This is a sweet, silky white chocolate bark studded with fresh pomegranate arils, dusted with ground pistachios for color and flavor, and sprinkled with chia seeds for extra crunch.
It’s bright, sweet, and just a little tart. It is familiar but unexpected, a new twist on an old treat. It’s exactly the combination of flavors that I feel like I’ve been needing recently.
You see, I’ve been in something of a food rut for the past few weeks. I’ve been making old favorites and trying new recipes, but nothing has seemed particularly exciting. The recipes I make most often these days are the simplest, nourishing but uncomplicated.
Let’s not pretend that cooking is easy. It’s hard. It’s time consuming, and energy draining, and sometimes requires hours of repetitive or mundane tasks. It takes a certain amount of enthusiasm and inspiration to keep going. You have to learn to really love food if you want to learn to cook, and cook well. Lately, I’ve been lacking that inspiration.
This recipe, if anything, is a rut-buster. It’s full of flavor but incredibly simple to make. You can throw it together without effort, energy, or inspiration. But it’s more than likely that playing around with the ingredients– so simple, yet so incredibly varied in texture and color– will be enough to spark your interest in cooking again. At least, that’s what this pomegranate bark did for me.
It’s mid-January now, and it seems to me like it’s time for a change. Never mind that I just flew into town two days ago, that my laptop is at the Apple Store for the rest of the week, and that I’m blogging from my iPhone. Never mind that this post was photographed at in my parents’ kitchen, sans DLSR, on my trusty 5S. Never mind the never-ending to-do list, the piles of laundry, or that classes start in another four days.
We can’t let that stop us.
I currently have Joy the Baker’s “Homemade Decadence” and Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work!” loaded onto my phone in Kindle form for inspiration. I started reading both of these books during my flight to California. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from them, it’s that working on a craft or project is all about mindset. You could be cooking brunch in your home kitchen or creating a work of art to share with hundreds of thousands of people– it doesn’t matter what it is. The key is to delight in the process, learn and share as much as you can, follow your instincts, and learn to love what you do. (And, conversely, do what you really love.) I’m charmed by the passion both authors seem to have for their respective works, and I’m hoping to find the same in my kitchen over the next few weeks. Here’s to hoping that the best kitchen adventures are yet to come.
I’m ready to leave winter hibernation mode behind, and find inspiration in my kitchen. I can’t wait to work with fresh ingredients, and find new ways to use them. And I hope you’ll join me, starting with this recipe.
White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark
- 1 cup chopped white chocolate, white chocolate chips, or white chocolate melts
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pistachios
- 1/4 pomegranate, arils removed, rinsed, and dried completely with a paper towel
- Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment.
- If using a high-quality white chocolate, temper your chocolate. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate over a double-boiler, to 110 degrees F. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/3 cup chocolate, and mix until the chocolate is melted and cooled to 80 degrees F. Return to the double boiler, stirring, until chocolate is 90 degrees F. (Link to full method provided in notes.)
- If you are using a lower quality white chocolate, or using white chocolate candy melts, simply melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, stirring often.
- Once the chocolate is melted, pour it onto the center of your lined baking sheet. Use a spatula or spoon to spread the chocolate to 1/8 inch thickness.
- Sprinkle chia seeds over the white chocolate. Then, sprinkle the pistachio powder, being sure to leave some areas of chocolate uncovered for the pomegranate arils to adhere to.
- Scatter the pomegranate arils over the chocolate, focusing on areas where the chocolate is exposed.
- Gently press the pomegranate arils into place. You can also gently press in the chia seeds and pistacho powder in areas where it is heavily concentrated.
- Chill bark, on baking tray, for 15-20 minutes, until the chocolate is completely set. Gently peel off the waxed paper, and snap the bark into smaller pieces. Store in a closed container or sealed bag. Bark will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
The simple chocolate tempering method used for this recipe is described in detail here.
For even more pistachio flavor, simply chop up a handful of whole pistachios and use them in place of the powder.
It is not advisable to consume large amounts of dry chia seeds, due to the amount of water they absorb. Stick to a small volume of chia seeds for this recipe (one small pinch per serving), and look for wet preparations of the seeds if you’re going to consume larger amounts.