I’m in mad cooking mode for Shakespeare tomorrow. At this very moment, something that I hope will turn into Turkish Delight is glooping away, jellyfish-like, in a saucepan, so imagine, if you will, that this post is punctuated by mad dashes out to the kitchen to see if the mixture has achieved ‘very thick and golden’ yet. Since we’re doing Timon of Athens, it would actually be appropriate to just serve hot water and rocks, but that would be mean, and I can’t bring myself to be quite that evil. Besides, I have much, much nicer friends than Timon does, so they certainly don’t deserve Timon’s feast.
So we’re having a lot of Greek food, and also rock cakes, and, as you have possibly guessed by now, Rocky Road.
The trouble with commercial Rocky Road is that people always put pointless stuff in it, like peanuts, or really bad jelly lollies, or marshmallows that don’t even taste like marshmallows. And they don’t use proper chocolate, either. This is where it becomes really pleasing to make your own Rocky Road, because you can put whatever you like in it! Also, it takes about ten minutes to make, and most of that time is waiting for the chocolate to melt.
This is, in my view, the best ever Rocky Road. Of course it is. I made it precisely to my taste – inasmuch as the shops would let me. I was hoping for a lot more freeze-dried fruit, preferably raspberries and apricots. But you know what? That just means I can make this even more perfect next time…
Your Shopping List500 g really good dark cooking chocolate. This is all about the chocolate, so you might as well go Lindt 75% 150 g marshmallows. The ones which actually have a bit of flavour to them. 85 g roasted unsalted almonds. Need I say more? 50 g glacé cherries. But if you can get glacé pineapple instead, I say go for it! 50 g freeze-dried fruit. The snappy, crunchy kind. Trust me, this is an absolute winner, especially if you can get something good and tangy, like strawberries or raspberries. 50 g good quality turkish delight, or better still, pectin jellies! Did I mention I still have some mis-shapen ones left over from Christmas? Well, now I have 50 g fewer…
Now what will you do with it?
Halve your marshmallows and glacé cherries (I find kitchen scissors is the fastest way to deal with this), snip the jellies into smaller chunks, and put into a bowl with everything else except the chocolate.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on 50% for 1 minute at a time, stirring at the end of each minute, until the chocolate is all melted. This took me about 6 minutes, I think.
While the chocolate is melting, line a big rectangular or square tin – I think I used a 23 cm tin – with baking paper.
Mix all the non-chocolate ingredients into the chocolate (you may need to separate out some of the sticky ones with your fingers) until everything looks nicely mingled, pour the lot into the lined tin, and refrigerate for an hour or two until set.
Get out your trusty scissors and cut the Rocky Road into nice, uneven chunks.
Eat. Oh yes. Especially at midnight.
You can put anything in this, just make sure you have some crunchy things, some fluffy things and some chewy things. If you are avoiding nuts, try chopped up gingernut biscuits, maltesers, honeycomb or meringue (be aware, though, that these will make your Rocky Road even sweeter than it already is – you may want to balance this with more freeze-dried fruit, or use glacé ginger instead of the cherries.
To veganise this, or, alas, even to make it fully vegetarian, you will probably need to go and get specialty vegan marshmallows or marshmallow mix, because I don’t think you really can have Rocky Road without marshmallows. (And I haven’t forgotten my vegan marshmallow project – I just haven’t had time to pursue it recently. Maybe next weekend?) But on the bright side, you know how to make vegan jellies, right? And traditional Turkish Delight is often made with cornflour and no gelatin, so this is something to keep an eye out for.
Actually, I think this concotion would be gorgeous with a lot of almonds and glacé and freeze-dried fruit in it, and no confectionery at all, so you could do that, too. Even if it wasn’t Rocky Road anymore. But it would still be yummy, whatever it was. You could, of course, leave out the fruit altogether if you are avoiding fructose – most Rocky Road is all confectionery, all the way, in any case. But I must admit, I feel that the freeze-dried fruit is my particular point of uniqueness here, and I really like it.
If you are feeling especially fancy, you could get couverture chocolate and temper it before mixing everything in. And when I’ve reached the point where I can reliably temper chocolate (my success rate is currently about 50/50), I’ll be sure to tell you how.
Meanwhile, I think I might just go and have another piece. Just to make sure it worked, you understand. I couldn’t feed my friends sub-par Rocky Road, now could I?