Whether you are wanting something sweet after dinner, or you are wanting something more exotic for Valentine’s Day, these Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters with Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorns are the answer. 

What are Pink Peppercorns?

Pink peppercorns are not actually peppercorns at all, they just resemble them in size. They are actually a tiny berry from a Brazilian pepper tree that are dried after harvesting. They have a much lighter pepper-hinted spice flavor and besides being delicious as a pretty garnish on these Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters, they are also great in salad dressings and in sauces for fish or chicken.

Variations on Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters with Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorns

You can use any nut in place of almonds including smoked nuts. (Note: If your nuts are already roasted, skip the first step in the recipe.) You can also use a mixture of chopped dried fruit and nuts. Apricots, dried cherries or dried fruit-juice sweetened cranberries would all be delicious. 

Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters with Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorns

With only three ingredients (four if you happen to have pink peppercorns around) you can make these Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters in about five minutes or less.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar (at least 70% cacao solids)

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted almonds

  • Sea Salt (or Smoked Sea Salt if you happen to have it)

  • Pink Peppercorns, optional

Directions

  • Roast the almonds in a 350 degree oven until you can just start to smell their nuttiness. I used a toaster oven to avoid heating up the whole oven for this quick technique.
  • Melt dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar. You can use the microwave, but the more I learn about what this does to our food, the less I’m using it. This is my makeshift double boiler. Sorry about the spotty bowl, it’s well-loved and scratched up. (Not dirty, LOL!)
  • Once the chocolate looks like this, stir the almonds into the chocolate.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. (Sorry for blurry photo.)
  • Sprinkle with sea salt. I added pink peppercorns because I had them on hand. (The salt I used is pyramid sea salt flakes from Trader Joe’s.) Smoked sea salt would be interesting, too.
  • Of course, you could leave out the peppercorns and just use regular sea salt, but with the big Valentine’s Day coming up, I loved the little pink peppercorns on top.

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