Milk chocolate and rye bark

Milk chocolate and rye barkIn recent years many bean‑to-bar chocolate manufacturers have come to market making beautiful chocolates with even more beautiful packaging. It’s fun to just buy a selection of bars and tear them open at the table after dinner, tasting and chatting about the nuance of flavour with your dinner mates.

Milk chocolate has come a long way from the Hershey bars of my childhood (although I still love those dearly). Many chocolate companies are now making milks that have a higher percentage of cocoa solids, making them richer and deeper.

Makes 2 trayfuls
500g milk chocolate (35-40% cocoa solids)
200g stale 100% rye bread
1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3.

2 Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally to help the chocolate melt, but do not stir too much.

3 Meanwhile, tear the rye bread into smaller pieces and blitz to crumbs in a food processor. Spread the bread crumbs out evenly on to one of the baking trays, then lightly toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Stir the crumbs around and bake another 5 minutes, or until crunchy.

4 Once the chocolate is melted, spread ⅔ of the melted chocolate out on to the other prepared baking tray, smoothing it out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with the rye crumbs before quickly topping with the remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to set for around 15 minutes.

5 Before serving, slide the chocolate and paper off of the baking sheet and on to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the chocolate into large‑ish shards. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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