Oh peppermint bark… just get in my belly. Now.
Annabel: "Oh My GOD!!! Mummy, PLEASE make this. EVERY. DAY."
Bear: "Ooooooh Yummy."
Annabel: "Aaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhh, soooooooo gooooooood."
Bear: "More please."
If you've never tried peppermint bark you are going to need to prepare yourself for the fact that you will never want to eat anything else, ever again. Also your pre-Christmas diet is ruined. It's deliciously chocolatey, subtly minty and has crunch. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!
You will need:
1lb milk chocolate (the very best you can find for cooking with)
1 1/2 lbs white chocolate (again, buy the best you can)
Lots of candy canes (the peppermint kind)
1 1/2tsp peppermint essence
Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment or aluminium foil, choose a tray that has a little depth as you want the bark to be about 1.5cm thick. Set the tray aside.
Place the candy canes in a zip lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin or wooden spoon. You can blitz some of them in a food processor if you like, but I like to keep the pieces chunky. Put the broken candy canes to one side.
Create a bain marie (a pan of boiling water with a bowl sitting over the pan, the water must not touch the bowl) and add the broken up milk chocolate to the bowl. Stir gently until it melts. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared tray, gently tilt the tray to ensure even coverage and tap it gently on the kitchen surface to release any air bubbles. Pop the tray into the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Take the milk chocolate out of the fridge and allow it to return to room temperature for five to ten minutes, condensation on the chocolate may stop the white chocolate layer from binding to the milk chocolate layer.
Clean the bain marie bowl then melt the white chocolate in the same way. Just as it is all melted add the peppermint essence and stir gently. If you have created peppermint dust in a food processor add this to the white chocolate now.
Pour the melted white chocolate mixture over the top of the milk chocolate. Gently tilt the tray to ensure even coverage. Sprinkle the candy canes over the top of the white chocolate, lightly press the chunks into the white chocolate then return the baking tray to the fridge to set.
Once set lift the baking parchment and firmly break the bark into pieces. If you can't break it with your hands use a sharp knife on a chopping board. Now hide it, you will not want to share. If you can bear to part with your peppermint bark it is a wonderful gift at Christmas time and it's fun to watch adults and children trying to snaffle the last piece.