Almond Roca for Purim and Valentine's Day

Psssst!  Can I interest you in some crack?  I made a ton of different candies so far, but my favorite is this most awesome bit of heaven called Almond Roca, which I found at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  Light and crunchy.  Totally drool-worthy.  I'm gaining weight just thinking about this stuff.

When I first stumbled over this recipe, I thought it very similar to chocolate-coated English toffee, and wasn't sure what the difference was.  Mel never mentioned its origin, so I just thought it was a nifty name and didn't bother look it up. Until now.  Turns out that Almond Roca is a brand name and I had never heard of it.  So embarassing *blush*.

Almond Roca is a little more difficult to make than yesterday's Almond Gedillas, because you need a thermometer to assure success every time.  Undercook and you'll have a soft mess.  Overcook and you'll need jaws of steel to enjoy these babies.  

The only thing I changed was to sprinkle chopped almonds over the melted chocolate instead of sliced, because I didn't have sliced on hand.  Turns out that the Almond Roca brand uses ground almonds.  So now you have 3 ways of making crack candy.

Almond Roca
Very Slightly Adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Yield: Not nearly enough as far as I'm concerned

 Cooking spray (if using)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (6 oz.) package slivered almonds
1 (8 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or with aluminum foil. If using foil, evenly coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add slivered almonds.  Heat, stirring frequently, until almonds are golden brown. Immediately remove from heat; transfer almonds to a small bowl (so prevent further browning) and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, salt and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil.

Digital thermometer.  Not made for candy but gets job done.

Continue to boil, stirring occasionally in the center of the saucepan (to avoid sugar crystallizing on pan sides) until temperature reaches 300F with a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat; stir in the slivered almonds. Immediately pour almond mixture onto the prepared baking sheet placed on heatproof surface.

Quickly spread mixture with wooden spoon or heatproof spatula into a thin, even layer.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot layer. Let chips sit for 2-3 minutes, then spread melted chocolate evenly to the edges. Immediately sprinkle chopped almonds over the chocolate. Let Roca cool completely.

Break Roca into pieces about 2-inches in length.  Don't worry if the pieces aren't even ...  size doesn't matter here.  Unless you have to share.


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