On our first date, my now husband told me that when it comes to holidays, it goes:
2. Persian New Year
That was a big shock for me, since Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday season. What did he mean, Persian New Year was more important to him?! Did it have the beautiful decorations? Yes, actually there is a whole spread of flowers, fish, golden coins, fruit, painted eggs, and so much more!
But what about the smell of home baked cookies? Oh yes, Persian New Year has got that, too! And they all smell so good with cardamom and rose water in the air!
But are there special foods you eat? Absolutely! Traditionally, there is fried fish served with an herb rice. There is a lot of hoopla around extra smoked fish, salads, and other veggie dishes. I love tradition, but I also love to add a special touch. This is where I introduce you to the Persian New Year chocolate bark. It's sooo good, with a hint of cardamom, filled with almonds and pistachios for extra crunch, and dried cherries and mulberries for a sweet sour touch. And you know what the best part is? You don't even need to celebrate Persian New Year to enjoy this delicious chocolate. If you have a Thermomix, big bonus for super easy preparation! Scroll down for the easy version of this recipe. If not, follow the hot water bath for the melting of the chocolate directions.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes enough for everyone you know! :-)
510g/ 18oz bittersweet chocolate (I like this one!), broken into small pieces
1 cup raw almonds
½ cup raw shelled pistachios
½ cup dried golden berries (sour) or mulberries (not as sour)
½ cup dried tart cherries
1 tsp ground cardamom
pink sea salt
dried rose petals for decoration
Start by making a hot water bath to melt your chocolate. Use a wide pan, and cover the bottom with water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the stove.
Use a heat proof bowl (stainless steel or heat-proof glass) and place this in the water in the wide pan. Add the chocolate and let it sit and melt. Stir often. This can take a while - up to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a big pan over medium heat and add the almonds. Continuously stirring them, let them toast and brown on all sides, up to 7 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Once browned, place on a chopping board to let cool slightly.
Repeat the toasting again, this time with the pistachios. This will only take up to 2 minutes. Also place these on a chopping board to let cool slightly.
Make sure to check on your melting chocolate! Be extra careful that no water splashes inside the chocolate, it will break your chocolate immediately and ruin it!
Run a knife through your nuts, roughly chopping them. Place to the side together with the dried fruit.