1. Turn a baking tray upside down on your bench top and line the back of the tray with baking paper. Weigh and measure your seeds, fruits and nuts and have them ready near the tray.
2. Prepare a bain marie setup (i.e. place a pan of water on the stove on medium/low heat and bring to a simmer point).
3. Place the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl over the saucepan (chocolate will ‘seize’ and ruin if it comes into contact with water). The bowl needs to fit over the saucepan without any gaps for the steam to escape.
4. Gently stir with a dry heat proof spatula or spoon until melted. It should be super smooth, glossy and free from lumps.
5. Pour the chocolate on top of the prepared baking paper. Using a spatula or palette knife, spread it into a rectangle approximately 4-5mm thick.
6. Immediately sprinkle the seeds, pistachios and cranberries or any other dried fruit and nuts you desire evenly over the top. Transfer to the fridge to set for at least one hour. Once set, break into jagged pieces or cut into heart shapes. For heart shape use a heart cookie cutter, place the cutting edge onto a heated stovetop
element (low heat) to warm up for a few seconds, then ‘cut’ the chocolate using the cutter. Tip: The cutter must be hot enough to cut the chocolate in one clean cut. If it’s too hot it will burn the chocolate.
7. Serve on a platter, or wrap in cellophane or a gift box decorated with ribbon.
Note: Although chocolate prefers to be stored at room temperature, if it is a hot day it should be stored in the fridge.
Recipe & Photography by Yvonne Baldan, Sutherland Shire Cooking School.
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