November 06, 2013

Almond Roca Bark

While I was growing up, I wasn't allowed sweets. They were always reserved for special occasions or whenever friends came to visit.
I would always run to nag Dad to buy me sweets if Mum didn't let me have any. I distinctly remember a time when I was around 5, he went out to get the paper from a local Dairy store and I ran out to jump in the car. He treated me to a Cadbury Flake, but because it was such a large bar of chocolate, I couldn't eat it in time before we got home. So we hid behind the garage, and Dad stood next to me while I tried to eat it as fast as I could (I was and still am, the slowest eater you will know). In the end I couldn't finish it in time before Mum would question where we went, so half a Cadbury flake ended up in a bucket next to the garage.

For the lollies and sweets that I were allowed under 'Mum's rule', Almond Roca was always one of my favourites. It conjours up Christmas memories, that beautiful pink and crimson tin, the little oblong shaped matte gold wonders were my absolute FAVE. No wonder I have an obsession with anything caramel and butterscotch.

After attempting several recipes that I found online, and failing at getting the right butterscotch, nutty crunch, I finally meshed up some good measurements for a version of my own that is easy to remember and quick to make.

Almond Roca Bark Recipe

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Cooling time: 1 hr in the fridge, or just leave overnight

  • 250gm Salted Butter [or 1 Cup]
  • 250gm Caster (Superfine) Sugar [or 1 Cup]
  • 150gm Dry Roasted Almonds, chopped
  • 50ml water
  • 30ml light corn syrup (or you can substitute with glucose syrup, but add a tablespoon extra water)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 100gm Dark Chocolate (preferrably 66% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
  • Toasted Shredded Coconut for sprinkling (optional) - shredded coconut can simply be done by placing a handful in a frying pan over a low heat for around 3-5 minutes until toasty brown.
  • Medium saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Lined Baking tray / Lined Baking dish (I used a 12"x8" baking tin, but you can use whatever flat metal surface you like, up to you how thin or thick you would like it! Obviously a smaller tin would make a thicker chunk and would take a longer cooling period)
  • Small Spatula

  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat until fully melted. Once melted, mix through the sugar, water and corn syrup
  2. Clip on your candy thermometer and turn the heat up high, until the mixture starts boiling (whisk the mixture if need be, but you should be able to leave it) and have half of the chopped almonds and measured Baking soda on standby.
  3. Turn the heat down a little (to prevent the mixture boiling over), and let the mixture boil away until your candy thermometer reaches 300 deg. Fahrenheit (or 150 deg. Celsius, or the 'hard crack' stage as indicated by the Candy Thermometer). This is roughly around 10 minutes on the clock, so set your timer if you need to. 
  4. Place the other half of the chopped almonds at the bottom of the lined tray.
  5. Once the mixture bubbles to the final 300 deg. Fahrenheit point on the thermometer, it should be a beautiful amber colour. Take the saucepan off the heat once you've reached the right temperature or 10 minutes is up, and whisk through the chopped almonds and baking soda.
  6. Swiftly lay out the almond butterscotch liquid mixture onto the almond lined baking tray and spread out evenly with a small spatula.
  7. Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate, wait a few minutes for these to melt then spread out evenly with your spatula
  8. Sprinkle over the toasted coconut and place in fridge for an hour or until hardened. Break up with a large knife and munch!

I never really thought of the crumbs being just as brilliant as munching on a whole chunk, but when a workmate of mine said I should sell the crumbs (they naturally happen when you chop the whole block up), I thought they would make the perfect sprinkling to other dessert treats like crepes or ice cream.
Just a word of warning though, you may want to munch on the whole block!


2 comments so far

  1. Hi Mia,

    I love, love, love this recipe and use it as my Christmas sweet gift. However, I find when I add the baking soda my mixture splits. It doesn't effect the taste and I can hide it with the toasted coconut, but I would like to know how to prevent this happening.


  2. Hi Kiri!
    Oooohh this is the time to be making Christmas sweeties, and thanks for choosing to make this one!
    I actually split my test recipes SO MANY times when making this, with a hardened butterscotch mixture floating in oil, that got to my nerves! All I can suggest is that make sure that you use a candy thermometer instead of timing the boil, and when the temperature ALMOST reaches the required temperature (300 deg Fahrenheit / 150 deg Celsius), take the pot right off the stove and whisk in the baking soda really swiftly. You should notice that the sugar mixture foams up as soon as you pour in the baking soda, does that happen for you?
    Otherwise the only thing I can suggest is that practice makes perfect!
    Good luck! X


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