Monthly Archives: May 2014

How to Make Rockin’ Rocky Road!

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I recently posted on Twitter about Rocky Road and got a few comments, seems people love Rocky Road(a wee bit of internet snooping revealed that it is in fact an Australian food creation!  Invented to sell on confections that had spoiled! Who knew?).

Rocky Road is, in this house, the ultimate chocolate overload. A bar/cake/sweetie thing so awesome my boys only request it every now and then for the fear of “over doing” it and making themselves sick of the decadent treat.

 

Here, I’m going to share my recipe with you, this is the recipe that has been asked for by neighbours, by rival coffee shop owners(she lived very far away she assured me!) when I made it for my family’s business, and is the recipe my mother said she overheard someone on a train talking about! That does indeed sound a bit big headed, but I was(& still am) completely in love with baking and that was/is the ultimate compliment! To have a person ask for the recipe, or recommend something you have made to another is just the icing on the cake, to use a baking related pun. If you try it out, I’d love to hear what you make of it too! 🙂

 

This is my  original recipe, pretty dark and “adult” in taste, but you can lighten it up by swapping out some dark for milk chocolate. I did this recently and made a tray bake of 150g milk to 50g dark choc and reduced the condensed milk to 3/4 tin and butter to 1oz. If you do go with a much higher percentage of milk(or in fact ALL milk) just remember to adjust the butter and condensed milk also!

Another thing worthy of mentioning here is that Rocky Road is all about quality ingredients(like a rice crispie cake) if you use cheap things in it, the end result will be cheap tasting. I’m not trying to be all fancy pants here, it’s quite simply the truth. Don’t waste your money making something that just tastes “ok” make something that you’d rate “AWESOME” because let’s face it, you’re worth it! 🙂

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What I use:

200g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
1 can condensed milk
1tbsp syrup
40g butter  (please, PLEASE, use ok butter! Salted is good)
12-15 ish biscuits (I used Border Biscuits Chocolate Chip Shortbread, but you could use any other biscuit as long as you’d be happy to eat it plain, without all the chocolate etc you may use it here) crushed, not finely, we want chunks not dust!
7-8 large marshmallows, chopped into quarters (I used some homemade caramel ones I had lying about[yes, I DO know how ridiculous that sounds], but don’t go nuts, I give you permission here to just add regular mallows, gourmet ones would be a complete extravagance, and making them solely for this purpose quite honestly a madness!)
Fruit, some(a handful) glacé cherries or raisins, or even apricots or dried cranberries here would be good <shock & horror! Something healthy? 😉
1-2 Mars bars (you decide how much you need here, if it looks like 1 and a half bars is enough, I won’t tell if you eat the other half, ok?) Chopped into small ish chunks
*If you like, you may gild the lily by adding things like sprinkles, mini smarties, M & Ms etc for a bit of colour(and let’s not kid ourselves, more chocolate!) 🙂
 

What to do:

Put chocolates, condensed milk, syrup and butter in pan.
Heat on low until melted and glossy.
Take a little of the biscuits, Mars bars, mallows and fruit and put in small bowl, to pretty up the top.
Stir in remaining biscuits, chopped Mars bars, marshmallow quarters and fruit.(work quite quickly as the mallows will melt!)
Pour into a foil-lined(or cling film or parchment would be fine also) tray, loaf tin or cake tin and leave to set.
Sprinkle over the reserved biscuits, mallows, fruit and any other toppings*(see note above)
Cut into slices, squares or wedges.
Eat! 🙂
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Granny’s Shortbread Recipe

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This is my Granny Rose’s recipe, it’s basic, in fact so much so I’m pretty sure it is the same one almost everyone’s Scottish gran knows. Homebaking doesn’t get much simpler than this traditional biscuit, and it’s a great first recipe for baking with wee ones! 🙂

It goes by ratio. 6:4:2

6 of flour(plain/all purpose)

4 of fat(I use unsalted butter but you can use margarine)

2 of sugar(caster/superfine)

I also use a pinch of salt in my shortbread

 

Whatever your measurement is (grams or ounces) follow this formula for traditional Scottish shortbread.

Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until creamy then beat in the sugar until light & fluffy.

Add in the flour(and salt) little by little until you have a dough.

Work the dough on the work surface to bring together then, either roll out and cut shapes or press into your tin(or mould like me).

Place on a baking sheet if making biscuits, prick all over with a fork and bake at 180(gas 3) for 35-40 mins or until golden.

If your shortbread starts to look too dark, cover with a piece of foil!

Remove from the oven and whilst still hot dredge with more sugar. Mark the pieces, if you have baked in a tin and leave to cool completely.

 

You can of course do all this in a machine, but Granny Rose always gives me a stern look when I mention such things, like that one time I suggested SEMOLINA(makes a grainy, crunchy, rather pleasant non-trad[in her eyes] biscuit) in the shortbread recipe! 😉

 

By the by….Saturday (17th May) was World Whisky Day so in light of that fact I made “shortie” in my thistle mould to go with a wee dram at night, suitably patriotic don’t you think? … Slainte!

