Dark chocolate-orange bark with almonds
Why is dark chocolate good for you?
Although it’s more bitter than its milk chocolate cousin, dark chocolate has some surprising health benefits. This is because it is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, and generally contains less sugar than milk chocolate. Being made from the seed of the cacao tree (cocoa beans), it’s one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
Dark chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine (much less than coffee), so although it won’t keep you up at night, it should always be consumed in moderation.
Health benefits of dark chocolate
Here are some great excuses to enjoy dark chocolate (as with anything, in moderation):
- It’s very nutritious - it contains minerals like magnesium iron, copper, manganese and zinc
- It’s also packed with antioxidants - like polyphenols, flavanols and catechins from cocoa beans which have protective effects on the body
- Flavonols contained in dark chocolate can help improve blood flow in the body - including to the brain, which may help improve cognitive function
- Dark chocolate contains an amino acid called tryptophan - which is used by the brain to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, a feel-good chemical that can boost your mood
- 500g of your favourite dark chocolate
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup dried oranges, roughly chopped
TOP TIP: If you can’t find dried oranges in store, you can always dry them yourself in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
- Place the slivered almonds into a baking dish and put them in the oven to roast for 15 minutes or until golden. Stir occasionally.
- Place the chocolate into a medium-sized saucepan and heat on low until the chocolate melts, stirring regularly to ensure the chocolate doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Line a large baking dish with baking paper.
- Slowly pour the chocolate into the baking dish and then level out with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the almonds and then orange pieces evenly over the chocolate, pushing down lightly with the heel of your hand to embed lightly into the surface of the chocolate.
- Let the chocolate sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden, or on the bench for 2-4 hours.
- Once completely hard, break or cut into rough pieces and enjoy as a delicious dessert or special treat.