Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Christmas Rocky Road Heavenly Hash

December 4th, 2009 · 20 Comments

Rocky Road Heavenly HashOn my daily commute to and from work, I typically listen to NPR radio for the majority of my news fix, which makes up for the lack of getting the daily print newspaper, and I rarely watch the news on the tele anymore either. One of the NPR treats that I enjoy is the food features that I happen to catch including updates from Nigella Lawson and the Kitchen Sisters, among others they will broadcast. On November 30, 2009, NPR featured Nigella promoting her Nigella Christmas cookbook and in particular, I was fascinated with her new take on a rocky road dessert treat. The original recipe can be found at the story titled: Nigella Offers Simple Recipes For Holiday Cheer. I like the way Nigella tweaked this recipe from her original where she uses the amaretti cookies instead of plain, and adds some candied cherries just as red as Rudolph’s nose, along with some Brazil nuts, and then the snowy marshmallows and snowfall of confectioner’s sugar make this a perfect Christmas dessert treat. Click on image for a larger view.

Nigella also listed the weight of most of the ingredients, and this makes sense because baking and pastry is more of an exact science when compared to the culinary side of cooking. Temperature, humidity, and air pressure can change the weight of certain ingredients such as flour, baking soda, cornstarch, etc…that is why nearly all pastry shops, bakeries, and professionals will have recipes with weight measures instead of volumes. Therefore, I have listed all of the exact weights here as well.

Our first Christmas party we are attending is slated tonight (Friday 12/04/09) and with it being a potluck event I told Monique about the Rocky Road dessert I heard about on NPR and she said it reminded her of the Heavenly Hash cake that my mom makes. Therefore, I’ve taken the original Nigella recipe that she tailored and tweaked it a bit too (*see note below), and here it is shared with my foodie friends and followers.

*NOTE: The original recipe calls for 2/3 cups of candied cherries, I rounded this up to 1 cup, and instead of dusting the whole block of Rocky Road Heavenly Hash with confectioner’s sugar before cutting as Nigella does it; I have switched the order here and dusted the squares with the powdered sugar after cutting. Just seems easier to handle them, and that way some of the confectioner’s sugar snowfall can decorate the serving plate or platter too.

Nigella also offers these tips:

Make ahead tip:

Make the Rocky Road and refrigerate to set. Don’t add the confectioner’s sugar yet, but cut into bars, then store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week. Decorate with confectioner’s sugar and edible glitter about 1-2 hours before serving.

Freeze ahead tip:

Make the Rocky Road as above and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in a cool place. Decorate as above.

Weight Volume
8 oz 1 ¼ Cups Bittersweet chocolate chips
6 oz ¾ Cups Milk chocolate chips
6 oz 1 ½ Sticks Butter, softened
2 oz ¼ Cup Light corn syrup
7 oz 4 Cups Amaretti cookies, (not the hard ones)
8 oz 1 Cup Brazil nuts
8 oz 1 Cup Candied or glazed cherries, whole
12 oz 2 ½ Cups Mini marshmallows
Non-stick cooking spray
1 oz 1 Tbsp Confectioner’s sugar
Optional Edible glitter
Procedure  Steps
1. Put both chocolates into a heavy-based saucepan to melt with the butter and syrup over a medium to low heat. Stir periodically with a wooden spoon.
2. Put the cookies into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin to get big and little-sized crumbs; you want some pieces to crunch and some sandy rubble. Put the Brazil nuts into another freezer bag and bash them so you get different-sized nut rubble.
3. Once all the chocolate and butter is melted take the saucepan off the heat, and pour the contents into a large mixing bowl, and then add the crushed cookies and nuts, whole candied cherries and mini marshmallows. Turn carefully to coat everything with syrupy chocolate.
4. Lightly grease or spray with non-stick spray a 9 x 12 inch aluminum foil-baking pan and then pour the mixture into it then evenly smooth and press the top with a rubber spatula to ensure there are no air bubbles or open gaps, it will look bumpy on the top and this is okay.
5. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, which will take about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Then take the set-up block of Rocky Road Heavenly Hash out of the aluminum foil pan, it is now ready to cut.
6. With the long side in front of you, cut it into 6 slices down and 4 across, so that you have 24 almost-squares, or if you want petit four size pieces you can make 6 slices down and 8 slices across for smaller sized portions, or about 48 pieces.
7. Gently tap the confectioners’ sugar through a small strainer to dust the top of the Rocky Road Heavenly Hash. Then, if you like, add sprinkling of edible glitter for some festive sparkle.
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Tags: Desserts · Holidays

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jessie // Dec 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    oh that sure is heavenly alright! perfect holiday sweet treat

  • 2 Kristi Rimkus // Dec 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    What a wonderful holiday treat. Love the picture!

  • 3 sippitysup // Dec 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I bet you were a hit! GREG

  • 4 Danielle // Dec 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I generally don’t care for sweets like this but with the amaretti cookies and brazil nuts? Yeah, I could eat a few of these. Very festive!

  • 5 ninni // Dec 5, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I am so traditional in food and i dont like to try new recipes but this one i will try,looks so good and whit all this nice integrates must be delicious!!!

  • 6 Alina // Dec 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Aww, I love Rocky Road! And I love candied cherries! Sounds heavenly for me! ^_^

  • 7 John D. // Dec 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Now I know what to bring to the tree trimming party next week! These look great.

  • 8 pegasuslegend // Dec 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    this is my favorite make it every year never tried Brazil nuts….sounds awesome I use pistachio and cherries will try with both !thanks

  • 9 Glenda // Dec 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    This recipe sounds wonderful. I’m in chocolate heaven! Can’t wait to try it.

  • 10 Miranda // Dec 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I saved this as a fav. I can’t wait to give it a try! I love how you used weight and measurements!!!

  • 11 MaryMoh // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:14 am

    That looks so festive. I love the nuts and the cherries. Thanks for sharing.

  • 12 Cookin' Canuck // Dec 6, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Great tweaks by Nigella – the perfect holiday treat! I am also a NPR devotee – can’t get enough of their reporting and interviews.

  • 13 Drick // Dec 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    thanks for letting us in on the recipe – sounds like a really good holiday treat…

  • 14 Alta (Tasty Eats At Home) // Dec 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    This is like rocky road to the nth degree! Yum! I would so love these.

  • 15 penny aka jeroxie // Dec 6, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Very nice indeed. I wish I have a kitchen to make there.

  • 16 redkathy // Dec 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Great Rocky Road recipe. My youngest is a Rocky Road fanatic. I am going to have to try this, it’s quite different from the one I traditionally make. Thanks for sharing it Chef.

  • 17 foodlovee // Dec 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

    A great rocky road to have.

  • 18 The Foodie Forkful // Dec 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Wow that sounds absolutely scrumptious.

  • 19 Rachel J // Dec 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    oooh, i love every last thing in this bar. Delish!

  • 20 The Hungry Mouse // Dec 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    You’re killing me! This stuff looks great!

    Happy holidays!