I have a confession to make… I love dark chocolate.

Love, love, love it. In fact, I think I have a slight problem with how much I love it. This is probably due to the fact it’s one of the few sweet treats I can afford myself, ensuring it’s the gluten and dairy free kind of dark chocolate, like Lindt or Green & Blacks.

This got me thinking about how to make dark chocolate even better… by adding other things that I love to it!

Okay. It wasn’t quite like that.

One day I saw some (milk chocolate) rocky road in a cafe that had some extra ingredients in it. So I had a go at making my own, and came up with this combination which has proved to be a favourite amongst my friends. In fact, I was asked to bring it to the Good Friday lunch that we attend at our friends’ house, hence making it recently. It was also my fiance’s birthday on Easter weekend, so he got a special tray too 🙂

Gourmet dairy and gluten free rocky road

Ingredients:

I made sure I measured the ingredients when I made it this time. I usually throw in however much I have handy. The trick is to make sure the amount of chocolate is just right. You need to make sure it coats the rest of the ingredients without overpowering them. Dare I say, there could be such a thing as too much chocolate…?

  • 1 x 250g packet of marshmallows (gluten free, and vegan if that’s your thang…)
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds (see below for how to roast your own almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (out of shells)
  • 3/4 (dairy and gluten free) dark chocolate buds (this seemed the right amount of chocolate for this quantity of ingredients)

Method:

  1. Place the dark chocolate buds in a metal bowl over a saucepan of water on the stove. The boiling water will gradually melt the chocolate. Stir it until it is a smooth, shiny consistency.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until they are all well coated.
  3. Place the mixture into a container, pressing the mixture into the corners and edges for a consistent slice. I use a TupperChef Slice Form. It’s ideal for this purpose as it’s flexible, making the rocky road easy to remove. It’s 27.0 cm long x 15.0 cm wide x 3.3 cm high, which is perfect for this quantity.
  4. Place the tray of rocky road mixture in the fridge and allow to set for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Once set, remove from form and slice into desired sizes, using a sharp knife. Heating the knife can help.

How to roast your own almonds

To roast your own almonds:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˙C.
  2. Spread raw almonds out on oven tray, ensuring they are only one high (i.e. not stacked).
  3. Roast for 16-18 minutes. This seems to be the sweet spot, and you need to be very careful to get the timing just right. You’ll need to judge this on your own oven. Take them out to early and they won’t be roasted; too late and they’ll burn. So stand by and wait for that sweet, sweet roasted almond smell. Then they should be perfect!
  4. When they’re cooked perfectly, remove tray from oven and allow to cool. Try to refrain from eating them until they are cooled. They may smell delicious when they are hot, but they will taste oh so much better when they have cooled down.


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