Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Penny Rubin’s Almond Roca

You’ll want to lock yourself in the bathroom and eat this Almond Roca until you feel sick. That’s not wise. You’ll want to do it, anyway, but it helps to know that this candy makes a great gift

My dear friend Penny Rubin Fishman gave me this recipe in - yikes! - 1973. Although she died 25 years ago, I think of Penny each time I make this outstanding treat. I hope she knows I’m sharing this recipe with you. I think she’d be delighted! 

Penny Rubin’s Almond Roca:

1-½ c. plus 2 tbsp. whole almonds, toasted (skinned or natural), divided

1 c. butter or brick-style margarine
1-⅓ c. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
6 oz (300 g) pkg. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Spread whole almonds over baking sheet, stirring often for 5-to-7 min. until nuts start to brown. Measure 1 c. plus 2 tbsp. whole almonds to equal 1 c. coarsely hand-chopped almonds. Set this cup of almonds aside. Hand-chop remaining almonds to equal ½ c. finely chopped. Divide as two ¼ c. portions of almonds. Set these two portions aside.

Combine butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup in large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, about 20 min. (see Noteor until candy thermometer reaches 300 deg. F. Add 1 c. coarsely chopped, toasted almonds to mixture in pot, stirring well to ensure even distribution. Immediately pour onto well-greased baking sheet with sides. Using silicone spatula, spread to desired thickness. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating 30 min. to set.

Melt milk chocolate in double boiler over stove top or in microwave oven (see Index for How to Melt Chocolate). Spread half of warm chocolate over cooled Roca, sprinkling with ¼ c. finely chopped toasted almonds. Refrigerate 30 min. or until chocolate is set and loses its sheen. Slip a thin metal spatula between pan and chilled, hardened mixture, freeing Roca from pan. Turn candy over,  repeating with remaining warm chocolate and remaining 
finely chopped almonds. Refrigerate 30 min. to set chocolate. Break into serving-sized pieces, storing in airtight box in refrigerator. 

Note: The size of your saucepan will determine the exact cooking time of the butter-sugar mixture. In the wide base of the large pot I used, the mixture took slightly less than 10 min. to reach 300 deg. F. - about half the 20 min. Pennys pot required. Its essential to keep a close watch on your candy thermometer.

Bring butter-sugar mixture to 300 deg. F.  

Chop some toasted almonds coarsely; some, finely.

Melt milk chocolate in double boiler or in microwave oven.

Coat Roca with chocolate, chopped almonds. Refrigerate 
30 min. Turn over and repeat. Break into pieces.

Have a happy holiday season!

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