Raw, Vegan Chocolate Bark with Cranberries and Hemp Seeds
February 13, 2014

Raw chocolate cranberry hemp bark header

Today’s snow was not the first of the season, but it was the first that felt like a legitimate “snow day”: accumulation as high as the tops of my boots, the sight of my neighbors’ kids flinging snowballs at each other downstairs, and an entire afternoon spent sipping ginger tea atop my radiator. It was cozy, and nostalgic, and it made me (weirdly) a little homesick, but all things considered there’s a magic to this kind of weather. And to make things even more magical, I decided to make chocolate.

Yes. As promised, another sweet treat in time for the eve of St. Valentine. This chocolate bark is easy to prepare, sweet, and delicious. And just for fun (inspired by some chocolate bark that my friend Beth gave me around the holidays), I decided to make things a little colorful with the addition of dried cranberries, and a little crunchy with the addition of hemp seeds.

This recipe depends on cocao butter, an ingredient I mentioned in this post (also a tribute to my friends Lisa and Nicole, who taught me anything/everything I know about making raw chocolate). Cocoa butter can be found in some health food stores or online (I get it on Amazon). It is expensive, but it also goes a long way. The 175 grams used in this recipe (just over 3/4 cup, melted) creates about 3-4 cups of chocolate bark (way more than you’ll ever get out of a high end chocolate bar), and I’ve still got a ton of butter left in my bag. So, it’s an investment. If you love chocolate as much as I do, and you’re interested in making your own, it’s an ingredient well worth trying.

You’ll also need a good old fashioned baking sheet that’s lined with tinfoil, to make the bark on. Nothing fancy.

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Once you mix the chocolate base, you simply pour it onto the sheet:

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And then sprinkle it with the cranberries and hempseeds:

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If you’re work space is cool enough, the bark will solidify on its own (I was working by my window, so it didn’t take long). But I suggest you pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so before you break it apart:

raw chocolate cranberry hemp bark breaking

And just like that, you’ve got a delectable tray of chocolate on your hands.

raw chocolate cranberry hemp bark brokenraw chocolate cranberry hemp bark close up

Here’s the recipe.

Raw, Vegan Chocolate Bark with Cranberries and Hemp Seeds

Author -
Yields: 3 -4 cups

Ingredients

  • 175 grams solid cocoa butter (just over 3/4 cup after melting)
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar you can adjust this to your taste, and also substitute coconut nectar if you like
  • Pinch sea salt maybe 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds

Instructions

  • 1. Melt the cocoa butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, or over a double boiler.
  • 2. Pour the melted cocoa butter into a mixing bowl. Add the cacao powder, agave, sea salt, and vanilla, and whisk till the ingredients are totally smooth.
  • 3. Pour the chocolate mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes (I suggest keeping the baking sheet in the fridge or freezer before you pour--it'll give the chocolate a head start on solidifying).
  • 4. Sprinkle the chocolate with the cranberries, then with the hempseeds.
  • 5. Transfer the chocolate to the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove it and break it into pieces with your hand. Enjoy.
  • Chocolate will keep in the fridge (it melts easily, so don't keep it out of the fridge) for at least three weeks. Not that it'll last that long.

If you’d like to give the chocolate as a gift, you can wrap it up in a pastry box:

raw cranberry chocolate hemp bark boxed

Or gift it in a reused glass jar:

raw cranberry chocolate hemp bar jar

Either way, it looks really pretty. And it tastes rich, sweet, and decadent. I hope you love it. If you like, you can flavor it with spices like cinnamon or cayenne, add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt to the top, add a superfood powder (like maca or lucuma or mesquite), or mix up the nuts/seeds/dried fruit you use. This is a forgiving, adaptable recipe, and you can definitely make it your own.

Have a lovely evening, everyone, and happy Valentine’s day. When I post weekend reading, I’ll be in New Orleans with the bestie. And the weather forecast will look something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.18.59 PM

I’m leaving my parka here.

xo

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    35 Comments
  1. Hi Gena! Just made this recipe! The bar tastes incredible and way much better than store bought. My husband said the chocolate bar tastes better than Fannie Mae’s candy and YOU can move next door to us anytime you want and he’ll be glad to sample anything you make and he’s even willing to let his belt out a notch!!! 🙂 We love you!

