Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark — Art in Three Steps

To me, baking represents so much more than the creation of desserts.

When I'm methodically mixing together ingredients, baking is therapy — a means of moving past any negative or stressful experiences the day may bring.

When I'm developing a recipe, baking is science — a precise mixture of ingredients that yield a specific result.

When I'm trying my hardest to make my creations and photographs look as great as my blogger idols', baking is art.

Whatever you want to call it, baking always begins the same way: With a blank canvas and an idea.

To celebrate a birthday at work this week, I wanted to create something "Birthday cake-y"without making a cake. Instead, I played off the birthday cake craze online and opted to replicate the simplest, most eloquent looking "birthday cake" non-cake that I've seen yet — Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark!

Every year around the holidays, I look forward to Peppermint Park, but I almost never see any chocolate bark for the remaining 11 months of the year. For this reason, I was thrilled to discover that a few other bloggers have adapted the classic holiday bark to incorporate the now infamous Funfetti Cake's taste and appearance.

Had I known that Chocolate Bark is as simple as painting chocolate on a flat surface and freezing it, I would have tried it years ago! I encourage you to learn from my mistakes and make it ASAP.

Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark (recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats):
Makes enough to fill one thai food takeout container
  • 4 ounces quality dark chocolate
  • 12 ounces quality white chocolate
  • 2-3 teaspoons yellow cake mix
  • Lots of sprinkles
  • Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and freeze until ready to use (freezing here is optional, but will help your chocolate set faster)
  • Microwave dark chocolate for one minute, stir,  and continue microwaving at 30 second intervals until completely melted
  • Using a small spatula, "paint" the dark chocolate on your lined baking sheet
  • Freeze for about 20 minutes
  • Microwave white chocolate for one minute, stir, and continue microwaving at 30 second intervals until completely melted
  • Mix yellow cake mix into white chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes to thicken
  • Using the same (cleaned) spatula, paint white chocolate on top of your dark chocolate base
  • Top with sprinkles immediately, and freeze for about 20 minutes
  • Break frozen bark into large pieces, and refrigerate until ready to serve

Don't worry about wasting the rest of the box of cake mix. You can use it to make these Birthday Cake Rice Krispies Treats or any number of birthday cake inspired treats. I'll have a new one coming your way soon!

A batch of this Birthday Cake Bark requires about 10 minutes of preparation time, not including the time the chocolate requires to set in the freezer. It's literally as simple as paint, freeze, and break...

So, what are you waiting for?

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