Rocky Road Chocolate

 When I hear the words rocky road I think back with fond memories to a friend from school. Make that high school. It’s the same person who gets the credit for my intro to what Italian food, cooking & eating is all about… Anna Evangelista. I can still taste both her mother’s & older sister’s cooking. Mamma mia! Anna adored… no, LOVED rocky road. In particular, the ice cream. This recipe comes from one of my fave baking sites:
Perhaps I should morph some of this candy into a dee-lish batch of homemade ice cream. If I could call up Anna and invite her over… I most certainly would!

This recipe is quick to put together and has lots of room for creative licence. From spreading the candy on a parchment lined baking sheet (much easier) to be later cut into pieces, or making individual cutesy portions using paper lined mini muffin tins (moving very, very quickly) the choice is yours.

You could also use any nuts/combo that you like or make up a new one… be sure to toast them first, to really bring out their flavour. I considered that adding some Rice Krispies would really make it interesting – however, I didn’t have any. Perhaps the Cheerios in my cupboard would’ve done nicely.. adding a bit of extra texture, crunch and a modicum of healthfulness.

Another way to really customize it… you could vary the chocolate, or again, use a mix. I know some that would adore this made with milk chocolate, and others that would clamor for dark. Me… I think I prefer it somewhere in the middle, just like when making Peanut Butter Cups!

I also considered, briefly… adding some BBQ peanuts to the mix. I then thought better of it. Perhaps some of my own homemade spiced nuts would be better. Yes. The store bought kind would bring that unmistakable taste of ‘chemical/preservative’ to the rocky road party. You know what I mean.

As fate would have it, I recently got to taste some at a party. OH MY!! So light. So delicious. So needing to make some….

Rocky Road Chocolate

Easy to make, easy to store and definitely easy to eat!! If you think one and a half pounds is too much for your use, simply cut the amount of ingredients in half. If you do add cereal, I’d suggest only 1 cup for the full batch. When turning out the candy, be sure to move quickly before it sets – especially if you are making the individual portions.

1 pound, semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate (divided)
4 cups, mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups salted or unsalted peanuts (or use pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts or a combo of)

Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet or a paper lined mini muffin pan. In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt 3/4 pound of the chocolate that has been coarsely chopped.Once melted, remove from the heat and check to see that the temperature of the chocolate is between 115-119 degrees Fº. Once at that temperature, gradually add the remaining 1/4 pound of finely chopped chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until a chocolate thermometer inserted about a 1/2 inch into the chocolate registers 90 degrees Fº. (You may not need all the chocolate.) Then quickly add the marshmallows & nuts into the tempered chocolate, stirring just until they are completely coated. Immediately spread the rocky road onto the baking sheet or portion into the mini muffin tin, using two spoons.

Place the rocky road in the refrigerator until firm and then cut into pieces. It can be stored, in an airtight container, at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds. 
Note: You can make this recipe without tempering the chocolate. Simply melt the full 1 pound of chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and fold in the marshmallows and peanuts. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until set. Cut into pieces and store the Rocky Road in the refrigerator for up to a week.


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