What I love gifting more than anything are homemade gifts. Taking the time to make or create a special gift for someone not only allows for a personal touch, but can add an extra special sentiment. Often times, homemade gifts aren’t items that are readily available in the store--making them even more special.
Each year, I have a few staple recipes that I make for the holidays but I also enjoy testing out a few new recipes each season to add some variety. I typically make the classics like shortbread and gingerbread cookies, along with some chocolates like turtles and bark.
This year, I was inspired by my prolific mint plant in my Rise Garden to make something festive with it. Since I normally make some sort of chocolate bark, I decided to test out what fresh mint would be like instead of using an extract. Knowing that it’s fairly common for mint extracts to have a fake minty taste, I was excited to see what using the real deal would be like.
Like most of my kitchen adventures, this one started with a quick look on the internet to see if there was an existing recipe I could follow. My search pointed me in the direction of a recipe for Fresh Mint Chocolate Bark and is the recipe ever simple!
Start by harvesting ½ cup mint leaves (10 g) and roughly chop. Next, melt 200 g of chocolate (I used 60% dark) in a double broiler. While the chocolate is melting, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Once the chocolate is melted, add in half the chopped mint leaves and mix. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and smooth with a spatula to 1/8-1/4 inch thick and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint.
Chill the chocolate until it hardens. If you’re like me and live where its freezing cold out right now, just pop it outside for 10-15 minutes and it will be set in no time! Once it’s hardened, you can cut or break the bark into pieces.
The original recipe shared that it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, which I tested out and it keeps beautifully, allowing this holiday treat to be made in advance. Full disclosure, it may not make it to the refrigerator since it’s that good! My storage test had to be hid in the back on the fridge where no one could find it. If you plan on gifting this recipe, adding it to a festive container or box will add a nice finishing touch.
Not only was the recipe exceptionally easy to make, the fresh mint in this chocolate bark is such a bright, refreshing and authentic flavor, that you may never consider using an extract again! Whether you are looking for a holiday treat to gift or make for yourself, this fresh mint chocolate bark is a must try!