I’ve taken a little time off recently. Sometimes my days feel full of tasks that I’m able to do mindlessly, but rarely take inventory of how they’re actually working for me. Social media is a good example. While I’ve met some really amazing people and made connections I wouldn’t have access to otherwise, I sometimes wonder what the point is. Will it really be worth the effort in the long run or are there better ways I could be spending my time? It’s complicated. And, once again, I truly believe it’s about finding balance.
This recipe is a good example of how opposites only exist in relation to each other. And how, with the right precision and balance, the sum can be much greater than its parts.
White chocolate, for example, has never really intrigued me. That is until I paired it with citrus, like the limequat zest used here. Then, when the inherent sweetness is balanced by a high-quality bittersweet chocolate, toasted cardamom, Marcona almonds and coconut, something pretty special happens.
While I don’t entirely know where this path will lead me, all I can hope is that it involves much more time outside, untethered from my laptop, and in face-to-face conversations about the things that truly matter in life.
Ying + Yang Bar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons Marcona almond, roughly chopped
- 4 whole cardamom pods, seeds removed
- 10 ounces high-quality white chocolate
- 4 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao)
- zest of 2-3 medium limequats (key limes or 1 meyer lemon will also work)
- pinch of Maldon sea salt
Line a small loaf pan (7 ½” x 2 ½” preferred, but a standard a 8”x 4 ½” will work well) with parchment paper covering all sides. Run your finger around the inside periphery to crease the paper to contour the bottom of the pan and trim the tops if any excess paper remains. Note: try to get your paper as smooth as possible for the best result.
In a medium, dry pan over medium heat, gently toast the coconut and almonds until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Wipe the pan of any excess nuts or coconut and add the cardamom seeds. Toast for a few minutes until fragrant and place in a mortar and pestle. Finely crush the seeds and set aside.
Over a double boiler, slowly melt the white chocolate. Once smooth and glossy, pour 1/2 the chocolate into the bottom of the loaf pan. With the back of a spoon, smooth into an even layer and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until set.
Repeat the process with the dark chocolate, adding the ground cardamom once the chocolate is completely melted. Pour over the white chocolate and refrigerate again for another 20 minutes, or until set.
Re-warm the remaining white chocolate and pour over the dark layer. Top with desired amount of toasted coconut, almonds and limequat zest (key lime zest, lime zest or meyer lemon zest may be substituted). Sprinkle a pinch of Maldon sea salt over the top and gently press all the ingredients into the chocolate. Refrigerate again for about 20-30 minutes or until the bar is completely set.
Once set, gently pull the bar out of the pan using the parchment as a guide. Slice into wedges and enjoy!