Homemade Almond Roca

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This Homemade Almond Roca is an easy English toffee with almonds, covered with dark chocolate. No candy thermometer required. Perfect for holiday gifts!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.)

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Homemade Almond Roca

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!

Homemade Almond Roca Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

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.

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

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

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

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 Cook until the mixture turns a warm amber color, and the boiling sounds like a crackle: 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 Pour mixture out onto a large cookie sheet: When the mixture crackles, pour the mixture out onto a large sheet pan or cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible with a fork.

4 Spread chocolate over the top: While the almond mixture 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.

5 Cool to room temp: Let the almond roca cool to room temperature. When cool you can lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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139 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Amy

    I had a very hard time and mine burnt and the butter separated. I think it would help if the directions said to turn the temperature down after the butter melts. Medium to medium high was way too hot for mine. Also a temperature for the candy thermometer would help. This is the first time I’ve use this recipe, though I have made almond roca dozens of times in the past.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Mary

    I make this every year and it turns out perfectly. Follow the recipe EXACTLY as it is written. It will turn out beautifully. Do as the recipe says….turn on your timer for 10 minutes AFTER it comes to a boil. Mine is always done about one minute later– at 11 minutes, and the recipe indicates that the amber color will be pronounced–but not burnt–at around 11 or 12 minutes and I have found this to be the case countless times. (That 10 minutes on the timer tells you when to really pay attention to the last 60-120+ seconds). Pour it out, spread it out with a fork and put the chocolate on to melt. Don’t double or halve the recipe and don’t change the ingredients. Prepare it exactly as written, noting the humidity or rain as indicated and wait for a dry day. Thanks for a wonderful recipe. I love it!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Baker

    Mixture separated :(

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  4. Susan

    I have been using this recipe for years and years, once I find a great recipe I continue to search. On occasion I do have a batch that fails but for the most part everything turns out great, it is real important to wait for the colour change and crackling sound usually 10 minutes. I do use whole almonds instead of slivered and once it’s set up I break it up into small pieces I dip it in chocolate that I’ve melted over a double boiler and then I roll them in almonds that I have ground in my food processor, so my almond Roca looks warm looks very similar to the store bought version. Thank you for such a great recipe my family has come to expect it every Christmas so it now a family tradition.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Sue

    I make Almond Roca every year, I want to try yours this year. I do use a candy thermometer, this gives me the same consistency so I know when it’s done. I cook mine to 310 degrees, hope this helps.

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