Rocky road bars

After grappling with fudge, I thought I’d go for something easy and uncomplicated.

The ideal Rocky Road combines marshmallows and something crunchy in a chocolate coating. Melt the chocolate with some butter and golden syrup, mix in the soft and crunchy bits, leave to set in the fridge.

Rocky road bars

Rocky road bars

My attempts at Rocky Road started with the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a domestic goddess”, where she combines equal weights of marshmallows and brazil nuts. That’s quite a lot of marshmallows to not many nuts, and had the wrong ratio of crunch to squish for my taste.

Then I tried the Rocky Road Bars recipe in “Nigella Express”, and was convinced. Easy, cheap, popular, quick: Result.

Tips on ingredients for Rocky Road

For the biscuits, you want something simple and crunchy, nothing at all fancy. The most basic Rich Tea biscuits work very well.

For the butter: if you’re trying to avoid salt, then you could use unsalted butter. I prefer a slightly salted butter here. The butter flavour does come through, so I haven’t tried it with margarine.

For the chocolate: you can use expensive 70% cocoa-solid chocolate if you wish, but the recipe works perfectly well with cheap 60% cocoa-solid chocolate such as Asda Smart Price or Sainsbury’s Basics. It does need to be dark chocolate to offset the sweetness of the marshmallows.

If you can’t get golden syrup, then try corn syrup or even maple syrup for a different effect.

Mini marshmallows are more expensive but save time. If you want to keep the cost right down, buy ordinary marshmallows. Put about 2 tablespoons of icing sugar in a small bowl. Cut each marshmallow in half with scissors, then dip the cut sides in icing sugar. Cut each half in half again, dip the cut side again. Then cut each piece in half again, dip again. (It’s a bit tedious but goes quite quickly).  Each marshmallow you start with ends up as 8 mini-marshmallow-sized pieces. Dipping the cut sides in icing sugar means that all the bits keep separate; otherwise, the whole lot stick together messily.

Rocky road bars

Adapted from ‘Nigella Express’ by Nigella Lawson.

Equipment

Medium-sized bowl

Medium-sized saucepan with heavy base

Tablespoon

20cm (8″) square pan

Cling film

Fridge

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Ingredients

Rich tea biscuits – 250g (one small packet)

Butter – 125g (half of a block; 2 sticks)

Dark chocolate – 300g (three standard-sized bars)

Golden syrup – 2 tablespoons

Mini marshmallows – 200g

Make ahead

Make these at least one day before you want them; they are good for about a week if kept in the fridge.

Method

  1. Line the 20cm square pan with clingfilm. (You don’t have to, but it makes it much easier to get the bars out later).
  2. Break the biscuits into the bowl so that you end up with almond-sized pieces (plus crumbs). Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the saucepan.
  4. Break the chocolate into the saucepan and add the golden syrup. Stir well over low heat until the chocolate is just melted.
  5. Take the saucepan off the heat. Stir in the broken biscuits and mini-marshmallows.
  6. Pour the mixture into the 20cm square pan. Flatten down as evenly as possible; the top should be somewhat rocky.
  7. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge.
  8. Next day, take out of the fridge and turn out onto the chopping board. Peel off the cling film. Turn the block of rocky road back the right way up. Cut it into 16 bars.
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