I would make a Triple Layer chocolate bark.  After all the challenge is Chocolate.  The end result is well….damn good!!!  Pardon my French.  I will be packaging it up and giving it as gifts today, because if I don’t I will eat every last morsel of it.

If you feel so inclined, there will be a voting process for the most creative recipe using the ingredients listed and I would love your vote.   So let’s get to some Bark, shall we?

Marx Bark
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Ingredients
Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Layer
12 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds removed.

Amarena Cherry Mosto Cotto Ganache Layer
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
7 tablespooons Amarena Cherry Mosto Cotto
1 tablespoon fat-free half and half (this makes it all diet friendly)

Spicy Cashews
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 cups raw unsalted cashews
1/4 teaspoon ground habanero chile
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt, coarsely ground


Spicy Cashew Dark Chocolate Layer

8 ounces dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup spicy cashews, coarsely chopped

Directions
1 Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.


2 Place a small sauce pan with about 1 inch of water over a medium heat.  Turn down to a simmer.  Place a glass bowl on top, larger than the rim of the sauce pan.  Add the white chocolate and the seeds from the vanilla bean (save the pod for another use).  When the white chocolate starts to melt, remove from the heat and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes.  Stir to combine the vanilla seeds.  If the chocolate is still not melted all the way, place back over the simmering water for another minute.  Don’t over cook the white chocolate.  Spread the white chocolate in the prepared baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.  Wash the glass bowl.


3 Place the glass bowl back over the simmering water and add the semi-sweet chocolate.  Heat until it starts to melt, then remove and add the mosto cotto and half and half.  Mix well to combine.  This layer will resemble that of very thick frosting.  Spread it over the chilled white chocolate later and place in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes.  Wash the glass bowl.


4 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a small baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.  In a small bowl, beat the egg white slightly with a fork until it starts to froth.  Add the cashews, ground habanero, coconut sugar and sea salt and toss to coat.  Pour out onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cashews start to brown slightly.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.


5 Place the glass bowl back over the simmering water and add the dark chocolate.  Heat until it starts to melt, then remove and stir to ensure it’s completely melted.  Add 1/2 cup chopped spicy cashews (reserve remainder for another use) and spread over the ganache layer.  Refrigerate until set, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cutting.  Cut into chunks or break into “bark” and enjoy.

Makes about 8-10 servings

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