Delicate thin wafers of chocolate with lightly toasted pumpkin seeds are the perfect treat when you need a little something sweet!
Start off by toasting the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. This will release their oils and make them so much more flavorful. Start shaking the pan once you hear their ‘snap, crackle, pop’! It should take about 5 minutes for them to turn lightly golden, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave – whatever works for you. If using the microwave make sure you stop it every 30 seconds or so to stir the chocolate. Chocolate can go from liquid to blackened charcoal very quickly! To add some Mexican-style flavors, stir in some spices like cayenne pepper and/or cinnamon.
Once the chocolate is smooth, stir in the toasted seeds, and pour the whole thing out onto a parchment or silicon lined baking pan. Use a spoon or spatula to spread it out into a thin layer – the thinner the better. Add some more seeds if desired, and if you have any, sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel. These delicate salt flakes actually enhance the chocolate flavor, making it that much more intense.
Regular table, Kosher or sea salt will not work. Fleur de sel are sea salt flakes, not granules. Because they are so delicate in texture and flavor (and a bit expensive), they are only added just before you serve the food as a light sprinkle on top. Only a little bit is needed since their salty flavor is so concentrated.
Pop the pan into the freezer and chill for about 15 minutes until its firm. All that’s left to do is to break it into bite-sized pieces. Although if you plan on giving this away as a gift, don’t do what I did…I forgot to cover my fingers with a bit of plastic wrap before I handled the chocolate, and put my greasy little fingerprints all over the beautiful smooth chocolate. Needless to say I kept that batch for myself!
Chocolate Pumpkin Bark
- 2/3 cup pepitas hulled unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 12 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- Fleur de sel garnish (optional)
Optional Flavorings for 'Aztec Chocolate Bark'
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ancho chili powder
- In a dry skillet toast seeds for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. This will allow their oils to be released and become more flavorful. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Melt chocolate, stirring until smooth*. Stir in seeds and any additional spices you'd like.
- Spread out into a thin layer onto a parchment or silicon lined baking pan. Sprinkle with some fleur de sel if desired (these delicate salt flakes really bring out the flavor of the chocolate). Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Break into bite-sized pieces, and store in the fridge in an airtight container.