Food Files: Rocky Road

The road to a successful End of Financial Year (or Fiscal Year, as it’s called in other parts of the world) is long and arduous, and warrants a steady supply of sweet treats. One of the easiest of these to whip up is Rocky Road– a whimsical blend of chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, and whatever other embellishments suit your particular taste.

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This Rocky Road is a staple at my workplace not just during End of Financial Year– it makes a fun alternative to birthday cake for people who aren’t cake-inclined. It works equally well with dark, milk, or white chocolate, and any nuts you fancy (or leave out the nuts if catering for someone who’s allergic/intolerant to them). What makes it a hit is the combination of flavors and textures: once you’re in the familiar, comforting territory of soft, squishy marshmallow and crunchy nuts, you occasionally get hit with a sudden fruity surprise.

Office Ninja’s Rockin’ Rocky Road

Ingredients

-375g block cooking chocolate, or 375g of chocolate chips, bits or melts (dark, milk or white– your choice)
-250g marshmallows, chopped into bite-sized pieces (or use mini marshmallows and save yourself the chopping)
-100g peanuts (or any other nuts you prefer, just go nuts! … c’mon, tell me you saw that pun coming!)
-150g gummy candy of your choice, roughly chopped (personally I love to use raspberry gummies– they provide an exciting sweet-tart kick)
-125g Scotch finger biscuits, broken into bite-sized pieces (if Scotch finger biscuits aren’t available, use any shortbread biscuit)
-100g glace cherries
Optional: 100g of other dried or candied fruit, roughly chopped– try dried apples, apricots, or pineapple, to name a few

*If making this Rocky Road for someone with a nut allergy or intolerance, substitute the nuts with another 100g of Scotch finger or shortbread biscuits. Ensure the biscuits are free of nut contamination, even if they don’t actually contain nuts. Some brands of biscuits are manufactured using the same equipment as products containing nuts, and the very slight traces of nut residue can make a nut-allergic or nut-intolerant person quite ill.

Directions

Line an 8-inch square baking tray (or rectangular tray with the equivalent volume) with baking paper. Spray the baking paper with cooking spray, or grease it with butter.

Combine the nuts, marshmallows, gummy candies, biscuits, cherries, and other dried fruit (if you’re using it) in a bowl.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl (breaking it into small pieces if it came in a block), and heat it on High in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate to distribute the heat, and place it back in the microwave for another 15 seconds. Repeat this process of stirring and quickly heating the chocolate until it’s melted all the way through and is of pouring consistency.

Pour the chocolate over the nut mixture in the first bowl, and stir to make sure all the ingredients are evenly coated in the chocolate. If you’re doing this on a cold day, you’ll need to work quickly before the chocolate sets.

Spread the mixture into the baking tray and put it in the refrigerator to set. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes.

Tip: If the chocolate hardens before you get a chance to properly spread out the mixture, just put it in the baking tray and pop it into a 150-degree oven for 5 minutes. This will melt the mixture and allow you to spread it in an even layer. It’ll also give it a softer texture that some people may prefer to eat with a fork.

IMG_5937Shown below is the most recent batch of Rocky Road I made– it was the birthday “cake” for a friend who loves white chocolate. The trippy color combo comes from the use of pink marshmallows and chopped up gummy snakes of assorted flavors. At the time, I had a teammate with a nut allergy, so I omitted the nuts and replaced them with more Scotch finger biscuits.

IMG_8761You may want to try these other lively fruit/nut/candy combinations:

-Use flaked almonds as your nuts, and add 100g of roughly chopped dried apples to the base mix
-Use Turkish delight in place of gummy candy
-Add 100g of raisins, sultanas, or dried cranberries to the base mix
-Use flavored marshmallows (if you live in Australia, try Pascall’s Marshmallows– one of their variants has vanilla, apricot, banana and raspberry marshmallows all in one pack! superb!)
-Add 100g of toasted or dessicated coconut to the base mix (or more if you’re a huge fan of coconut)

Happy Rockin’!

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