I was first introduced to Peppermint Bark while visiting family in The States. For those unfamiliar with the American confection – it’s usually a layer of dark chocolate covered with a layer white chocolate, then topped with crushed candy canes. Sophisticated? Perhaps not. Tasty? Very.
I thought I would make my own version as it’s harder to come by in England, and is very easy to do. Seeing as vegan white chocolate is harder to find I decided to do without it and instead make some shapes out of peppermint creme to sink into the chocolate to mix up the textures a bit.
I used snowflake cutters for the peppermint creme but they were a little too fiddly to be honest. Any small cutter would work just as well, little stars would be nice, or you could just freestyle with a small knife and put in any shape you like!
You don’t have to go anywhere fancy for the dark chocolate -Bournville is vegan, as is a lot of dark chocolate. Your best bet is to have a quick look at the ingredients as many brands won’t clearly label their products as vegan – even if they are.
Once chilled and broken up it looks lovely in little cellophane gift bags as Christmas gifts… or you can just merrily munch away on the lot yourself!
Makes: 1 large slab
Prep time: 20 mins plus chilling time
- 75g icing sugar plus more for dusting
- Peppermint flavouring
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 2-3 candy canes
- 300g dark chocolate
- First make your peppermint creme shapes. Line a small plate with baking parchment and add the icing sugar to a small bowl. Add in a few drops of peppermint flavouring and then start to add the water, a little at a time until you have a ball of icing. You may need to add a little more icing sugar if it’s too wet.
- Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out your icing until it’s about 1/2 cm thick. You don’t want it too thin or you’ll lose your shapes in the chocolate. Using a small cutter or knife cut shapes out of the icing and place on the lined plate. You may need to bunch the icing together and roll it out again to cut a second round.
- Break up the chocolate into pieces and place into a microwavable bowl and microwave on full for a minute, stopping to check and then at 30 second intervals until half of the chocolate looks melted – the rest will melt from the heat of the bowl. If you’re worried about over cooking the chocolate this way you can use the double boiler method – I just personally find it easier in the microwave! Add in a few drops of peppermint flavouring according to your taste.
- Line a pan or tray with baking paper – I used a 20cm x 20 cm square tin, but you could use any dish or container as long as it has roughly the same area.
- Now for the fun smashy bit – crushing the candy canes! My tip is to bash them while they are still in their plastic casings – this prevents small pieces of candy flying across your kitchen when they get whacked with the rolling pin. I only figured this out after taking the first two out of their wrappers so do learn from my mistake! Its totally up to you what size you want your pieces – I kept them all quite small but you could have larger chunks too.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the lined tin and give it a gentle shake to make sure it’s spread evenly. Now you can decorate! Gently prise your icing shapes from the plate and place into the chocolate. Repeat with as many shapes as your like and then sprinkle over the crushed candy canes.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set before breaking up into various shapes of “bark”. Store in an airtight container.