A dark pool of bittersweet chocolate, dried apricots dripping in honey, and a bit of salt sitting on the counter create a satisfying push and pull even before this confection comes together. Sweetness will be tempered. When the fluidity of stirred chocolate is interrupted by the addition of dried coconut, feel yet another pull – the disruptive change from smooth to speckled.
Taste your way through this recipe as you drizzle, melt, and pinch to create tempting squares that invoke the Mediterranean and the tropics. The liquid confection is so delicious that you may need to remind yourself to spread it out and let it harden rather than eat it with a spoon.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Rounded ¼ cup unsulphured dried Turkish apricots, ¼-inch diced
2 tablespoons unsweetened dried shredded coconut
Olive oil and honey for drizzling
Pinch of salt
Prepare by preheating the oven to 325 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mark a 6 inch square on the parchment, which is where you will spread the chocolate mixture later.
Put the chopped apricots in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Toss to make sure they are well-coated and drizzle with more honey if needed. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, and set aside to cool, but sneak a couple so you can get a sense of where the flavor of this chocolate bark is headed.
Now it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan about a third of the way with water and bring to a slow simmer. Fit a heat-resistant bowl snugly on top of the pan, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add ⅔ of the bittersweet chocolate to the bowl and allow to melt, stirring occasionally with a spatula.
When almost all of the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat, and transfer the bowl to a counter. Add the remaining ⅓ of the chocolate, and stir often until all of the chocolate has melted and is a little above room temperature.
Fold in the coconut until evenly incorporated. Next fold in the apricot pieces. Use an offset spatula to spread the mixture to the edges of the square marked earlier. Chill uncovered to set chocolate. Cut into squares to serve.