Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Oranges

I'm not even sure if it's humanly possible not to love dark chocolate. We can thank the Maya and Aztecs for introducing it to the rest of the world. Once only enjoyed by the elite, we have it at our fingertips whenever the craving arises now. Dark chocolate increases serotonin levels and acts as a mild stimulant, increasing our feel-good endorphins!

Prep Time: 30 min. Servings: About 11/4 pounds 

Ingredients

  • I medium navel orange 
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar 
  • 1/2 to I teaspoon pure orange extract or 
  • I tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
  • 16 ounces dark or bittersweet stevia- sweetened chocolate, at least 72% dark 
  • I cup salted roasted pistachios, very roughly chopped

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a square about 10 x 10 inches. Flip the paper over onto the baking sheet to create a template for spreading the chocolate. 

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the orange into very thin rounds, then cut in half. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add I cup of water, the coconut sugar, and orange extract (if using). Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange slices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the oranges are in a thick syrup. Remove the oranges from pan and spread them out in a single layer on waxed or parchment paper to cool. 

In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared parchment paper, keeping it within the sten- cil. Place the orange slices randomly over the chocolate and then sprinkle with the pistachios. Set aside for several hours until firm, but don't refrigerate. When fully cooled, break or slice the bark into pieces and serve at room temperature. Store between layers of waxed or parchment paper in a sealed container, in a cool, dry place. 

Key ingredients for energy and libido: dark chocolate, pistachios 

Enjoy!