Are you in the mood for a homemade treat but aren’t sure what to make? If you are looking for an easy-to-use and affordable confection for coating or dipping, almond bark is one of the best choices. Most recipes do not even require any baking.
What is almond bark? Almond bark is a vegetable fat-based, meltable confection made without any cocoa butter. Despite its name, it does not contain any almonds or nuts.
Let’s dive into how we can use this product in our kitchen.
How Do You Use Almond Bark?
Almond bark (also known as summer coating and vanilla-flavored candy coating) is not what it sounds like at first because it does not contain any almonds. The name stems from the fact that it was originally used to cover almonds. Its ingredients include vegetable fats (usually palm kernel oil), sugar, certain flavorings, emulsifiers such as soy lecithin, and coloring.
Almond bark is sold in various shapes and sizes such as blocks, round discs, or chips. It is made to melt without having to worry about setting your temperature precisely like melting chocolate would require it.
Depending on the product, almond bark might or might not contain dairy. It never contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids. For this reason, it is not considered a chocolate product. It is can be white or brown.
You are likely to decorate with it. Thus, you might decide to add some food coloring to your almond bark. Powder or oil-based coloring will leave it silky and smooth. Stay away from liquid-based food coloring even if it is in a gel form because it thickens the consistency and causes clumps. You would not be able to remelt your coating.
You can make an endless list of desserts with a few ingredients such as dried cranberries or oranges by adding almond bark to them. For example, peppermint bark is a popular holiday favorite. Peanut butter lava cakes and no bake Oreo balls also turn out perfect with almond bark.
You can use it in place of frosting on cakes. You could even make nut krispies by chopping up your favorite nuts for a crunchy treat. Add sea salt if you like it because it goes well with this recipe. Don’t forget to cool all these in the fridge.
This confection can last over a year and you can even use it past its expiration date if it is stored in an airtight container at a dry place. You should not store it in the fridge or freezer because you don’t want it to harden and change its texture.
How Can You Melt Almond Bark?
The main point of having almond bark at hand is to have something to melt easily and with a very smooth consistency. Therefore, you can use multiple methods to effortlessly soften it.
It does not matter what shape it is but the smaller it is, the faster it goes. Always keep an eye on it during the whole process because it can easily burn. You can expect it to melt quicker than chocolate. Do not add any water, milk, butter, or oil to it because these ruin its smooth texture.
If you use the stovetop, stir your almond bark frequently so that it would not burn. It would not take longer than a few minutes to get the right texture.
Melting Pot and Crockpot
Let the pot warm up then put the blocks in for a few minutes. Do not forget to stir occasionally.
Microwave the almond bark for 30 seconds then stir it well. You can keep microwaving it in 20-second increments with stirring in between until it becomes smooth enough.
You could place the almond bark in a double-boiler set or you could use a heatproof bowl over a small pot. The water should be simmering but without touching the bowl. Stir frequently.
Melting almond bark at a certain temperature then cooling it off and reheating it is not needed. The process of tempering for a glossy top is only necessary with chocolate because of its cocoa butter content.
What Does Almond Bark Taste Like?
White almond bark has a vanilla flavor while brown almond bark is caramel or chocolate-flavored. You might wonder how almond bark differs from melted chocolate. Almond bark is an excellent nut-free and gluten-free choice in place of chocolate but it is not as tasty as chocolate because it lacks cocoa solids.
Is Almond Bark Interchangeable with Other Products?
White chocolate and candy melt products can replace almond bark and vice versa. You just need to adjust the duration and temperature accordingly.
Almond bark is a to-go replacement for melted white chocolate. You can use it to top your cakes or cupcakes. It is ideal to coat strawberries, bananas, and apple slices which go well with its vanilla taste. You can keep your coated strawberries in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can try it on oats, granola, nuts, Oreo cookies, pretzels, or even crackers. You can add sprinkles on top. If you want to re-use your almond bark, do not directly dip anything in it. You could set some aside for later.
Almond bark has a creamier texture than chocolate does. This makes it perfect for decorating. If you do not have almond bark at home, you can substitute it with the same amount of white chocolate but you should add some shortening to it in that case.
If you do not have any chocolate chips for your cookies at home, you can chop up almond bark.
Since this product does not contain any cocoa butter, you do not have to be concerned about the cocoa butter separating from the rest of the product during the melting process. If you use chocolate, you have to watch out for this difference.
Almond bark is a simple, yet, useful ingredient whether you’re interested in making cake pops or you want to dip your strawberries in something sweet and tasty. It is something fun to experiment with due to its affordable price. It can quickly help you create a delicious, customized treat of your choice in a few easy steps.