So I have currently made three batches of peppermint bark this week. Each batch has been a adventure of its own, here are a few of the things I have learned from the process.
1. The quality of chocolate does make a difference. (as much as I prefer Nestle in cookies, 60% cocoa Ghirardelli is superior for melting)
2. A double boiler works MUCH better then the microwave. (even if it is a makeshift one from two pots)
3. Adding anything to your perfectly melted chocolate will alter its consistency. (ie. water from a too full double boiler and the peppermint extract the recipe calls for will both make the chocolate a bit chunky/thicker then it was)
4. Stir constantly and be patient, the chocolate will burn otherwise. (and you microwave users be extra cautious about under-stirring)
5. Peppermint and Mint extract are different. (do not let the sales associate at the grocery store tell you otherwise, just try a different store)
6. Be careful when crushing your candy canes or peppermint. (of you may end up with a broken ziploc and peppermint pieces all over your kitchen like me)
7. White chocolate does not melt as well as other chocolates, and the peppermint extract should not be added to the whit chocolate. (peppermint makes white chocolate a chunky mess)
8.Spread the white chocolate with care. (it easily melts the chocolate underneath and you may get a more marbled looking bark if not done very carefully)
9. Press the peppermint into the chocolate, and use lots of peppermint. (the back of a spoon works well and a lot of the peppermint falls off when you break the bark.
10. Even if it does not look as you may have hoped, once it is broken it will taste just the same…DELICIOUS!!!
I used this recipe and altered it a little. I used about a half bag of dark chocolate and half a bag of white chocolate chips, and I highly recommend adding the peppermint extract only to the dark chocolate (see #7). Although this took several tried before I was satisfied with the outcome it was a learning experience and fun to make. I would now say that I am on my way to becoming a professional chocolate melter.