Chocolate Bark, Cardamom, Dried Fruits, and Nuts

This chocolate bark with cardamom, dried fruits, and nuts is an easy holiday dessert or gift made with dark or white chocolate, cardamom seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, or figs, and pistachios, with a shower of sea salt on top. Lovely to gift or keep.

Several pieces of chocolate bark with apricots and pistachios in a basket

Shards of broken bark put on the table with a bowl of tangerines, a plate of dates, some nuts to crack, or a few cookies make a winning dessert that can be put together with ease night after night if need be. A variety of spices, nuts, and fruits can go into chocolate bark—candied ginger, tangerine zest, diced prunes, apricots, toasted pecans and almonds, salted cashews, black pepper, anise seed, or cinnamon, to name but a few. We now know that a bit of salt makes all the sweet things—like chocolate and caramel and even fruit—dance! You don’t really need measurements, as you’ll see the first time you make this recipe. I use chocolate that’s in the 70% cacao range, but it needn’t be exactly that, of course. [Editor’s Note: The recipe below is for the dark chocolate bark with the option for a white chocolate variation that the author included with her original recipe and that’s pictured above, which works exceptionally well with pistachios, orange zest, and edible flower petals.]–Deborah Madison

When should I make chocolate bark?

Chocolate bark is adept at fancying up all manner of holidays for which it’s eminently appropriate. During December it’s an easy alternative to cookies for those averse to gluten or decorating or both; at Easter it serves as a sort of deconstructed, adults-only Easter bunny; and at Passover, it’s a lovely little something, especially when you drizzle or spread the melted chocolate atop matzoh rather than just a lined baking sheet to lend it not just symbolism but a welcome crunch. And if you’re asking in terms of how long it will keep, you can stash it in an airtight container and let it rest at room temperature for a few weeks, although we’re guessing it will disappear before you have to worry about it tasting stale.

Chocolate Bark with Cardamom, Dried Fruits, and Pistachios

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 8 | Makes one 10-by-6-inch slab
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper that measures about 10 by 8 inches.

Place the chocolate and cardamom seeds in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dried fruit and 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the nuts.

Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and immediately spread it into a thin layer on the prepared sheet. Scatter the remaining dried fruits and nuts over the warm chocolate, gently pressing them into the chocolate. Sprinkle lightly with the salt.

Refrigerate the chocolate until it is completely set, at least an hour. To serve, break the bark into pieces and pile them on a small plate or dish. Store any extra bark in a covered container or a wax paper bag and refrigerate. It will keep well for a few weeks—in theory, anyways. Originally published March 29, 2010.

Print RecipeBuy the Seasonal Fruit Desserts cookbook

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    White Chocolate Variation

    • Simply substitute white chocolate (sometimes labeled “white confection”), which works well with almost anything. One nice combination is pistachios, orange zest, and edible flower petals.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This was quick, easy, and quite tasty. I made the bark with dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries, and golden raisins (instead of the apricots), and used sliced almonds in place of the pistachios. I spread it over matzoh to try it out as a possible Passover treat. Yum!

    I have to admit, I was worried that the whole cardamom seeds would be overpowering (and I love cardamom), but when it was all put together, the flavors were outstanding.

    This chocolate bark is sophisticated and elegant—a surprise and a delight to the taste buds. I followed the recipe as written, using cardamom, dried apricots, and pistachios. I loved it and thought the combination was exquisite. The chewiness of the apricots, the crunch of the pistachios and cardamom, and the Maldon salt—wow, this treat has it all.

    It’s sweet and salty and a little bitter with a touch of umami. The only change I’d make is to chop the cardamom seeds just a bit. One whole cardamom seed in the mouth is a bit overwhelming, and just a teaspoon of them leaves many bark pieces without a trace. This bark is very rich, so it only takes a couple of bites to satisfy.


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    1. Several years ago I hit upon cardamom, pistachios & dried apricots as my favorite combo of flavors. Now they’re my standard additions to oatmeal, along with honey. Hmmm, how will it be to throw some cocoa into the oatmeal, too…?



    2. Easy. Gorgeous. Delicious.

      The mention of cardamom and the photo convinced me I had to make this. I did use golden rasisins rather than apricots because the apricots I bought were not very good. (Glad I tasted them before using them.) Half went to a very appreciative neighbor who thought they were purchased from a gourmet store.

    3. I made this (following the recipe) for my boyfriend’s mom as a birthday gift. I found a cute yellow sunflower-shaped platter to gift it on, and *everyone* loved it, myself included. This is totally my go-to host/ess gift from now on!

      And YES that photo is definitely amazing. Even more surprising is that my version looked almost as gorgeous. 🙂

    4. Just had to chime in to say I love the photo. It’s stunning, and it tempts me to make a white chocolate version immediately, despite not being a huge fan of white chocolate in general. Cardamom? Now, that’s a favorite. And dark chocolate on matzo sounds appealing, too—who says you have to be Jewish?

      1. I’m with you Allison. The photo was all the encouragment I needed to put this on the menu for Easter.
        Donna Rose

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