Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
10 Dec

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark Sprinkled with Sea Salt

‘Tis the season of candy and sugary baked goods showing up everywhere you go. Plates of cookies, tins of caramel corn, strings of candy canes and leaden logs of fruitcake – why these things symbolize good cheer is hard to figure out. There’s no reason to be a complete Scrooge about holiday desserts, though, just as there’s no reason to deprive yourself entirely if you’re craving something festive. When your sweet tooth goes looking for the ultimate dessert indulgence this year, look no further. Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark Sprinkled with Sea Salt tastes fully and completely like “real” dessert. Not only will you enjoy every bite, so will the family and friends that you gift it to (hint, hint, don’t eat it all yourself!)

This perfectly Primal dessert is loaded with flavonoids from the dark chocolate and has a positive fatty acid profile from the macadamias. But the very best part about this decadent Primal treat is that you can whip it up in less than 30 minutes using only three ingredients. How’s that for making your gift-giving simple this year?

The full recipe is below, but there’s not a whole lot more to it than melting chocolate, stirring in nuts, sprinkling with sea salt and refrigerating. So why is the result so amazing? First of all, it’s important to use good chocolate. The darker the better, both for health reasons and intensity of flavor. The macadamia nuts add a sweet, buttery component and the crucial sprinkle of sea salt on top is the flavor equivalent of an exclamation point.

The result is a dessert that’s the perfect thing to nibble on around a roaring fire, surrounded by those you love most. Or, at a holiday office party surrounded by those you love a little less dearly. Or, at that neighborhood cookie exchange you can never seem to get out of…wherever the holiday festivities take you, it will be a little bit merrier if Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark Sprinkled with Sea Salt is your sensible indulgence of choice.


  • 9-10 ounces dark chocolate (aim for 85 – 90% cacao), chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Heat 2/3 of the chocolate in the microwave or on the stove. If using a microwave, heat the chocolate in 30-second increments, stopping to stir vigorously each time. It should take 2 minutes or less to melt the chocolate. If using the stove, create a double boiler by filling a pot with a few inches of water then balance or hold a smaller pot filled with the chocolate just above the water line. As the water gently boils, the steam will melt the chocolate in the smaller pot without burning it. Stir occasionally, removing from heat as soon as the chocolate melts completely.

Remove the melted chocolate from the microwave or stove. Add the remaining hard chocolate to the hot melted chocolate, stirring vigorously until it melts as well.

Stir the macadamia nuts into the chocolate.

Line a rimmed dish of your choice with parchment paper or wax paper. The size of the dish will determine how thick the bark is. A 2-quart squarebaking dish makes thicker bark (like in the photos). A larger dish will obviously yield thinner bark.

Spread the chocolate evenly in the rimmed dish. Sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, longer if chocolate isn’t solid yet. Use a knife to cut the bark into squares or misshapen pieces. Store the bark at room temperature.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Yuuuuuum. Now I’ve GOT to find some macadamias. I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting one yet, they’re very hard to find around here!

    Caleigh wrote on December 11th, 2011
  2. I did it and added some extra 100% groud cacao. Result is more flavor, more cacao content which means more antioxidants.

    Milan wrote on December 11th, 2011
  3. I use 72% Trader Joes dark chocolate imported from Belgium and then add a few squares of straight baking chocolate. I use toasted walnuts and pecans with sea salt.
    The coconut butter idea sounds delicious but I’d eat too much of that!

    Karen B. wrote on December 11th, 2011
  4. I saw someone already posted about G & B, but I have to agree.

    Green and Black’s 85% has no soy and IMHO, it is BY FAR the best dark chocolate on the market.

    Melissa wrote on December 11th, 2011
  5. daaaang….

    This is now on my Christmas “treat” list!!!

    Rebekah wrote on December 12th, 2011
  6. Love this. I also add a little peppermint oil for the holidays to make it peppermint bark (mac nuts or almonds will do). You’ll never miss the candy cane crumbles!

    NicoleK wrote on December 12th, 2011
  7. Good gracious me… THIS I’m all over. I’m thinking hazelnuts would be an amazing alternative.

    Natalie wrote on December 13th, 2011
  8. Would this be good with some peppermint extract I wonder? And maybe some liquid stevia to sweeten?

    Ginny wrote on December 13th, 2011
  9. yep, this one is going into the recipe box!

    John wrote on December 13th, 2011
  10. I wonder if milk chocolate could be substituted without hurting the taste?

    John wrote on December 13th, 2011
  11. I make chocolate squares not by melting bought chocolate but from raw ingredients including, butter, cocoa, egg, vanilla essence, citrus honey, almonds, fresh chopped dates, which I heat up, mix thoroughly and set in trays .. delicious stuff ..I like the thought of the sea salt on top .. must try that !

