Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_road_%28dessert%29) doesn’t say much that we don’t already know about Rocky Road, but it does suggest that it was invented in Australia as a way of tricking locals into buying spoiled chocolate transported from Europe. It was mixed with nuts and other ‘filler’ which is why you can’t find a specific recipe for the original rocky road. Apparently, the name refers to the path the gold miners had to take to the gold fields.
We don’t know if any of that is true, but we do know a bit about rocky road – making it AND eating it. The best thing about it is that you can create your own recipe with your favourite ingredients and it becomes your speciality dish. There’s no wrong way to make a rocky road, and if it if fails you just have a big blob of delicious ingredients to stir through ice cream. Below are some of our tips for making a great rocky road, and links to a few of our favourite recipes.
A rocky road contains the following basic ingredients:
- Jelly or Turkish Delight
- If you think of the ingredients as 5 groups (chocolate, marshmallow, nuts, jelly and coconut) it becomes easy to substitute in recipes without risk of ruining it. Each of these basic ingredients, except the chocolate, can be substituted to allow for an endless variety of recipes. Below is a list of items which we substitute for the basics and some ways we vary our recipes.
- Be indulgent. Add everything you can think of, just stick to the groups.
- There’s a healthy substitute for every ingredient.
- There’s an allergy free substitute for most ingredients meaning you can customize this recipe to almost any diet.
- Select marshmallow and jelly colours to match your event theme and decorate the individual pieces with coloured chocolate. Serve in individual coloured cupcake cases on a platter at a party.
- Rocky road is generally gluten free. Check your chocolate and individual ingredients.
- Customize the rocky road to your audience. If your guests have a particular love of a type of nut or a flavour, make it with those items and surprise your guests with the extra special touch.
- Traditionally these are stirred through the slightly cooled chocolate to avoid melting them, but if you’ve ever accidentally melted your marshmallows into your chocolate you’ll know you’ve stumbled on something amazing. It makes your chocolate gooey and a bit chewy, like a fudge, and sends the sweet flavour through the other ingredients. I add half the mixture when melting the chocolate and stir it through, and add the rest to the tray directly.
- To keep marshmallows from melting, keep them out of the heat. Put them on the tray and pour the chocolate mixture over them or wait for it to cool.
- If you’re making a lot of rocky road, visit a confectionary warehouse and ask for offcuts or seconds of their packaged marshmallows. Many stores sell them by the bag for a discounted price. Chop these into little pieces and stir through when chocolate is warm or cool depending on the result.
- Use the marshmallows with the toasted coconut for a delicious twist.
- Fruit such as dried cranberries, cherries, sultanas can be used to replace the jelly and give a healthy twist to the Rocky Road.
- Snake lollies – cut into little pieces and stir through.
- Traditional greek turkish delight, stirred through just as the chocolate is cooling so it melts just a little, makes the BEST rocky road you’ve ever tasted.
- Crushed peanuts are the most common for this recipe.
- Pistachio nuts look beautiful when the rocky road is cut, giving a bright green highlight.
- Use high quality gourmet nuts like macadamia and cashew for a rich flavour.
- If using whole nuts, be sure to cut with a sharp knife
- Don’t be afraid to add several different types of nuts together.
- I usually don’t substitute the coconut because its unique texture helps to soak up any extra wetness in the mixture, and it tastes delicious.
- On the rare occasion that I do, I might use a hazelnut meal or a ground seed. It needs to be dry as this is the purpose of the coconut.
- Use different types of coconut. Flour (ground), shredded, desicated, flakes … they each have a unique flavour and texture.
- Toast the coconut before stirring through mixture.
- Either stir coconut through a rocky road mixture, sprinkle it on the top of a slice or coat rocky road balls by rolling them in it.
We’re always adding new variations of rocky road recipes to our website.
Search for ‘rocky road’ or click this link for the search results: http://cuisineaustralia.com/?s=rocky+road