a rocky road for my mother

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While I identify reasonably strongly with my mother’s Dutch side of the family (or pehaps just use at an excuse for “going back to my roots” when I bleach my hair every 8 weeks) and can appreciate the odd rollmop (pickled herring fillet) when the mood strikes me, I’ve never really been on board with the whole aniseed thing. My mother, on the other hand, is such a licorice lover, to the extent where she even enjoys the particularly salty varieties of Dutch drop. I’m not the fussiest of eaters, however I am ever thankful for the fact licorice isn’t inherently gluten free, providing me with the perfect excuse to never “try” to like it.

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With that disclaimer in mind, this is a controversial, dividing chocolate covered treat in that it requires a warning label for those not keen on licorice, but hasty to grab for anything chocolate covered (see: underslept surgical registrars, etc). Obviously this is barely even a recipe in that all you’re doing is combining melted chocolate with a melange of delicious things, so the licorice is easily omitted. I am of the personal opinion that a good rocky road has at least three textures going on/mouthful – the crunch of nuts, the softness of marshmallow, and then ideally the chewiness of licorice, or perhaps some kind of gummy winedrop/candy aeroplane/raspberry jube option. Whatever. The world is your rocky road oyster. Go nuts (literally).

Makes enough for a bottomless-stomached Mum sized treat box, with a few spare to bring on night shift:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 packets 250g marshmallows (375g marshmallows for ease), frozen at least 1 hour prior to prepping
  • 200g brazil nuts, hand-roasted in fry pan or roasting dish briefly, roughly chopped in food processor
  • 150g black soft eating licorice, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 400g packet or thereabouts of licorice allsorts
  • 400g milk chocolate melts
  • Handful of freezedried raspberries
  • Freeze-dried raspberry powder, pink sugar pearls and edible glitter for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Line a 33x22cm baking dish with greaseproof paper, secured down with a little butter to ensure it doesn’t slide about.
  2. Chop the marshmallows in half with a sharp knife (much easier to do when they are frozen). Alternatively you could use mini marshmallows, however I much prefer the texture of Pascall’s larger ones.
  3. Spread all the treats but for the milk chocolate melts and sprinkle topping items across the bottom of the baking tray.
  4. Melt the milk chocolate using the double boiler method (this is the only way I never successfull burn it: small saucepan of simmering water with bowl of chocolate melts on top, stirred regularly).
  5. Spread the chocolate on top of the rocky road and toss the treats to coat them. Press into some kind of vaguely even shape before topping with raspberry powder, sugar pearl glitter prettiness.
  6. Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into rough chunks. Store in an airtight container in the fridge (the marshmallows are chewier that way).
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