I am having a somewhat frantic December. As it’s the festive season, it’s crammed full of more enjoyable events than the usual rota of meetings and chores – Christmas gatherings and choir rehearsals, in the main – but still. I’m not keen to make anything more complicated than it has to be, at the minute, even in the kitchen.

So when I had to bring dessert to our church Christmas social, I chose the easiest and least time-consuming thing I know: Nigella’s rocky road recipe. The only thing you need is time enough to cool it properly; thankfully our hall is now cold enough to freeze the personal parts off a polar bear, so that wasn’t a problem.

The ingredients list is just melted chocolate (whatever kind you prefer: I use about half dark and half milk, as it tastes more chocolatey that way), chopped brazil nuts and mini marshmallows. The recipe gives 75g brazil nuts and 100g marshmallows, but think Nigella may have forgotten that one marshmallow doesn’t weigh very much. 100g is a really big pile, and you’ll have a job cramming it all into the chocolate. I just chop the nuts first, then make a marshmallow pile of roughly equivalent size, which seems to work quite well.

I’ve never in my life tried to melt chocolate using the ominous-sounding double boiler method – it sounds fiddly, messy and with a much higher risk of third-degree burns, and why would you, when it’s the easiest thing in the world to melt it in the microwave? You just have to remember to take it out every minute or so to stir: once you’ve burned it, there’s no salvaging it (I speak from experience, of course). Once you’ve melted the chocolate, mix in the nuts and the marshmallows, and there endeth the actual cooking, in ten minutes or less.

Nigella drops little blobs of the lumpy mixture onto a baking sheet and lets them cool in bite-sized rounds, and I much prefer this way of doing them, but you don’t get as many pieces from it. So when it needs to go further, spread it out in a baking tray and cut it up into little squares once it’s cooled. Apparently cooling it in the fridge rather than on a cold windowsill makes the chocolate less shiny, though I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference between the two.

It’s addictive, this stuff: intensely chocolatey without being too sugary. As there’s no flour, eggs or sugar, you’re really only making yourself a differently shaped chocolate bar with nice things added. This makes the rocky road prone to melting, like any chocolate. But as with the mighty M&M, if you cram it in quickly it should only melt in your mouth, not in your hands.

Deliciousness: You’ll have to keep going back to the fridge for more. It’s far too easy to make an impromptu batch and then eat it all over the course of an evening (I…er…speak from experience).

Complexity: When keeping your marshmallows from going everywhere is the hardest bit, you know you’re onto a winner.

Washing-up pile: Chocolate bowl and baking tray. Yesssss.

Casualties: None at all, as I stayed well away from the double boiler method.

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