Summer holidays are here again and with them (hopefully) some much deserved down time for you all. For many of us this time of the year is steeped in tradition, whether that centres around a getaway to a favourite holiday destination, Christmas festivities or the food we eat. It is also a time for reflection on a year gone by and the inevitable question - just where has this year gone?
In my home, this time of the year is largely about quality time with the family. Christmas is huge highlight on the annual calendar and with a young family of my own I just love how we are creating our own new traditions to build onto the ones we have been celebrating with our extended family for as long as I can remember. One of my own personal traditions is that for the last few years I have made edible gifts for friends and family, and so far it has gone down a treat… to the point where I am now receiving "subtle" hints as early as September as to what the recipients might like to find in their edible parcels at the end of the year! Given the choice between a manic, nervous breakdown-inducing day running around a busy shopping mall or a day spent creating and packaging delicious munchibles for my loved ones and I am sure you can guess which one I prefer!
This rocky road recipe is a firm favourite on my edible gift list and in this version I have ditched the usual digestive biscuits and marshmallows in favour of some delicious and appropriately festive coloured treats. This is a no bake recipe and the ingredients make it rich, extravagant and rather special. As I write this I have just popped another two batches into the fridge to be packaged up for the chocoholics in my life. Never mind your friends and family, I am sure that Santa would not mind a block or two of this under the tree this year!
This is my last recipe for 2015 - thank you for another wonderful year! I will be back in January and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful festive season. Happy holidays and chocolate kisses!
FESTIVE ROCKY ROAD
150g shortbread biscuits
120g cream caramels / soft toffees
100g pistachio nuts, shelled
70g dried cranberries
120g butter, cubed
270g dark chocolate, broken into small blocks
3 tbsp golden syrup
icing sugar for dusting
Step 1.) Line a 20cm square cake tin with plastic wrap, this is going to help you lift the rocky road out later.
Step 2.) Place the shortbread biscuits in a small freezer bag and use a rolling pin to gently crush them into smaller pieces. You can also chop them up roughly. Cut the cream caramels in half so that each piece is about the size of a mini marshmallow. Place the biscuits and toffees into a small bowl along with the pistachios and cranberries.
Step 3.) Place the butter, dark chocolate and syrup in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the biscuit mixture. Stir well until everything is completely coated in chocolate.
Step 4.) Tip the contents of the saucepan into your prepared tin. Be sure to scrape all the syrup from the bottom of the saucepan and use it to fill any small gaps. Press the mixture down gently. Cover the tin and leave in the fridge for a few hours until the rocky road has set.
Step 5.) Carefully lift the rocky road out of the tin and peel away the plastic. Cut into 25 squares (a little goes a long way) and pile onto a plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.