  2. God this looks so good. Even the process of creating the bark looks delicious (hello melted chocolate!). I really love hemp seeds and don’t use them half as much as I should so this is perfect 🙂

  3. looks like a nice treat. Thanks for the recipe and please bring some of that weather back east with you!

    Happy Vday!

  4. Yum! I just made chocolate for the first time this week (with coconut oil) and was wondering whether to invest in cocoa butter. I also made my own deodorant today with coconut oil… so fun to make things that are inexpensive but luxurious! My jar of coconut oil never knows what’s coming next ;P

  5. Oh wow this looks and sounds incredible! I also love how simple the process is! Definitely going to have to try this one out – thanks!! 🙂

  6. oooh, yum yum yum. I’ve got some cacao butter I’ve been meaning to play with too… Have a wonderful time in New Orleans- I remember hearing great things about the city on the Our Hen House podcast.

  7. P.S. Yikes—just realized I spelled your name wrong in my comment above! I’m so sorry…..I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I really do know how to spell your name, Gena!. 🙂

  8. Hi Gina,

    Yum—the perfect recipe for Valentine’s day…..and every day before and after as well. 🙂

    I have a question—-is there any way to use the cacao butter without actually heating it? I’m wondering if the Vitamix could handle it in its solid form?

    Thanks,
    Deb

    • No problem, Deb! 😀

      I think trying to not melt the butter could get extremely messy — the agave doesn’t quite provide enough liquid texture on its own. Not that you shouldn’t try, but I’m not sure how it’ll turn out!

      • Hi Gena (note correct spelling this time!),

        Thanks so much for your quick reply—and for your warning about the unmelted butter.

        I’ll let you know what happens (or doesn’t) if I give it a try!

        Thanks again,
        Deb

  9. Hi Gena,

    Wow! Thanks Gena! I didn’t think chocolate bark would be so easy to make. Very fitting for Valentine’s Day.

  10. First let me say that I love your site Gena. Secondly, there has been no magic in this winter and the almost 60 inches of snow we have had in the Philly area this winter – so far. The storm before yesterday’s so many of us lost power and I was without electricity, heat and water for 3 days. I count my blessings because in the scheme of things all is good, but there has been no magic this winter. Now, let’s talk about Spring and smoothies and salads and daffodils.

    • Ah, Marcy, I am so sorry that you’ve had such an ordeal this winter! And sorry to wax poetic about the weather that’s been so destructive where you are. While I am a committed fall/winter gal, I hope that spring is soon smiling upon you, and you know that I’ll have the smoothies and salads to go along with it 🙂

      • Gena, I love that you wax poetic and find the beauty in things around you. I am a spring/summer gal as I love the long days and never have to be snowed in. I look forward to your blog and find you to be a joyful uplifting spirit. Forgive me if I snapped at you and I know you will continue to bring us bright and healthy recipes no matter what the season.

        • Marcy, you didn’t snap at all — please don’t apologize. If I’d had no heat or power for days, I’d be totally irritated to hear someone talking about how “magical” a blizzard was 🙂 I lost power for a week due to the Derecho in DC a few summers ago, and it was awful. I wish you much warmth now and as spring arrives, and can’t wait to share some bright, green, and uplifting recipes as the season rolls in. XO

  11. This looks awesome and so perfect for today!
    I’ve made my own chocolate bark for years but just melted down unsweetened and then mixed in stuff. I think this is the inspiration I needed to make my own raw. Just ordered from Amazon, thanks for the source.
    Safe travels ♥

  12. Hi Gena,
    I finished doing something similar just now (without seeing your post before): I made chocolate hearts filled with cranberries that I had soaked in Rum overnight and sprinkled with red pepper flakes to get spicy yet fruity chocolates for my boyfriend as his Valentine’s Day surprise 🙂 My chocolate is not raw though but I guess neither he nor I will complain about that 😉
    PS: Love your website, especially ED related posts and green recovery stories which I always find inspiring!

  13. Wow, this sounds really fun and yummy! You always have such great recipes. Hope you enjoy your visit to New Orleans.
    Also, I noticed when you were talking about how this recipe is dependent on the cacoa butter, the next sentence you wrote “coconut butter can be found…” Just wanted to let you know 🙂