Almond Roca

Print

I have a severe weak spot for almond roca during the holiday season. I can resist fruitcake, all manner of Christmas cookies, puddings and mince pies. But when it comes to almond roca, will power abandons me. (That will be an extra hundred situps for the next two weeks, please.)

My mother’s friend Myke brought over a delicious batch a week ago, which lasted, um, an hour? A phone call with a rave review prompted her to bring us a second batch along with the recipe. Thanks Myke!

Almond Roca Recipe

Print

Use an inexpensive chocolate such as Hershey's. It has low cocoa butter content. If you use a premium chocolate with a high cocoa butter content, unless you temper the chocolate first (look up directions online), the cocoa butter may separate into white streaks as the melted chocolate cools.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks - NO substitutes!)
  • 1/2 lb. slivered almonds (2 cups)
  • 1/2 lb. bar of regular Hershey's dark chocolate (7 oz okay)

Method

Do not attempt to make this on a humid or rainy day. Do not double the recipe, make one batch at a time.

1 Melt butter with sugar, syrup and water in a pan (such as a large non-stick frying pan) on medium to medium-high temperature. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When butter is melted, add the almonds.

2 When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for a minimum of 10 minutes and keep stirring (no more than 15 minutes). The mixture will thicken and turn darker in color. The almonds will roast. Keep stirring and cooking until you hear it crackle. If you don't cook it long enough it will not harden, so keep stirring and listen for the crackling sound.

Elise's note: I have found it very hard to distinguish between the boiling sound and the crackling sound in this recipe. A better guideline for me is by color. When the mixture turns a warm amber color, at about 11 or 12 minutes into the boiling, that's the time to pour it out. Wait too long and it will burn.

If you try to make this, please read all the comments listed below. It's actually trickier than one would think.

3 When the mixture crackles, pour the mixture out onto a large cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible with a fork. While it is still hot, break up the chocolate into chunks and distribute it over the almond mixture and let it melt. Spread it evenly on the top.

4 Let it cool to room temperature. When cool you can lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Almond Roca on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

almond-roca-wrapped.jpg

Note: You can use other kinds of nuts such as pecans or macadamia and white chocolate.

Links:

The Cold Water Candy Test

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 130 Comments

  • Goldie

    I just want to thank you for posting this recipe. I make several batches of it for Christmas every year and give it away to our really good customers and friends. People rave about it and always ask for the recipe. Thanks also for the extra cooking tips – they were really helpful and took the scariness out of making candy.

  • carolina p

    i make this for christmas every year along with cookies to give as gifts…this roca steals the show every time. don’t be intimidated by this recipe, candy-making requires familiarity but it is simple magic really!
    follow elise’s instructions – don’t do this on a humid day and don’t double quantities; but do use a heavy bottomed pot/pan, and do use a candy-thermometer.
    i use whole raw almonds with the skin, and i toast them a bit first in the oven, adding them in towards the end of the cooking time for the caramel. i use a chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate for the top…absolutely stellar!
    if it is a cold day – you can pop the pan outside to cool rapidly – i store mine in the fridge.
    happy new year elise and to all of you as well!

  • Tasha

    Well, I have made 5 batches of Almond Roca over the past week, and only 1 has actually worked. The one that turned out was beautiful but as I think I know what went wrong with the other 4, I thought I would give everyone the benefit of knowing the mistakes before they are made…
    1. This one burnt as I had the element on too high. There was only a small burnt patch at the bottom on the pan once I rinsed it out but it was enough to ruin the flavour of the whole batch. I thought it smelled burnt but it was my very first batch so didn’t know what to expect. If it smells burnt, it is!
    2. Butter separation: this one happened midway through the cooking and nothing could bring it back together. After lots of reading on the Internet, I think I was over stirring as I was worried about it burning (first batch).
    3. Fudge consistency: well, I just didn’t cook this one enough. I had made one perfect batch without a candy thermometer so I thought I could do it by sight and smell alone…nope. The toffee never got that ‘snap’ and the texture was too grainy. Buy a candy thermometer! I have since bought one for $6 at the grocery store.
    4. Butter separation…again! This time I was busy unwrapping Hershey kisses as I ran out of the chocolate chips so I was not watching the butter melt. When I added the sugar, the butter was too hot and the shock immediately made it separate. I took it off the heat and whisked it back together (or so I thought?) and made the toffee with the added almonds. When I added it to the pan to cool, it separated again. I am not sure if the pan was perhaps too cold and the shock did it again but either way, the batch didn’t work out well.

    Good luck, when it works out, it is worth the work!

  • Koama

    Don’t Throw That Mess Away!

    What you can do if your batch fails. Make them into Chocolate Almond Cookies.

    I’ve made a lot of batches, usually with success.

    I recently tried to make a double bactch in a larger pot. I doubled the butter to 1 lb. and added 3 cups of sugar. In lieu of my usual corn syrup, I used a little maple syrup because it was leftover from breakfast.

    The larger size required a larger pot. The batch went very granular on solidifying. The toffee base was very white in color. It was hard (not chewy) but definitely granular and definitely not toffee. It already had the chocolate and nuts on it. I decided to make use of all this good stuff and make cookies.

    It required a little experimentation, making some dough and baking 1 cookie, adjusting, and baking more.

    Here’s the general recipe.

    Take the failed batch and put it into the food processor, grind it up into a paste. This becomes your sugar/flavorings and more than half the butter for your cookies.

    In the standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream a small amount of unsalted, room temperature butter (half to 3/4 stick) until fluffy. Add in your paste a little at a time until incorporated. Add 1 egg and a little vanilla extract.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together about 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour and 1/4 tsp baking powder.

    Add the dry ingredients to the mixer a little at a time, till mixed.

    Toast some almonds, cool, and grind them up well in food processor with a little sea salt (to taste).

    With a spoon, take some of the cool dough and roll into ball about 1 T to 1.5 T in size. Roll ball of dough in ground nuts. Place on parchment or silpat on cookie sheet and press down to flatten to about 3/4 inch thick.

    Bake at 375 F for about 12-15 mins, rotating pan halfway through, until cookie is medium-browned around edges.

    Cool on sheet on cooling rack for 2-4 mins to set and then carefully remove cookies to rack to cool further.

    Experiment with more or less flour or butter to get the right consistency.

    I started with just a portion of my aborted batch of toffee so that I could tweak it as I went along. Good Luck.

  • Kristen

    Tried this recipe twice, worked out well the first time, even better the second time. I heated it on a pretty low heat and took it off too early the first batch so it was more like a taffy, the second batch I used less almond, waited until it became a lot darker and started sort of sticking together. This batch was perfect Almond Roca! Thank you so much!

View Responses / View More Comments / Leave a Comment