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Stout Marshmallows

 

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Marshmallows are something I have wanted to try for ages, I just never seemed to get around to it. In truth it was a lot to do with the idea of faffing around with a candy thermometer and the idea of the mess too.

I can however now say that having made them that the faffing(which in reality is not much) and mess(easy to clean with hot water) is absolutely worth it! PLUS if you do gift these to your father on Fathers Day you’ll heaps of brownie points-bonus! 🙂

As with most things I do it’s never enough to just make plain, simple  ones and leave it at that. These stout(STOUT? heck yes! delicious, sweet, cloud-like with a rich stout taste that comes second, they really do work!) The stout flavour take the kiddie confectionery to another, more adult level.

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This recipe uses stout from my local brewery Williams Bros here in central Scotland. March of the Penguins to be precise, but any dark, rich, malty stout would work, try Guinness if you can’t get my delicious local brew.

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Everyone here loves them and they would be the perfect thing for Fathers Day. So I urge you to get the pots out and get your mallow on!

 

What you need:

A sugar/candy thermometer is essential here!

A med/large pot, I use one with high sides. This recipe has a tendency to foam a lot so get yourself something kinda big, but not too big that your thermometer doesn’t reach the sugar syrup.

A pan, I used a regular loaf pan. That is about perfect size for this amount. Oil the pan and dust with a mix of half icing sugar and half cornflour.

 

The sugar syrup:

3/4 (6oz)cup sugar

1/2 cup & 2 tbsp(5oz) golden syrup

1/4 cup stout(flat)

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract, I used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste

 

For the gelatine bloom:

1/3 cup stout(flat)

1.5 tbsp powdered gelatine

 

For the icing sugar/cornflour dusting:

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup cornflour

Mix together in small bowl and use to dust pan and top of mallows.

 

What to do:

First off let your stout go flat, I mean proper flat. If you’re rushed(aren’t we all?) pout it into a jug and stir it around with a fork until flat

Then take the stout pour into the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the gelatine over the top in a even layer. Mix to make sure there are no big lumps. Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer.

Put the sugar, stout and golden syrup and salt into your pan, clip the thermometer to the side, if yours is swanky like that, and bring fairly quickly to a rolling boil. You want this stout, sugar syrup to reach 240 on the thermometer, once it’s been boiling for a few ins keep checking, towards the end the temp seems to rise rapidly!

Once you’ve reached the 240 take the pan from the heat and start your mixer running, slowly(ish) at this part! Boiling sugar is not something you want splattering over yourself, please be careful.

Gently pour the sugar into the gelatine until combined, now you may increase the speed.

Let the mixer do it’s thing. The mixture will grow and change to a paler colour. At this stage add the vanilla. You know the mallows is ready when you can trail mallow on the surface and it retains it’s shape. This can take about 10-12 mins to do. You can feel the side of the bowl for this too, you want it to feel only barely warm to the touch.

Once at the setting stage, work quickly with a silicone spatula and pour the mallow into your pan. Don’t worry too much about getting everything or it will start to set!

Smooth as much as you can, but again do it quickly and don’t “faff”.

Sprinkle a little more icing sugar/cornflour mix over the top and leave to set for at least an hour.

Gently pull the mallow away from the edge of the tin to release and using a knife cut into pieces. Dip your knife into any remaining icing sugar/cornflour between cuts. If it is proving hard to come off the sides, ease a knife down the edge and push a little of the sugar/corn flour mix down the gap. Work your way along the sides of the pan like this and it *should plop out no bother!

 

🙂

Ps. Just had a thought, how AMAZING would these be as s’mores?! Yum, I’m off to buy half covered chocolate digestive biscuits and try!

 

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Toffee Apple Cake!

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I had a Wright’s (<click here to see their site & more delicious bread and cake mixes) cake in the cupboard, I actually bought it with the intention of making a cake with the wee one. Oops!

 

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It’s ok though, he was busy with the play dough I had made, we’ll bake a cake another day 🙂

I wanted to bake something that was not just the regular toffee cake and I had some bramleys kicking about that I felt I should use up. Simple, let’s make a toffee apple cake!

Easy, tasty and quick what more could you ask for? By the way, this is MUCH yummier than you imagine a packet could ever taste, nobody will ever guess it was from a mix, honest!

 

What I used:

1x Wright’s Toffee Cake mix
3 medium Bramley apples, chopped and then stewed in 1tbsp water until soft
40mls Rape seed oil
100mls Milk
80mls Water
1/4 tsp Vanilla paste
1/4 tsp Baking powder
Small handful of pecan nuts, chopped
 

For the top:

4-5 Pecans, chopped
1tbsp Demerara sugar

 

What I did:

First off  stew the apples, until soft but not completely smushed*, set aside to cool

Tip baking mix into large bowl

Add other ingredients(and apple)

Pour into 9″x9″ lined pan

Sprinkle on the topping

Bake at 350(180) for about a hour or until a toothpick comes out clean

Remove from oven ad place o rack for 1-15 mins before turning out to completely cool

Eat! 🙂

*actual technical baking terminology

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