This is for someone who loves to indulge in chocolate.
Dark-chocolate bark with crystallised mint
Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus setting time
• crystallised mint
• handful of fresh mint leaves
• 1 egg white, lightly beaten
• 100ml castor sugar
Brush each mint leaf with a thin layer of egg white on both sides. Toss in the sugar and place on a lined tray or baking sheet. Leave to dry and harden overnight in a cool, dry place.
Chop 200g of 70% dark chocolate. Melt two-thirds of the chocolate over a pot of gently simmering water. Take care not to allow any moisture to get into the chocolate. Stir until melted and the temperature reaches 45˚C. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until it is melted. Keep stirring until the chocolate cools to about body temperature. Test it by putting a little on your top lip; it should not feel hot. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chop the crystallised mint and sprinkle over the chocolate as it sets. Leave to set completely, then break into shards. Store in the fridge.
White-chocolate bark with pistachios
Follow the steps for the dark-chocolate bark but use 100g good-quality white chocolate. Sprinkle 50ml chopped pistachio nuts over the chocolate after spreading it onto the baking sheet.
1 Use a flat rectangular box or even the lid of a rectangular box. Line the base with pretty paper. Measure the base and sides.
2 Photocopy scrapbooking paper in colour onto thin cardboard. Alternatively, stick the paper to thick cardboard with craft glue if you want it to be sturdier. Cut a strip of cardboard according to your measurements, to fit lengthways around the box, but add on 5cm for the overlap of the ends of the strip.
3 Measure the cardboard strip to determine where it will fold over the box, add about 2mm and fold neatly using a ruler to make sure it is straight. Fit the cardboard around the box and stick the overlap down with double-sided adhesive tape. The cardboard should fit securely around the box, but not be too tight.
4 Cut a small slit in the front side of the box. Fold a ribbon into a loop and push the loop through the slit. Stick it down on the inside of the box with double-sided tape.
5 For the tag, tie a ribbon in a matching colour around the box. Write or print the person’s name onto white cardboard. Cut out a circle around the name and glue it to the centre of the ribbon.