Tuesday, December 19, 2017

With the 8th Bite of Christmas, who needs mistletoe?! ... Sour Cherry Rocky Road


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The 8th bite of Christmas is … Sour Cherry Rocky Road. Cut it into bite-sized bits, and take it to wherever there are people you love (or simply like).

Who needs mistletoe when you have Rocky Road!

 Sometimes ...  often  ... ok ... practically all the time, life doesn’t go according to plan. The road ahead usually has a few lumps and bumps lurking, ready to trip us up as soon as we cast our attention elsewhere...

... Like last month: I dropped my ice cream maker (my priceless €1 machine – maker of strawberry and rose petal ice cream); totalled my food processor (Note to self: remove the sheath from the  blade before attempting to use the machine); and annihilated my electric whisk – don’t ask!

... Like last week, when my sister made pizza from scratch... It took a detour on the way to the oven and belly-flopped onto her cat... the bad-tempered one... with the six-inch claws and the kleptomaniac tendencies (cat, not sister!). I foresee a shredded sofa and further apologies to the neighbours as the evil creature wanders home with yet another gold trinket clenched in its teeth...

The good news is that life’s little wrinkles can often work out for the best. Most lumps and bumps can have a silver lining... like when I drop my heavy cookery notebook on my foot (bump, lump) and a little scrap of cardboard falls out. It’s my sister Veronica’s incredible Rocky Road recipe (silver lining).

In general I HATE marshmallow, I HATE desiccated coconut, and I’m not particularly fond of milk chocolate either. However when these ingredients get together with crunchy salty nuts and chewy sour cherries and go skinny dipping in dark chocolate, magic happens. I will happily eat this version by the kilo – leading to further lumps and bumps if indulged too often. 

Here is Veronica's original recipe...

 This translates as...
300g milk chocolate (decent stuff, not cooking chocolate)
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
90g mini marshmallows (or large marshmallows, snipped into pieces with a scissors)
80g white chocolate, roughly chopped
80g dried sour cherries (dried cranberries are good too)
75g salted jumbo peanuts
75g salted almonds
50g desiccated coconut, toasted*

First, line the base of a 30cm x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

Then, break the milk chocolate and dark chocolate into pieces and place together in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (the base of the bowl mustn’t touch the water or the chocolate can turn grainy). Stir occasionally until melted.

 Add the rest of the ingredients to the melted chocolate and stir until everything is well coated. Transfer to the baking tin and leave to cool. When the chocolate is set, remove from the tin and cut into pieces - bitesized or boulders – that bit is up to you.

* I toasted the coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. This task only takes a few minutes but requires a close eye because as soon as you look away, the coconut will burn in an instant.

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