Flavor Play: Quinoa & Cayenne Chocolate Bark Recipe

By admin |

Recipe by Alexandra Fleischman

I’ve done a lot of things with leftover quinoa, but never this. Lunch, absolutely. Breakfast, sure. But dessert? Yes. Really? Yes.

Quinoa, with its nutty, light flavor, adds a beautiful texture to melted chocolate, it turns out. Is it still healthy? Perhaps not, but its protein makes an unhealthy snack more filling, so I’ll take it.

It’s not necessary, but I made the quinoa into a brittle first, using butter, honey, and cayenne for a kick. I like my chocolate sweet, though, and this bark would be equally good with just the chocolate and the plain, cooked quinoa. I’ve also opted to fold in almonds and a bit of coconut to mine but you can leave that out.


Quinoa Brittle

1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled and dried

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. honey

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Dash of cayenne powder or cinnamon

Nonstick cooking spray

Chocolate Bark

10 oz. high quality semisweet or dark chocolate

1/4 cup almonds, optional

1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional


Make the quinoa brittle:

1. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Combine butter and honey, and heat over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Fold in quinoa, baking soda, salt, and cayenne or cinnamon. Pour onto the baking sheet, and spread it out into a thin, even layer. Allow to cool.

Temper the chocolate if you have a candy thermometer:

1. Melt 2/3 to 3/4 of the chocolate in a double boiler, or a glass bowl resting on a pot with water to 115F. Remove from heat, and stir continuously until it cools to 80F. Add the remaining solid chocolate, and stir until that is melted as well.

2. Put it back on the double-boiler briefly, until it reaches 88 F if it's dark chocolate, or 86 degrees if it's milk chocolate.

3. If using almond and coconut, fold in at this point.

Make the bark:

1. Chop or crush the quinoa into pea sized pieces.

2. Pour the melted chocolate onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and spread until thin. Rap the baking sheet to get rid of air bubbles in the chocolate. Evenly spread the pieces of quinoa brittle over the chocolate, gently pressing them down. Set allow to cool in the refrigerator. If you tempered the chocolate, this should take only a few minutes. Cut or break the bark into desired size and shapes. If the chocolate is tempered, you can store at room temperature. If not, keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat.