Friday, 21 October 2011

Coffee Matching and Chocolate Bark

Last week I attended a coffee-matching and tasting event, hosted by Cafédirect.

Think, but with coffee and desserts.

Now, its fair to say, I'm a bit rubbish at tastings. Don't get me wrong, I am very, very good at thoroughly tasting sweet things (otherwise known as why I need at least a second helping).

However, I am not one for producing elaborate and poetic tasting notes. The last time I went to a wine tasting for example, my insightful comments ranged from 'Ohh, I like this one, its a little like a boozy Ribena, right?' to, later on in the evening, woozily claiming 'Thhish one is verrrrry nicesh'.

Just as well Thierry Akroman, Cafédirect’s tasting expert was on hand. He provided a really informative coffee tasting and matching masterclass, during which I really, really didn't say I thought the coffee tasted 'burnt'. Honestly. Anyways, the key, it appears, is to make a really loud noise when slurping the coffee... Promise me you'll be doing that next time you visit your local Coffee Shop?

Since it was founded, Cafédirect has been sourcing coffee from the most stunning coffee-growing regions in the world – from the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the dizzying heights of Mayan Palenque. Along with a bunch of other food bloggers, we were also set the challenge to create a dessert to match each of Cafédirect’s single origin coffees. We took over the kitchens at L’atelier des Chefs: there are photos from the challenge right here

Myself and Sarah from Food for Think created Chocolate Bark, which Sarah had made to huge success last year at a Christmas Market. There were some brilliant, brilliant other recipes. But the winning recipe came from 21st Century Housewife and Rhubarb and Rose: delightful Spiced Vanilla and Honey Cakes.

This is roughly how we made our Chocolate Bark

200g Chocolate (we used Divine Dark Chocolate)
50g chopped dried apricots
50g hazelnuts, chopped
50g walnuts, chopped
25g raisins
25g sultanas

1. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing and lining the sheet with parchment paper
2. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl suspended over a gently simmering pan of water
3. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet
4. Lightly scatter the fruit and nuts over the chocolate
5. Place the chocolate in the fridge to set (this will take approximately 1-2 hours)

Baker's notes...

With many thanks to Cafédirect for a great evening. Photos courtesy of Cafédirect


  1. Kate,
    Love the name chocolate bark! This is great as you can personalize the bark according to your taste or who you are giving it to.
    Sounds like you had a fun day, not sure I will be slurping my coffee though! X

  2. I am SO glad to get your recipe - the chocolate bark you and Sarah made was some of the best chocolate bark I have ever tasted! I can't wait to try making it. I really enjoyed this post, and thank you so much for linking to me too!

  3. GREAT post and recipe Kate! What a wonderful way to wile away an evening or day and food matching/tasting! Brilliant, just great!

  4. This looks great, perfect for Christmas presents!

  5. It looks great Kate - I must remember this one for nearer to Christmas time!


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