- Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the pecans and sea salt. Stir until the pecans have toasted, about 6 minutes, then remove from the heat to cool before roughly chopping them.
- Have a parchment-lined baking tray ready. To temper the chocolate, melt 7 oz (210 g) of it in a metal bowl placed over a saucepan filled with an inch (2.5 cm) of barely simmering water, stirring until it has melted and reaches 113 to 122°F (45 to 50°C). If it gets warmer than this, let it cool to below 113°F (45°C) and re-warm.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining 3 oz (90 g) of chocolate to melt it, continuing to stir until the chocolate reaches 82°F (28°C). Return the bowl to the water bath and stir until the chocolate reaches 88 to 90°F (31 to 32°C)—this doesn’t take long. The chocolate is ready to use and will set at room temperature with a nice satin finish.
- Pour the tempered chocolate onto the prepared tray and spread it out evenly to about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick.
- Sprinkle the chocolate with the pecans and cherries. Let the chocolate set up and then pop it in the fridge for 3 to 5 minutes (this final “cure” ensures a perfect set). Break the bark into pieces and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. If gifting, stack the pieces and place in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon, or layer into a windowed gift box.
Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2018
Photos: Janis Nicolay