Introduction: Go Nuts for Almond Roca
If just the sight of that renowned pink container with gold foil-wrapped candies causes your mind to wander and you begin to salivate at the thought of the butter, chocolate and nut confection we all know as Almond Roca, then read on to find my DIY no-fail method!
This is not just a standard toffee with a few sprinkles of sliced almonds and a smear of chocolate. Rather it is a rich, molten toffee cradled deliciously in the arms of decadent sweet chocolate and its perfect partner, chopped nuts. It is so much better than store-bought Roca, in my humble opinion.
I use pecans and walnuts, along with the almonds, because I feel it adds a slight nutty taste advantage over Almond Roca made solely with almonds. It rounds out the flavor. If you're a purist at heart, you can use almonds alone and forego the others... I won't tell.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Tools
- 1 pound butter
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips (either semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 9" x 13" baking dish
- Candy thermometer
- Food processor (shown in STEP 2)
- Medium-sized heavy sauce pan
- Stirring spoon
- Sharp Knife
Step 2: Prep the Nuts and Chocolate
There is no need to thoroughly clean the food processor after chopping the nuts. A bit of nut dust won't hurt while you prepare the chocolate.
Add 2 cups of chocolate chips to the food processor.
Pulse the chocolate chips until they are broken into pieces about the size of rice. It will help the chocolate melt easier.
Step 3: Make the Toffee
In a heavy medium sauce pan, add a pound of butter (4 cubes).
Heat over a medium heat. When the butter is mostly melted add 2 cups of white sugar and stir until it is combined.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads exactly 315 degrees F. The concoction will turn caramel colored as it gets closer to the right temperature.
I have seen recipes that suggest cooking the toffee mixture from 280 degrees F up to 300 degrees F. However, I have made this candy many times, and I have had the final product not set up correctly at those temps... Trust me on this one -- cook it until it reaches 315 degrees F. Be sure to pay close attention when the thermometer reaches 310 degrees, and stir it, so as not to burn your buttery batch of goodness.
While this is cooking, move to Step 4 to prepare the baking dish so it will be ready when the hot molten toffee is primed.
Step 4: Prepare the Baking Dish
In a 9"x13" baking dish, layer half the chopped nuts evenly across the bottom. Sprinkle half the chopped chocolate over the nuts.
** Author's note of caution: I used a glass baking dish for purposes of photographing this instructable. However, I would recommend using a metal pan as glass can be broken during the process of dividing the candy into pieces.
Step 5: Finish the Assembly
Once the hot toffee mixture has reached 315 degrees F, carefully pour the mixture over the nut and chocolate layers. Be sure to pour it as evenly as possible.
Immediately sprinkle the remaining half of the chocolate over the molten toffee. Then sprinkle the rest of the nuts over the chocolate.
I like to gently press the top of the nut mixture at this point to help it all set well.
Let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces with a knife.
Step 6: Wrap, Store or Serve
Once the Almond Roca is cool, you can use a knife to press into the candy and break it into bite sized pieces. If the chocolate seems a little too soft and sticks to the knife, just put the pan in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it hardens.
I purchased the embossed gold foil from a local bakery at a very reasonable price. They also had pink embossed foil, which I will use to wrap a batch or two for Mother's Day! It stores well in a sealed container, but I have never frozen it. I think it would be fine, though.
So now you have my favorite candy recipe, just remember one very important thing. Do not take a single bite of this delicacy until you wave a Magic Pig Wand over the finished candy. This will surely remove all fat, calories, and carbs from the inevitable splurge.