Sunday, 24 April 2016

Rocky Road (UK name: Chocolate Tiffin)

So it’s a rainy day in Brussels (honestly the weather here is more confused than in London and that’s saying something). It's literally rained 4 times today and the sun has come out 5 times. I know what you're thinking- trust the Brit to make a point about the weather in a blog. I'm telling you though, us Brits are onto something because the weather here really is a good talking point! So in this confused weather day I decided to have tea, biscuits and update my baking blog. It's a very British past-time I'll admit.
When I moved to Brussels a month ago (albeit temporarily), I came with the fierce attitude that no matter the limits in my baking equipment, I would still manage to bake. I came true on this though I'm not going to lie- it’s been more EFFORT than usual. So far I've made cookies, cupcakes and rocky road, not bad going…So now for the next step- to crack out the laptop and actually write something down!
Now this week this bake has caused some confusion- it seems a lot of people don't actually know what rocky road is!! Well let me educate you about this gorgeously chocolatey sugary goodness bite of heaven. It's just chocolate, butter, syrup, biscuits and all things sweet meted down and mixed up and cut into bite-sized squares. It originates from America but when the British adopted it, they rather appropriately gave it the posh name of a 'Tiffin'. Call it what you want guys, as long as you enjoy it that's all that counts ;). For all those baking-shy people this is the best thing for beginners- there's no oven involved so you CANNOT FAIL. Give it a go. You'll love it.


250g chocolate (mixture of milk and dark)
125g butter (unsalted)
1-2 tablespoons of golden syrup/ honey/any other syrup
200g crushed biscuits (any you like)
100g marshmallows
-anything else you want to add (such as dried fruit, nuts, other chocolate or sweets)


1)      Line a square tin (or anything you have) with cling film, using a dash of butter to make it stick. Set aside.
2)      Bring a pan of water to the boil and turn down the heat to a simmer. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and dice the butter into cubes. Place chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl with the syrup. Place over the pan of simmering water, making sure the surface of the water DOES NOT TOUCH the bottom of the bowl (the chocolate will burn otherwise). Allow the ingredients to melt, stirring only occasionally. Once melted take the bowl off the heat and set aside to cool down slightly.
3)      Meanwhile break or crush up your biscuits in a big(ish) mixing bowl. It’s up to you how far you go with this; if you like chunks of biscuit then only break them up but if you prefer them to blend in more with the chocolate mix, go wild with a rolling pin/ mallet/ brick (just joking about this one).
4)      Pour the chocolate into the biscuits and mix to combine. Next chop up the marshmallows and any other ingredients you so desire, and stir into the mixture.
5)      Pour the rocky road mixture into the tin and flatten down with a spatula. Allow to cool properly for an hour or so before putting in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours minimum. Once properly set, run a large sharp knife under hot water (yeah you don't want to mess with this girl!), wipe and cut the rocky road into your desired portions. This will keep for a week or so in the fridge.
6)      Dish out to friends and colleagues to fatten them up (optional).

                                                                     TIPS AND TRICKS
*Going the extra mile: if you fancy being a bit..well…fancy…why not decorate the top of your rocky road? As Mary Berry says, it’s always better to show a bit of what’s on the inside on the outside! I was using this bake as an excuse to use up some leftover chocolate so I went mental with the decoration. A good technique to use is the following: after flattening the surface of the rocky road in step (5) melt down about 100g chocolate and drizzle about half of it over the surface of the rocky road. This will act like a glue to attach your toppings. Add whatever toppings you want, such as chocolate buttons, bits of broken biscuit, extra marshmallows etc. Then drizzle the other half of the melted chocolate over the top in as artistic a fashion as you can manage. I find using a contrasting chocolate to the one you used in the actual rocky road looks nice here (ie milk on white, white on dark). Trust me, the contrast looks very fetching to the eye ;)…as if a cake of chocolate and sheer sugar isn’t fetching enough to the eye!

*FANCY FINISH: Once you’ve cut up your rocky road, dust with icing sugar to give it a finished Starbucksy kind of finish.