    Michael wrote on December 14th, 2011
  12. OMG. This sounds & looks amazing!

    I’m making it this weekend.

    Thanks Mark!

    – Jennifer

    Jennifer Minar-Jaynes wrote on December 14th, 2011
  13. I made this for the Hubs last weekend. (I’m not a chocolate fan so I make things like this just for him.) I forgot the salt – doh! He didn’t know the difference and gave me a thumbs up. Next time I will remember the salt though! lol

    Jessica wrote on December 15th, 2011
  14. I made this last night – I have a candy-making kit from Christmas’ past so had a little double-boiler, a little ladle, and candy molds. I did put a bit of pure stevia powder in it but otherwise the same recipe, using 90% cacao. OMG it is good. 😀 and no maltitol like other SF choccy. Thanks so much!!

    Suze wrote on December 16th, 2011
  15. I made this last night, and it was simply FANTASTIC!!! I made a smaller batch (used 4oz of dark chocolate) and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly. I used 2 bars of Dagoba dark chocolate – 74% and 87%. Next time I’ll use 2 bars of 87%. I decided to give half to my best friend as part of her birthday gift. Otherwise, I would have eaten it all by myself. This is a great primal treat! Thank you!

    Fitgirl-atx wrote on December 18th, 2011
  16. I bought macadamia nuts just so I could make this and it was yummo.

    Kelly wrote on December 18th, 2011
  17. I tried this using a little bit of peppermint extract. Personally I really enjoyed the scent, while the usual flavor (associated with York patties) wasn’t there. It took only a few drops of the extract and worked out great.

    Patrick Wilson wrote on December 22nd, 2011
  18. Has anyone tried toasting the macs with this recipe? I’m making it for the holidays and debating whether I should do raw or toasted. The bark will be eaten by non-Primal tastebuds.

    ltruss wrote on December 22nd, 2011
  19. Thinking that I may blend in a little coconut milk into this mixture for some added flavor hhhmm.

    Uggh wrote on January 3rd, 2012
  20. This went down a treat at my CrossFit and work Xmas parties, Ground down some extra Macadamias to a butter as well as adding chunks + some shredded coconut.

    Marc wrote on January 4th, 2012
  21. I use the dark semi sweet choc chips (2 bags) nothing over 70% cacoa (too bitter)another alt is slivered almonds, grated cashews, pecans, etc.

    laura m. wrote on January 7th, 2012
  22. Man this looks delicious, but I am assuming there is sugar in here due to the chocolate and maybe from the nuts? To many this may seem like a dumb question but there are many types of chocolate without any sugar and I am not familiar with macadamia nuts.

    Any info would be helpful, can’t resist a completely sugar free, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and primal food. :)

    Andrew wrote on January 18th, 2012
  23. Someone mentioned bacon…this is exactly what my husband added the third time he made this at our house. 3 slices of our private piggy bacon crumbled in. Delicious!

    The first 2 times, the chocolate looked luscious and smooth coming out of the pan, but then over a few days (we have some serious willpower) it got this dull powdery surface covering. Any ideas why this happened? 85% chocolate was used all times. The 3rd with bacon we have kept in the fridge and so far seems unaffected. Maybe the temperature at which it is stored?

    mommymd wrote on January 31st, 2012
  24. PLease, please, please, don’t EVER put healthy food, real food, living or primal food and ‘microwave’ in the same paragraph or article!
    A microwave rearranges the molecules – EVEN IN PLAIN WATER – so your body can’t deal with them and surrounds them with fat molecules and isolates them or otherwaise treats them like ‘disease’.
    Of course they destroy all the important living parts, nutrients and antioxidants.
    Microwave your dark chocolate and every positive thing we know about it is no longer true!

    Fred Lyman wrote on March 22nd, 2012
    • So just where did you get all of this anti-microwave information?

      shrimp4me wrote on May 5th, 2013
  25. This looks delicious! If my ears itch or my throat I will deff know it’s the chocolate… Personally you aren’t going to know 100% until you try it. I have Celiac Disease and it’s so hard to thumb down exactly what the problem is each time, so I just try it, if it makes me either sick or I get itchy ears, I know for a fact what caused it and either avoid that product and try something else. But this is far better than eating chocolate that contains other stuff that isn’t natural… I’m going to make it this afternoon… mmmm

    Maddy wrote on June 27th, 2012
  26. Just made some with 85% Lindt, walnuts and Maldon salt. I love this site, and I don’t think the primal diet feels like a diet at all.

    sally chip wrote on January 21st, 2013
  27. Just made some of this using:

    85g of 88% dark chocolate
    60g of unsweetened bakers chocolate (100%)
    15g of shredded coconut
    15g of coconut oil
    15g of shredded organic flax


    David Davidson wrote on April 24th, 2013

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