5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark with Salted Caramelized Sesame Seeds

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark
This insanely addictive Valentines Day recipe was inspired by my new chocolate obsession – the Lindt sesame dark chocolate bar. Literally, I can’t stop eating it, I should have titled this recipe pure CRACK! The combination of the sweet yet nutty sesame seeds and rich dark chocolate is a perfect match. My initial idea was to make these into amazing little peanut butter cups with homemade chocolate. After various failed attempts, I ran out of cacao powder and wax liners and decided to head in a completely different direction. Afterall, chocolate bark has always served me well and is ridiculously easy to make. I will continue to work on making my own chocolate, so stay tuned for that. For now, melting good quality chocolate will do.

I caramelized my toasted sesame seeds in pure maple syrup, and I could have just eaten that on its own. It reminded me of an even better sesame snap (remember those?). The addition of the peanut butter into the dark chocolate really compliments the nuttiness of the sesame seeds. As you all know by now, there is nothing I love more than sweet and savoury, so a sprinkling of course salt is the perfect final component. With only 5 ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than this. The final product is made in under 10 minutes, and can even be made in advance and stored in the freezer for days (but your loved ones don’t need to know that!). Giving a homemade treat this Valentines Day, will make it one that’s truly special. Happy Valentines Day to you my loves.

(ps. for those interested, I tried to mix cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut sugar for my own chocolate. I couldnt get the coconut sugar to absorb properly and it just made a mess! Next time, I’ll use a liquid sweetener for better absorption!)
5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (any variety you like, just make sure they are toasted!)
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I like 70% dairy free, but choose your favourite chocolate!)
• 5 tbsp all natural peanut butter
• coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Prepare two large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Heat maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add your sesame seeds and cook together with the maple syrup for about 5 minutes or until they seeds are well coated in the syrup.

2. Spread out the sesame seeds onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. It’s ok if there are clusters! Allow to cool.

3. Over a double boiler OR by heating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, melt your chocolate. If you use the microwave make sure to stir really well in between each 30 seconds. You don’t want to burn your chocolate.

4. Spread the chocolate evenly on your remaining parchment lined cookie sheet. The more you spread the chocolate, the thinner your chocolate bark will be.

5. If your peanut butter is hard from the fridge, microwave for 30 seconds so it is spreadable. Then, disperse dollops of peanut butter evenly on the chocolate. Using a toothpick or fork, swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate. Using your hands, break apart the caramelized sesame over the chocolate, then sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in the freezer for at least an hour or until set. Break apart using your hands into desired size. Store in an airtight container (I like keeping it in the freezer).

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Blueberry and Peach Summer Crumble

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Living in North American makes it incredibly easy to gain access to all sorts of fruits and vegetables year round. It has become so easy that as consumers, we have forgotten what grows when. Part of eating for wellness is making an effort to eat more locally which often allows for proper harvesting, a lower environmental impact and a positive economic impact for your community. It is quite simple. If you live in Quebec and buy Quebec fruit, farmers will be able to contain more nutrients within the fruit by allowing it to ripen naturally on the parent plant. By only transporting within Quebec, there is a shorter transportation time and Quebec farmers will be supported and happy! The consumer will be happy as well, knowing they are getting food that isn’t made in a large plant that is often focused on yield rather than quality.

Although we are blessed to have all these amazingly delicious fruits and vegetables year-round, I do urge you to stay in tune with what is in season and to buy local whenever possible. Although it can be more expensive, there really is nothing more gratifying then walking through a farmers market and knowing you are getting quality food while supporting your community. Don’t get me wrong, you will find me at Provigo, Loblaws etc… But I do make it a point, especially during the summers, to make it to farmers markets as much as possible. And its not always more expensive! That delicious (but expensive) iconic Quebec maple syrup you get in a can is actually half the price at Atwater Market! That alone is worth making the trip over!

So… what is in season now you ask? I know my readers come from all over the world so it truly depends on where you live. My advice is to find a well accredited website in your area and do a research. If you live in Quebec (comme moi!) you can click here  for an amazing chart of what is in season monthly!

If you take a look at that chart, you will see that both peaches and blueberries are in season during the month of July. In honour of their deliciousness I have made a wonderful crumble to celebrate! I highly recommend Jean-Talon, Atwater and Maisonneuve markets which are the largest here in Montreal. If you live elsewhere, you can check online for the best markets in your area. It is also worth it to check out small family owned grocery stores which often have the best produce and alternative products. Weekends are the best for making a day out of market and grocery store adventures. Drive a little further than you would normally, and you will be blown away with what unbelievable produce is available coming right from your hometown.
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Now on to the food. I love fruit desserts. Pies, crumbles… you name it, ill eat it. They are so easy to make and so very versatile. Any fruits you like will work and if you can’t find whats in season, you can use frozen fruit as well! How easy is that. I love mixing cherries, strawberries and apples. The possibilities are endless.For this summer crumble, I am using two fruits that are in season, but if you want to make this in the winter time, you can freeze the fruit yourself in freezer safe bags, or buy frozen peaches and blueberries at your grocery store. If you use frozen fruit, make sure to let them thaw and drain some of the liquid otherwise you might end up with a soggy crumble! Also, I like to leave the skin on my peaches for a more rustic dessert. If you hate the skin, feel free to peel it off.

You will also notice that there is a large amount of topping for this crumble. The topping is my absolute favourite part so I always like there to be an abundance! That is really the beauty of home cooking. Being the chef allows you to alter and adapt your dishes to how you, friends and family like it best! If you find theres too much topping for your pie, you can pour the mixture onto a sheet pan and bake for about 45 minutes for a perfect granola! As always this recipe is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars. It is also vegan! Bon Appetit!
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Topping Ingredients:

• 2 cups gluten free oats
•4-6 drops stevia
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup walnuts
• pinch of salt
• 1 heap tbsp arrowroot starch
• 1/2 cup coconut oil (not melted)
• 1 tbsp cinnamon

Filling Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup maple syrup
• 4 ripe peaches (sliced)
• 2 1/2 cup blueberries
• 2 heaped 2tbsp arrowroot starch
• juice and zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
1. Prehead oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until well coated. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse all the topping ingredients until crumbly. You still want some texture here so do not over pulse! Make sure to use coconut oil in its solid state and not melted.
3. Pour fruit mixture into ramekins or pie dish. Using a spoon, pour desired amount of topping onto the fruit. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and beginning to pour over. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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