Whenever I travel I like to bring home food and entertaining inspiration from some of the world’s most extraordinary stores. When I was in Berlin in early December, I was shopping in the candy department at KaDeWe (it is an entire floor!) and came across a beautiful bar of white chocolate with dehydrated strawberries. I snapped a photo and continued on. After getting over my jet-lag, I headed into my kitchen in Chicago and I recreated my version using white chocolate chips that are readily found in all grocery stores and freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe's. After a few batches, the addition of vanilla bean seeds and French sea salt where the magic ingredients! The vanilla added depth of flavor to the chocolate and the salt took it from a sweet treat to an elegant homemade candy - a truly winning combination!
Strawberry White Chocolate Bark
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
White Chocolate Chips – 20 ounces
Vanilla Bean Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fleur de Sel – ¾ teaspoon
Freeze Dried Strawberry Slices – 1 ounce
Using a pencil, draw a 9x11-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Turn the parchment paper over and place it onto a half sheet pan. Set aside.
Add three quarters of the white chocolate chips to a heat-proof glass bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for exactly 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate, return it to the microwave, and heat on high for another 30 seconds. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted.
Once it is just melted, add the remaining chocolate chips and vanilla bean seeds and stir until it's completely smooth.
Pour the warm melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly to fill the drawn rectangle on the prepared sheet of parchment.
Next, while the chocolate is still warm, evenly sprinkle over the fleur de sel. Arrange the freeze dried strawberry slices to fill the entire chocolate surface.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 3 hours to set. Break into pieces are serve.
Tip: In addition to the whole slices of strawberries, I also use the “strawberry dust” at the bottom of the bag. It adds even more flavor to each bite of chocolate bark and also looks fabulous!