The holidays would not be complete without chocolate bark, am I right? Here’s our twist on this classic dessert with an Asian holiday chocolate bark featuring the key ingredient, Japanese matcha (green tea) powder. This recipe was inspired by a recent post on FoodandWine.com, but we added a surprise kick to our bark with a “smidge” of cayenne pepper! For an extra crunch, add chopped, roasted almonds to the matcha mixture. Make this in advance, store it in the fridge or freezer, and pull it out for your party guests!
Swirl the chocolate with a skewer or toothpick to make a decorative design. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Canola cooking spray
- 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon (Japanese) matcha powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups white chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Spray a 9x13 inch cookie sheet with cooking spray. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper, with overlap.
- In a medium glass mixing bowl, microwave 1 ½ cups of the bittersweet chocolate chips in 30-second increments until melted. Remove bowl from microwave and add in remaining ½ cup chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted. Spread the melted chocolate into the sheet pan in an even layer. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the canola oil, matcha powder, and cayenne powder. Set aside.
- In a large glass mixing bowl, microwave 3½ cups of the white chocolate chips in 30-second increments until melted. Remove bowl from microwave and add in the remaining ½ cup of white chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted. Pour the matcha powder mixture into ½ cup of the melted white chocolate chips and mix well. Using a large spoon, spread large spoonfuls of the matcha chocolate and white chocolate over dark chocolate layer in the pan. Use the tip of a skewer to decoratively make swirls in the chocolate. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. Break off into uneven bite-sized pieces when ready to serve.
- Let sit at room temperature about 2 hours, until firm. Can be stored in the refrigerator in a container for 2 weeks.
Adapted from Food and Wine, December 2016.
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This traditional, often colorful Asian dessert soup, called “Bo Bo Cha Cha,” is a popular street food in Singapore and Malaysia. The base is coconut milk and features a variety of colorful sweet potatoes and yams. Purple sweet potatoes would be a great addition to this soup. It’s super easy to prepare, and can be served as a chilled soup starter or as a dessert. You may even get up and dance the Cha Cha after eating this soup!
- 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 small yams, peeled and cubed
- 1 can coconut milk (14.5 ounces)
- 1 cup water
- Steam the sweet potatoes and yams in a steamer until they are soft, but not mushy (about 10 minutes). Bring the coconut milk mixed with the water to a boil. Add in sweet potatoes and yam and boil another 5 minutes. Do not over-boil. Serve chilled.
For all of you Nutella-lovers, this recipe is a keeper! It’s so incredibly simple and quick you could whip this up for breakfast or as an after-dinner treat! So, instead of shoveling spoonfuls of this popular hazelnut spread into your mouth right out of the jar (yep, we all have our weaknesses), try this alternative that will satisfy even more. Your tummy will thank you!
- 4 frozen crepes, defrosted
- ¼ cup Nutella spread
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup finely chopped peanuts
- Fold each pancake (crepe) in half, spread 1 generous tablespoon of Nutella on each pancake and fold over into quarters. Warm a non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray and lightly toast each pancake until warm, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove pancakes from skillet and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle each pancake with coconut flakes and peanuts. Serve while warm.