Ah chocolate. A mother’s day classic. While you shouldn’t limit bringing chocolate to your mother to just one day, if you had to pick one, this Sunday is perfect. And no, it’s not too late to make her something heartfelt and delicious.
Mother’s day was originally created to combat the commercialism that had taken over so many popular holidays. Its creator (a mother herself if I’m remembering correctly) simply wanted a day in which children showed their appreciation by acting in a way that would make their mother proud. Children (adult children especially) were encouraged to remember mom’s teachings and spend time with her.
Now that’s not to say that we can’t also show Mom some love with a few meaningful gifts. Notice I said meaningful. Not every mom likes chocolate, but if yours is one who does, I hope you’ll whip up a batch of this incredibly easy confectionary. She might even love them enough to share some with her thoughtful offspring (but if she decides it’s too good to share, that’s not my fault, I warned you!)
I hesitate to call this recipe a “bark” because to me, a chocolate bark has the toppings mostly on top, not stirred and incorporated in. I have a silicone mould specifically for making homemade chocolate squares (which was actually relatively inexpensive, you just have to do some hunting around in houseware stores or online), so I’m going to call this a chocolate bar, but if you don’t have a similar mould, you can also pour the melted chocolate mixture into cookie cutters on a parchment paper lined pan.
What else goes into this chocolate you might ask? Oh just some quinoa that you puffed yourself! (That’s how I’m imagining the conversation will go between you and your mom when she tries your divine creation. She’ll be so impressed and you’ll feel like one of those contestants on Chopped when the judges start interrogating them about their dish)
For those of you who have never puffed or “popped” quinoa before, never fear! It’s the easiest thing in the world. Pick a small saucepan and put it over medium to medium high heat, depending on how hot your burners run. You don’t want the quinoa to burn, as that will ruin your chocolate. When you think the pan is hot enough, test it by sprinkling in a pinch of quinoa grains. If they don’t pop within a few seconds, let the pan heat up some more until they do. Once this happens, you’re good to go! You will have to puff the quinoa in batches, as you can only have a single layer of grains on the bottom of the pan. Have a bowl nearby ready to put the puffed grains into as well. Once you pour the layer of grains in, wait for the popping to start and take the pan off the heat (but leave the burner on, you’ll be coming back to it soon enough). Give the pan a few little shakes, and the grains should continue to pop a bit more with each shake. Once they start to quiet down though, immediately remove them from the pan or else they will burn. DO NOT USE BURNED QUINOA.
Repeat this until you have popped all the quinoa and set it aside.
Makes 8-12 servings (or one really large serving. I won’t judge)
- 8-9 oz of your favourite chocolate, chopped roughly (I used a 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate which worked beautifully, but milk chocolate will work as well)
- 1/4 cup quinoa (multicolour or single colour, it doesn’t matter)
- Puff the quinoa as stated above, set aside.
- Place an inch or two of water in a saucepan and put over medium-low heat, whatever you need to bring it to a boil and then down to a simmer.
- Find a bowl (glass is best) that can sit on top of your saucepan, without touching the water. It should be suspended a little ways above the water, but not too far.
- Place the chopped chocolate into the glass bowl and stir with a spatula. Once it starts melting, you’ll want to keep stirring it until completely smooth.
- Turn off the heat and stir the quinoa into the chocolate until distributed evenly.
- Pour your melted chocolate into chocolate moulds or into cookie cutters on a parchment lined baking sheet. I was going to tell you a thickness to pour it to, but again, I’m not judging, making those chocolates as big as you like.
- Once the chocolate is in the mould/cookie cutters, place the baking sheet into the fridge/freezer (freezer if you want it to chill faster, just don’t forget it’s in there!)
- Let the chocolate cool completely (COMPLETELY. NO NIBBLING)
- Unmould/remove from cookie cutters. It’s best stored in the fridge, as it will melt otherwise.
- Serve to mom and give her a hug! She deserves it.