My introduction to cooking started a long time ago. As I've mentioned in several blog posts that I grew up surrounded by cooks. My grandparents on both sides cooked, my mother cooked, my father mostly just hung out...but needless to say the influence was strong from both sides.
When I was 11, I volunteered to make my very first dish. Nothing complicated, just a vegetable soup but while requesting that I be left alone in the kitchen sans supervision. Miraculously this was granted and I churned out a soup that was edible. I do recall the liberating feeling of being able to make what I wanted and how I wanted it without instruction from anyone else.
But one person that influenced me in my adult life was a TV chef. It all started with Giada de Laurentiis. Her TV show, Every Day Italian had a feel to it that much reminded me of cooking in Romania. The concept was about using simple ingredients and creating beautiful meals without a lot of fuss. That instantly attracted me and I became a fan that followed her religiously through all her shows and most of her cookbooks and still do to this day.
In 2009, I decided I was going to take on a challenge. After having read Julie and Julia in 2005, I was set to put the experiement to the test myself - on a much smaller scale. I would cook my way through Giada's Kitchen. Two to three times a week, I would make a new recipe. It was by far one of the most expensive but rewarding challenges I've ever taken on. The experience demanded that I step out of my comfort zone and try ingredients I hadn't before used and cooking methods that were foreign to me.
Some things turned out beautifully and some not so much. What I took away from the experience, however, was what established my cooking philosophy. Keep it simple and focus on highlighting good ingredients.
This is certainly the case for this paleo chocolate bark. I'm hesitant to even call it paleo but I will since I suppose by definition it does fall into the modern paleo template. It does not contain any dairy, soy, corn or gluten but it's definitely not diet food. While for the most part I eat well and don't overdo it on sweets, I do like to hop on board the indulgence train every once in a while. My thinking is - eat well most of the time but don't deprive yourself. If you do, you're never going to succeed in the long run and will look at food in a militant sort of way. Something to be controlled rather than something to be enjoyed. And when it comes to chocolate...well...
3 ingredient chocolate bark
prep time: 1 minute
cooking time: 10 minutes
refrigeration time: 1-2 hours
makes: 20 servings
1 bag dark chocolate chips (I use these)
3 tbsp roasted sliced almonds
pinch of himalayan sea salt
small or medium glass bowl
2 baking sheets
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almond slices on a baking sheet and roast for 5-6 minutes until fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place entire bag of chocolate chips in bowl. Add about an inch of water to sauce pan, turn on heat to medium and place bowl on top of pan to create a double boiler. With a spatula stir the chocolate chips continuously until chocolate has melted.
Add parchment paper to baking sheet and slowly pour the chocolate, spreading it out with spatula in a thin even layer.
Add seas salt, almonds and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Break up bark however you'd like and serve.