MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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5.1.13

ALMOND ROCA



Thank you Ann for one of the many recipes you shared with me over the years.
Christmas came in a fashion, but considering I was fighting off a cold for two weeks prior, and then we had this kitchen flood, my annual Christmas bake off went by the wayside. Then on the 23rd I rushed out and bought a flat of goodies from the bakery. Most disappointing it was; it looked good but tasted less than exciting and most of our favorites were not among them. There was a certain déjà vu in the whole experience. Such as the Almond Roca missing. It was a good call though, because by Boxing Day I was feeling rather unwell and my wretchedness peeked over New Years. I am still hacking and miserable, but finally feeling on the mend with a little more energy. I brought out my Norwex paraphernalia yesterday and started to clean the kitchen. Today it will be the fridge and under the sink that will get a good all over. Later I will phone my far away new friend and then make a small batch of Almond Roca for my old love since we are all out of Purdy’s chocolates our daughter and son in law so generously supplied us with for the holidays. I still don’t have a working dishwasher. The kitchen flood we had in December is still drying out between three layers of floorboard and we are just crossing our fingers that no cabinets or floor tiles will have to be raised. Ahhh... Almond Roca! There should be no Christmas without you.
1 cup flaked almonds
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups pure, dark chocolate chips*

*Make sure the chocolate chips are pure chocolate. Don't take the label for granted. Look at the ingredients. If the first ingredient is semi sweet chocolate and the second is sugar, forget it! Get a few chocolate bars with 70% cocoa solid and break them up instead. Like everything else, chocolate chips are not what they used to be. The same goes for the grahams. Make the Graham Crackers yourself, don't buy it in a box. Those will be full of fillers and will taste something awful. 
• Turn the oven to 350F.
• Fully line a 9x13 inch baking pan or a small, rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Paper all 4 sides and leave two overhangs for easy grasping. Don’t omit this step or the roca will have to be hacked apart and broken up by hand.
• Line the pan with the grahams.
• Sprinkle the top with flaked almonds.
• Place the butter and the brown sugar in a saucepan.
• Bring to a boil.
• Reduce heat to medium and boil for exactly 3 minutes. Keep stirring continuously. Be careful you are cooking candy.
• Pour the hot candy over the almond layer.
• Drop the chocolate chips on the top.
• Here comes the secret for a lovely smooth top.
• Place the baking pan in the preheated oven for 5 to10 minutes.
• Remove from the oven and spread the melted chocolate with a wide icing knife. Be mindful not to disturb the almond flakes. Work fast for a smooth shiny finish. 
• Fully chill the roca.
• Remove the pan from the fridge.
• Grasp the parchment overhangs and lift the roca onto a cutting board.
• Cut to desired shapes with a sharp chef’s knife. Wipe the blade between each cut, otherwise you will drag cookie crumbs on top of the chocolate.
• Store the roca in a metal cookie tin between layers of wax or parchment paper.
• Place in the fridge. You can freeze the roca, but it will loose it’s shiny lustre.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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