It IS easy being green, when you’re the antioxidant-packed green tea powder that’s turning everything from noodles and lattes to desserts a bright, healthy hue. Matcha is hot hot hot! Join lifestyle author Greta Scholtz on a vibrant adventure through the sweet and savory uses of this magic ingredient.
Chocolate bark is probably one of my favorite edible homemade gifts. It’s so simple to make that even a child can do it, and the possibilities for flavors and toppings are endless. You can add dried fruit, nuts, seeds, your favorite cookies or candy, herbs, salt or chili powder. I would, however, recommend using a good-quality eating chocolate, as it’s all about the chocolate.
- 1 pound good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped (3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 1/4 cup shelled unroasted pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 2 tablespoons shaved coconut flakes or chips
For the bark
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 9- x 13-inch baking sheet. Draw an 8- x 12-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks face down and will not transfer onto the chocolate. Line the pan with the paper and set aside.
Melt two-thirds of the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring regularly so the chocolate melts slowly and evenly. As soon as it is melted, remove the pan from the heat and, using a rubber spatula, stir in the remaining chopped chocolate in 4 batches, making sure each addition is melted before adding the next. Be patient as this will take a little bit of time.
As the chocolate cools, it will start to thicken. If you don't manage to melt all the chocolate or if there are some unmelted lumps, warm it in a microwave for just a few seconds at a time.
Transfer 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate to a small bowl. Stir in the matcha until no lumps remain. Stir the matcha paste into the melted chocolate until evenly distributed.
Add the puffed rice cereal and mix to combine.
Scrape the mixture onto the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly to the edges of the rectangle outlined on the paper. Sprinkle with the pistachios, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and coconut. Gently press them into the mixture with the palm of your hand.
Let the bark set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Break into large shards. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.