Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chocolate Anise Bark (Page 695)

  • Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Brad, and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: B

I wanted to make some sort of birthday treat for my special gentleman, who is flying in tonight, but I didn't want to make him a big cake since we are leaving for Boston tomorrow. So I made him some chocolate anise bark instead. I didn't like this bark too much, but I am a little biased. When I was growing up, I had three food intolerances: popcorn (oh, the horror -- thankfully I grew out of that one), cream (also not so much a problem now), and licorice. Now, my only licorice experience to speak of was with Twizzlers, which I swear to you made me violently ill. I couldn't tell you whether or not I have outgrown that particular intolerance because frankly I just haven't tested it in a while. I know, I know, you would not be the first person to tell me that Twizzlers are made of flour and sugar (more precisely: Corn Syrup , Flour , Sugar , Cornstarch , Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Artificial Flavorings, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Artificial Coloring). What's to be allergic to? The first time I mentioned this particular intolerance to Emilee she laughed so hard she almost cried. Yes, it's ridiculous. But it's true! You can ask my mom.

Anyway, as a result of my licorice intolerance, I have a taste aversion to anything licoricey. And nothing is more licorice-flavored than anise (except, perhaps, licorice itself!). So although I understand that anise is a good and interesting flavor that I am supposed to like, it makes my stomach turn.

So did I like this Chocolate Anise Bark? Well, no. But I do believe that it is pretty good. Stomach-churning aside, it's a decent idea. It was so easy to make that it is almost silly to call this a recipe. Melt chocolate, stir in ground up anise seed, cashews, dried apricots, and dried cherries. Spread out, refrigerate, then break in pieces. It was easy. In my opinion it would have been a better recipe had they included tempering the chocolate. Then this bark could be kept at room temperature rather than in the fridge, and would have a much nicer snap to it. Overall, though, this was easy to make, and if you like that licorice flavor you are bound to like this.

Here is the recipe.

If anyone out there has any insight into my mysterious Twizzlers intolerance, I would love to hear it! If you want to ridicule me about how ridiculous it is, then not so much.

One totally unrelated note: I went with Kate and Prudence last night to see Barack Obama, and I like him so much! I had never been to a political rally before and this one was huge (it almost filled the IU basketball arena). The energy in there was wonderful and he really impressed me! Yay Obama!


GilaB said...

I also react badly to Twizzlers/Nibs/other licorice products, which all give me a headache. I haven't tried any in at least a decade, but it was a pretty consisted reaction that took me a while to figure out, because licorice seems so fake and innocuous.

Magdalen said...

I can't say licorice (hmmm -- I wonder why we pronounce it with an -ish ending?) makes me ill, but I hate the black stuff in all forms. I'm not fond of anise and its derivatives for obvious & related reasons.

But I've always assumed that licorice is another of those "acquired tastes" that I just never acquired. Don't like olives (I know -- that's wrong, but I just don't; I do like the "olive" theory of relationships espoused on How I Met Your Mother: you need an olive lover mated with an olive hater so that the olive lover gets double rations of olives and the olive hater gets to feel generous and loving); don't like anchovies, etc. It was a long time before I liked coffee, and even now I can take it or leave it.

I do love Obama, though. I'm old enough that my parents used to talk about Franklin Roosevelt like he was just last year and not 70 years ago. I had pretty much resigned myself to not getting a president with that combination of integrity, ingenuity, and rhetoric, as I had assumed the electorate as a single entity had moved on to frat-boys-you'd-want-to-have-a-beer-with. [Beer -- that's another taste I didn't acquire!] Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I was wrong about the electorate.

Anonymous said...


That shit is POISON.

Teena said...

GilaB: It's good to know that I am not the only one who has a problem with licorice -- that makes me feel a little less crazy!

Magdalen: Yeah, I too am pretty excited about Obama. I have my fingers crossed that he makes it onto the presidential ballot.

Anon: I didn't add anything partially hydrogenated to this recipe!