This Valentine’s Day, I would love to share my favorite recipe for homemade candy. This dark chocolate bar is studded with candied orange peel, garnet-colored cherries, and crystals of black sea salt. These decorations are very pretty to look at, and taste delicious together. It also has a crispy interior, reminiscent of a Krackle or Nestle’s Crunch Bar.
I like to think of this as a “healthy” candy bar, and it makes a great gift for holidays or dinner parties. If you can’t find puffed quinoa cereal, use puffed brown rice cereal instead. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Crispy Dark Chocolate Bar with Candied Orange, Cherries and Sea Salt
6 oz high-quality dark chocolate (I use 85%), chopped
1/4 cup puffed quinoa cereal (or puffed brown rice cereal, unsweetened)
1/4 cup chopped dried dark sweet cherries (unsweetened, unsulfered)
Black Hawaiian sea salt, or sea salt of your choice
Peel of 1 organic orange, removed in wide strips, white pith removed
1/4 cup + 2 tblsp granulated sugar, divided
1. Make the candied orange: slice the orange peel into 1/8 inch wide strips. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add the orange strips. Boil for 7 minutes and Drain. In the saucepan, add 1/2 cup of fresh water and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the blanched orange strips and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Stir frequently and don’t walk away from the stove. When the liquid is gone, transfer the sticky orange to a sheet of parchment paper and quickly toss with 2 tblsp sugar, separating the pieces with two forks. Let cool.
2. Line an 8 x 8 pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, creating a “sling” for easy removal. In a large heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between. Working quickly, stir the puffed cereal into the melted chocolate with a silicone spatula until incorporated. Turn into the prepared pan and tilt back and forth until the melted chocolate spreads evenly to all four corners. Quickly sprinkle the warm chocolate with chopped cherries, candied orange peel and sea salt. Cover and place in the fridge until completely hardened, at least an hour. Once firm, remove the parchment sling from the pan to a cutting board and cut into desired shapes. Store in the fridge in an airtight container and it will last for a month.