Right I’m setting my stall out early doors with about the most hedonistic recipe I can think of, combining as many indulgent ingredients as possible to create a truly extravagant treat; my ultimate rocky road.
It started life as a classic chocolate biscuit cake recipe, a long held family favourite – in fact I think my grandmother wrote it down having heard it on the “wireless” in the 40s or 50s. It became the standard family birthday cake and was often wheeled out at parties, (possibly in the vain hopes that the sugar would soak up some of the free flowing booze…) and the recipe, while incredibly simple, was kept a closely guarded secret.
My additions to it came about at the end of our second winter season when I was doing my best to use up as many of my left over store cupboard ingredients as possible. A glut of mini marshmallows got me thinking about rocky road, a frequent Friday afternoon indulgence when I was working in a London office and counting down the minutes until the end of the day. Peanuts and raisins seemed like the perfect way to balance the sweetness – the peanuts adding a necessary salty dimension and raisins helping to “cut the richness”*.
The result is incredibly rich but sneakily moreish and always a big hit with guests after they return exhausted from the slopes.
*This is a much used (and much mocked – thanks Al) phrase of mine and is basically my way of justifying eating lots of rich food by pointing out that there is a contrasting element present to balance it out – usually allowing you to eat more than you should.
Rocky Road Recipe
225 g plain chocolate
2 tablespoons milk
225 g butter
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
200g biscuits broken pieces (no bigger than 2cm pieces) (rich tea are ideal)
35g mini marshmallows
35g salted peanuts
Grease a cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper – I used one that was 15cm square and 5cm deep.
Break chocolate into small pieces, add the milk and then melt using a bain marie or just in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Only stir the chocolate a tiny bit to mix in the milk – if you do it too much it will go fudgey and not have the right texture.
In another saucepan, melt the butter slowly and be careful not to let it boil.
In a mixer, whisk the egg yolks thoroughly until they have thickened and pale yellow in colour and then whisk in the sugar. Once it you have a smooth mixture, add the butter in a slow and steady stream while the mixer is still going on a medium setting. It’s really important not to rush this step as if you add the butter too fast it will not thicken – when done properly the mixture will thicken like lemon curd.
Then stir in the melted chocolate until it is all well combined – you should have a thick glossy chocolatey looking mixture.
Now fold in all the other ingredients that you are using – broken biscuits, peanuts, mini marshmallows and raisins.
Once the bits are all well coated with chocolate, pour it all into the cake tin, level it all out with the back of a spoon and chill in the fridge until it is fully set – at least 4 hours.
Once it is properly set, run a hot knife around the edge of the tin and turn the cake out onto a board. Then again using a hot knife cut the rocky road into smallish squares or rectangles – if you want to do this very neatly then wipe the knife on kitchen paper and then reheat in between each cut.
Dust it with icing sugar and then dig in – try not to eat yourself sick!
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