I’ve got big news this week. Beau and I are buying a house!!!!!!!!!
Those of you who have purchased houses before probably know how nerve-racking this process is. I had no inkling of the mountain of paperwork buying a house entails, not to mention the nail-biting stress induced by waiting to see if your bid is accepted. And then there’s that whole forking over a huge pile of money part, too.
But, home-ownership! How exciting is that? I can barely sleep at night, I’m so jazzed to start painting and refinishing and laying tile. And my index finger is practically paralyzed from all the decor-related pinning I’ve been doing.
All this stress and excitement has left me more than a little behind on my Christmas preparations, however. As in I have done precisely nothing to prepare for the holidays. I haven’t even played any sappy Christmas music, which is my favorite way to kick off the season.
But thanks to this recipe for Matcha White Chocolate Bark with Coconut and Raspberries, I will at the very least have some pretty homemade treats to give.
This bark is inspired by a green tea bar made by the L.A.-based chocolate company, Compartés. The recent appearance of many excellent white chocolates on the market had already made me a white chocolate convert. But the sweet, grassy flavor and pleasant bitterness of matcha powder against the silky sweetness of white chocolate made me consider it in a whole new, more sophisticated, light.
One of my go-to gifts for the holidays is chocolate bark. It’s stupendously easy to make and the possible flavor combinations are limitless. This bark is my favorite to date though. I’m obsessed with the green tea/white chocolate combination. The raspberries provide contrast to the earthiness of the tea and the sweetness of the chocolate. And the coconut gives the whole thing crunch.
I’m feeling pretty nice about the whole Christmas color palette, too. And did I mention this gorgeous confection only takes about 15 minutes to make?
So if you’re looking for a last-minute homemade holiday gift or just a little something different to slip in someone’s stocking, I suggest you get acquainted with this Matcha White Chocolate Bark.
I’ve made two batches today, which might be the extent of my holiday “baking” this year. But I’m cool with it. Especially if it means decking the halls of our own little bungalow come Christmas 2016.
P.S. If you're looking for other homemade holiday gift ideas, here are a few more recipes you might like:
Matcha White Chocolate Bark with Coconut and Raspberries
- 1 lb. high quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons culinary grade matcha powder
- ½ cup freeze-dried raspberries, lightly crushed
- ⅓ cup unsweetened, shaved coconut
*Notes: I used Green & Black's organic white chocolate for this bark but any high-quality white chocolate will work.
- Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both carry excellent freeze-dried raspberries.
- Unsweetened coconut is important since white chocolate is generally quite sweet. Using sweetened coconut would, in my opinion, push this bark into cloying territory.
- The chocolate is gently heated to between 100 – 110° F in order to keep the temper of the chocolate. Reserving 1/4 of the chocolate to stir in will cool it down more quickly and also help keep it in temper. Once your chocolate it is out of temper it gets a whitish sort of "bloom" more quickly and will lose some of it's snap. Of course, it isn't strictly necessary to try to keep your chocolate in temper. For a slightly less fussy version, you can simply heat it all until melted and then proceed with the recipe. This option works better if you or the recipients of your bark are going to be eating it within a 2-4 days.
Heat a small saucepan with one inch of water over high heat until the water barely comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain this bare simmer. Place a large metal bowl over the saucepan of water and add ¾ of the chopped chocolate. Take care not to let any water or steam touch the chocolate or it can seize.
Cook, stirring often until the chocolate has melted and reads between 100 – 110° F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the reserved chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted. Sift the matcha over the bowl to make sure there are no lumps and stir until the streaks disappear and the chocolate is uniform in color.
Stir half the raspberries and half the coconut into the melted chocolate then pour onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Spread the melted chocolate to a roughly 10x10-inch square then sprinkle the rest of the raspberries and coconut over the top. Gently press the toppings into the chocolate to make sure they stick.
Set the bark aside to cool for 2 hours at room temperature or 20 minutes in the fridge before slicing into 16 pieces. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 16 pieces.