Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending The Year On A Sweet Note- Almond Chocolate Rocca

Ending The Year On A Sweet Note- Almond Chocolate Rocca
A year has gone by and it sure seemed like a blur. As I reflect on the year that passed by I feel  blessed and contented.This year has been great one, saw my fair share of lows and equal share of highs.If Summer trip to visit my parents and there by visiting Kashmir was a highlight then loosing my grandmother was definitely a big loss and a void that cannot be filled. This year spent time with quality folks both personally and professionally, stayed true to myself and stood up more. Cemented many friendships and let go of few. 

As the new year approaches I can feel the change in air, next year will be a year of change, a year of new beginnings and a year of promise. Call me OCD but I live by goals and have written up my set of resolutions for the year to come, one of them being staying healthy and exercising.

It is only fair that I bid adieu to 2013 on a sweeter note and hence the last post of the year and Almond Rocca.  

So here is Almond Chocolate Rocca step by step in pictures. Thanks to a dear friend for inviting me to a baking session and then sharing her recipe. This recipe has been adapted from here.

4 oz (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of Vanilla extract (optional)
1.5 cups toasted unsalted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
Step 1. Prepare an 8x4 loaf pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray
Step 2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
Step 3. Measure 3/4 cups of sugar packed.
Step 4. Add the brown sugar, the corn syrup, and the salt, and stir until the brown sugar dissolves
Step 5. Cook on medium till brown sugar dissolves, this is critical for a crunchy caramel toffee, run the spatula through the mixture and you should not find any grainy consistency, that ensures that brown sugar has melted completely.
Step 6. Once the brown sugar melts, start your timer and cook the candy for exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, stir and boil the toffee until it reaches 290 degrees F (143 C).
Step 7. After six minutes, pull the toffee pan from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped toasted almonds.
Step 8. Scrape the toffee into the prepared loaf pan—it should be in a layer about 1/2-inch thick.

Step 9.Let the toffee set for about 3 minutes, then use a pizza cutter or paring knife to cut the toffee into thin bars about 1/2-inch by 2.5-inches. These will look like small pieces, but once they are dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, they'll be substantially bigger. After another 2 minutes, go over your cuts again as the toffee continues to harden.
Step 10. I wanted my Rocca chunky and homey so made them size of about an inch.
Step 11. As you wait for your toffee to set, chop the remaining 1 cup of toasted almonds very finely, or put them in a food processor and pulse for several seconds until they are in very small pieces. Pour the finely chopped almonds into a shallow bowl. Once the toffee is completely cool and set, break it into pieces along the lines you made, and trim off any jagged edges with a knife.
Step 12. Melt the chocolate or candy coating. Dip each piece of Almond rocca in the melted chocolate, then place it in the bowl of nuts. Roll it around until it is coated with nuts on all sides, then take it out of the nuts with a fork and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the toffee pieces are coated with chocolate and nuts.Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 10 minutes. Store Almond Rocca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but for best taste and texture, bring it to room temperature before serving. Original recipe can be found here.

My Rocca did not stay two weeks long, took them along on a road trip with friends and it was relished. Wishing all of my readers the very best in the year to come, may we all find peace and happiness in 2014.

My resolutions for the year 2014

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