A couple of weeks ago I had a friend visiting from out of town and decided to treat him to one of my favourite Persian restaurants in Toronto. Banu Restaurant is a unique experience as it differs from many Iranian restaurants in the city. Situated in downtown Toronto, Banu is modern and chic. The food is delicious and the restaurant is a celebration of Persian art and culture. There’s definitely a certain cool factor in the air and they make hands down the best kabab torsh in the city! It is my favourite place to take non-Persians for Persian food.
After an incredible meal, we tried their Soma chocolate platter for dessert – dark chocolate with nougat, barbarry and sumach. I fell in love and decided that I had to recreate a similar dish. In my version, I used barbarry and sumach but I paired it with pistachios and fleur de sel. The result is a delicious confection that is sweet, salty, sour and slightly bitter. The sumach is optional but I believe that it adds a subtle citrus flavour that pairs wonderfully with dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios & Dried Barberries
200 g 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (I used Lindt dark chocolate)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios*
1/8 cup dried barberries
2 pinches of fleur de sel
pinch of sumach (optional)
Coarsely chop the chocolate.
Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute. Stir and microwave in 20 increments, stirring in between until it’s melted (it took 1 minute 20 seconds total for me but it depends on your microwave). Be careful not to over cook it as chocolate easily burns.
Pour the chocolate on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Pour and spread the chocolate so it roughly resembles an oval or a rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick.
Evenly sprinkle the pistachios and the dried barberries on the chocolate, followed by the fleur de sel and sumac.
Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set. When it is completely hard, break the bark into pieces.
Store pieces covered in the refrigerator. Serve them cold. Enjoy!
*use salted and roasted pistachios. It is preferable to use Iranian pistachios that you shell yourself.