Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Gifts and Goodies

So, this post was originally going to be about my annual gingerbread mission, but it was just so darn hot in Perth on the day I chose to make them that they near-melted every time I got the dough out of the fridge. And, as a result, all plans for photos went right out the window. I have two photos of creaming butter and sugar and one of the dough resting in the fridge - not conducive to an interesting blog post.

I was about to give up on the Christmas themed post, until FMIL requested my rocky road, which reminded me of my other Christmas gift staple, which couldn't be further from gingerbread on a difficulty scale...

I found this recipe in SFI 3 years ago, and it's been getting a good run in our house every year since - I've even made it for Easter... I have made a few minor changes to the recipe, and always make a dark chocolate version too - for FH Alphie and his dad, who loooove dark chocolate.

The key is to use the best chocolate you can get. I usually use the Nestle Plaistowe white cooking chocolate blocks, but in an attempt to make this palm oil free, I went with Cadbury Dream this year, and it didn't work so well. Cadbury Dream doesn't melt so smoothly or so thinly, making it hard to mix in, and it it super-sweet and overtakes the rest of the rocky road. For the dark chocolate, I would most definitely recommend the Lindt Dessert 70% cooking chocolate (available at my local Bi-Lo, of all places!), although, the Nestle Plaistowe cooking chocolate blocks are good too.

Gourmet rocky road
  • 400g white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup pistachio kernels
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 100g bag mini marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
an example of 'just a little bit longer' leading to slightly over-toasted coconut...

Toast the pistachios and coconut in a 150 degree oven for 5 minutes - keep an eye on them though, it will turn from 'just a little bit longer' to charred, in seconds.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring frequently. Once melted, add marshmallows and stir to combine, then stir in the remaining ingredients; pistachios, coconut and craisins.

Spoon into a foil lined slice tin (27cm x 17cm), and leave to set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove foil, and cut into reasonable-sized pieces - the original recipe suggests 24, but just go with a size that works.

For the dark chocolate version, I chop 3x 55g turkish delights in place of the craisins, 1/2 cup of almonds for the pistachios, and use dark chocolate (obviously...)


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